ON JULIA ROBERTS MAKING RADICAL AND ‘ACCIDENTAL’ FASHION STATEMENTS

Evidently, Oscar-winning American actress Julia Roberts is famous for one more thing- living life as authentically as possible, a quality that still endears her to so many. She’s always opted for her refreshingly honest opinion in most matters and has given others the license to do the same in the least obtrusive ways. She famously ditched the shoes at her wedding to Lyle Lovett in 1993. In 2016, she walked barefoot down the Cannes Film Festival red carpet despite that an unofficial rule stated women had to wear heels. At the London premiere of “Notting Hill” in 1999, her visible underarm hair sparked a media frenzy followed by an overflow of praise and admiration from lots of women who desired to be as outspoken. Recently, we’ve discovered that was another original moment from our dear unassuming radical because as it turns out, activism wasn’t her intention at all.

Julia Roberts at the London premiere of “Notting Hill” in 1999

Interestingly, that iconic red carpet moment actually happened  by accident, according to the 51-year old actress, a fact she revealed on Busy Philipps’ new E! talk show, “Busy Tonight.” Most people had concluded that the actress was making a statement about feminism and female beauty standards. Addressing the incident publicly for the first time ever, she said

“I just hadn’t really calculated my sleeve length and the waving and how those two things would go together and reveal personal things about me, so it wasn’t so much a statement, as it’s just part of the statement I make as a human on the planet, for myself.”

Julia Roberts at the Cannes Film festival in 2016

Roberts might not have deliberately set out that night to shake up the status quo. But the fact that she – one of the most famous female actors in the world back in ‘99(which also gives her massive pop cultural influence) attending the premiere of a movie that was literally all about how impossibly gorgeous and universally adored she was – chose not to shave under her arms was a brilliant and opportuned feminist statement, because it was such a rejection of all the exhausting standards that beauty held a woman of her status to. Roberts infamous and apparently unintended ignited a whole new movement for universal freedom as countless female stars have since boldly followed her footsteps. What’s more: she insists that her obviously activist behavior is not so because it is just who she is! Julia Roberts is a living embodiment of how the way we present ourselves is always a form of self expression- and she is the most endearing example we have seen yet.

Point, a world where that kind of happening will be the norm rather than the news is where we are aiming for and with people like Julia, we’ll be there sooner. So, want to make that rare fashion statement? Find something you believe in and unapologetically advocate it. Good news is, it matters less if it’s walking barefoot or ditching an otherwise important item of clothing, as long as it reflects the original version of you, it works like magic. You could also just make the habit of doing as you please and by doing so, ‘accidentally’ inspire the world- just like Julia.

 

Photo Credits: Getty Images, Instagram.

Abiodun Odusola
abiodunodusola@ymail.com
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