Here’s Everything That’s Wrong With Jim Carrey’s “Meaningless” NYFW Comments And The Sexism They Represent

by Amanda Brohman

On Friday evening, Harper’s Bazaar hosted its annual ICONS party in celebration of New York Fashion Week and its “Icons”-themed September Issue. It was attended by a slew of fashion’s most well-known women — from Harper’s Bazaar Fashion Director Carine Roitfield, Iris Apfel and Cindy Crawford to icons-in-the-making Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham and Winnie Harlow.

But what is a night honoring fashion, and the women in it, without the inevitable party-crashing by a straight, white man who isn’t a part of the industry, but feels entitled to trash talk all over it and what it represents?

Enter Hollywood’s favorite funny-man, Jim Carrey, in a shiny patterned tuxedo jacket (yet claiming he “didn’t get dressed up” for the occasion) and managing in one simple sentence to diminish the same industry the party was in celebration of. When E News! reporter Catt Sadler approached him on the red carpet, he told her, “There’s no meaning to any of this. So I wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could come to and join and here I am. You’ve gotta admit it’s completely meaningless?” 

Sadler didn’t answer his question and instead tried to explain the purpose of the party to him, “Well, they say they are celebrating icons.”  But her best efforts were to no avail, as Carrey had already made up his mind, interrupting her before she could finish her sentence. “Celebrating icons? Boy, that is just the lowest-aiming possibility that we could come up with,” he said.

And by doing so, Jim Carrey joins a history of men who seem to find pleasure in diminishing women’s work, culture and interests — even when they’re standing in the middle of a room celebrating those exact same things.

Fashion is an industry that to a large extent is made for women, by women, and thus has become the perfect pick-on target for men who feel the need to lash out on the “meaninglessness” and superficiality of women’s culture. Jim Carrey is not the first, and will sadly not be the last man to do so. But he is a prime example of how easy it is, in a patriarchy, for men to get away with disrespecting a female-focused art expression such as fashion, and feeling the entitlement to do so.

It would, on the other hand, be entirely impossible to imagine a female celebrity attending a big event celebrating sports, tech or another male dominated field, and getting away with saying it’s “the most meaningless thing” they could join. And if they, against all odds, did, the Twitter train of trolls (read: men) would haunt their feeds (and maybe even their homes) forever.

So, dear Jim Carrey (and your male peers), please do all of us a favor by staying home from our parties — unless you are willing to have an open mind and show some respect towards an industry and an art form that you’re not a part of, but that celebrates one-half of the population that could use some more respect from men like you. And remember: While you are busy putting us down, we are busy making your fancy, patterned blazers.

Top photo: Ace Ventura

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