It was that time of year again for the parties, for the endless hours of watching E! and trying to binge watch the nominated movies, and for spending your Sunday night wishing that you were as prolific and stunning as Reese Witherspoon. Yes, that’s right. The Oscars came and went last night.
But something was different. Many women and men took it upon themselves to speak up on some serious issues, and based on the crowd’s reactions, they were heard and supported. (Oh, and E! finally got rid of the damn mani cam.) Whether is was about the buzz around the #AskHerMore campaign or a call for wage equality, these five phenomenal women stole the Oscars show. Sorry, NPH.
1. Reese Witherspoon
Even before the Oscars started, Reese showed her support for the #AskHerMore social media campaign started by our friends The Representation Project and SmartGirls—it encourages the media to stop devaluing women in Hollywood by solely focusing on what they wear. Reese Instagrammed a few pictures, 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 couldn’t agree more.
2. Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts is our red-carpet hero. She brought up #AskHerMore, asked every guest questions about their careers and upcoming projects, and didn’t once ask about what the actress was wearing. And you know what? Her interviews were the most enjoyable and meaningful. We learned that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death, and that sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone to give justice to the part you’re playing. Dior vs. McQueen vs. Ford means nothing to us. But your role model? That does. Thank you, Robin Roberts, for finally listening and giving us what we want to know.
3. Patricia Arquette
When Patricia Arquette started her acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, it sounded pretty standard. She thanked her people, gave a shout out to her family, but then she stunned us all with her final plea: “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 should all just go home…
4. Emma Watson
From naive Hermione Granger to powerhouse UN Ambassador, Emma Watson has been all over the news with her HeForShe campaign. And this time she’s infiltrated the most honorable award show. To help actors show their support for the campaign, she delivered #HeForShe cufflinks. Yep, that’s right. Emma has literally thought of everything to get her message out there. And at the Oscars last night, Steve Carell wore his cufflinks proud (he got a special thanks from Emma, too).
5. Dakota Johnson
It’s refreshing to see famous celebs act like real people, and Dakota Johnson and her mom, Melanie Griffith, gave us some insight last night into what the mother-daughter relationships of actresses is really like. It’s just like you and your mother, except that you didn’t display it to millions of people watching you on the Oscars. The two bantered about whether or not Griffith should see Fifty Shade of Grey, and Johnson basically wasn’t feeling the support from her mom. We loved this honest reaction because, 1) remember, this night is about the work and 2) Dakota Johnson wasn’t afraid to show the world how important it is to have your parents on your side.
Photos: Kevin Winter; Frazer Harrison / Getty Images