The Oscars happened last night, and as is customary this time of year, I dedicated countless hours to watching E! and attempting to finish all the nominated movies. I also found myself worshiping Reese Witherspoon and wondering why I couldn’t be more like her—successful AND gorgeous.

But this year was different. Many women and men decided to voice their opinions on pressing social issues, and based on the crowd’s positive reaction, they felt supported in doing so. (Oh, and E! finally got rid of the mani cam.) These five phenomenal women stole the Oscars show– Sorry, NPH. With powerful statements about the #AskHerMore campaign or a cry for wage equality, they dominated the evening.

1. Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon has been a huge champion of the #AskHerMore social media campaign, which encourages the media to focus on more than just what female celebrities are wearing. The Representation Project and SmartGirls started the movement to raise awareness about how women are often devalued in Hollywood. Reese posted a few pictures on Instagram, encouraging her fans to ask their favorite actresses “real” questions. And then on the Red Carpet, she said, “This is a movement to say we’re more than just our dresses.” We fully agree.

    2. Robin Roberts

      Roberts is our red-carpet queen. After she started the popular movement called #AskHerMore, every interview included questions about their careers and upcoming projects rather than just what they were wearing that evening. Moreover, her interviews were both fun and informative. For instance, we discovered that Alzheimer’s is the 6th most fatal disease in America. Also, you will don’t always have to stay in your comfort zone to give justice to a role you’re playing. We don’t care about designer labels. But we do want to know who your role model is. Thank you, Robin Roberts, for listening and giving us the advice we need.

      3. Patricia Arquette

        When Patricia Arquette began her acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, it sounded like what we usually hear. She thanked her team and gave a shout-out to her family, but then she said something that truly caught our attention: “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” If Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez’s reaction doesn’t show how important of a statement this was, then we may as well all just go home.

        4. Emma Watson

          From Hermione Granger to UN Ambassador, Emma Watson has been making headlines with her HeForShe campaign. And this time she’s taking over the most honorable award show. She delivered #HeForShe cufflinks to help actors show their support for the campaign. Yep, that’s right. Emma has thought of everything to get her message out there. And at the Oscars last night, Steve Carell wore his cufflinks proudly (he got special thanks from Emma, too).

          5. Dakota Johnson

            Last night, Dakota Johnson and her mom Melanie Griffith gave us a behind-the-scenes look at what their mother-daughter relationship is really like. It was refreshing to see two famous celebs acting like normal people for once. You and Johnson’s mother probably bicker like this too, except you don’t do it in front of millions of people watching the Oscars. The two were discussing whether or not Griffith should see Fifty Shades of Grey, but then Johnson felt like her mom wasn’t being supportive. We loved this reaction because it was honest, and Dakota Johnson wasn’t afraid to show the world how important it is to have your parents on your side. It’s good to remember that this night is about work.

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