Originally published March 28, 2022.
“The Academy Awards briefly came to a stunning halt Sunday night when Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, after which Will Smith went to the stage and hit him in the face.” — Washington Post, 3/27/22
I’m just gonna go ahead and say it—Will Smith stole my night. With that one theatrical slap, he undid months of work, not just by me, but by my entire team of stylists. I could overlook it if I’d just shown up in Dior women’s wear. After all, Harry Styles has been showing up in women’s wear to everything, so it’s not like I would have expected those ripples to be huge. But I showed up in Dior women’s wear and no shirt, and that, people, is a Discourse Move.
Except now, of course, The Discourse will be about duels and alopecia. Truly, when I slid the sumptuous fabric of my lace blazer over my sleeveless arms, I thought the only smooth skin anyone would be talking about tonight was the stuff on my chest, visible for all to see and enjoy. Leave it to Jada Pinkett Smith to show up with a medical condition and hog the entire spotlight.
Look, if we’re being honest, I would have been a little put out by that alone. But then her devoted husband had to go full pistols-at-dawn at Chris Rock for that tired G.I. Jane reference, and now NOBODY is talking about my gender-bending bravery and my luscious, buttery bare chest. Seriously, my chest is like if a bolt of silk made love to a saucer of the freshest cream, but will that be the headline today? Most certainly not!
Instead of talking about my bold attempt to play with my own masculinity, all anyone’s gonna be talking about is Will Smith’s, and whether it’s the toxic kind or not. Will anyone even remember that I came dressed as the perfect sex matador? That my pendant dangled seductively mid-chest, inviting your gaze lower? That I wore a lace overlay that somehow made you imagine things about my dick? Of course not; they’ll be too busy tearing each other apart over whether or not violence is ever the answer and if it’s equally toxic white feminism to say it’s not. And for this, I will never forgive Will Smith or Chris Rock. Or feminists, even though I definitely am one.
Just you wait: this entire week will be nothing but blue-check Twitter brawls and straight-faced think pieces in legacy publications. Eventually, it’ll all settle down, but by the time it does no one will even remember my boots. And yet Will, Jada, and Chris will all still be unimaginably famous and wealthy. How is this fair??
Anyway, I hope you’re all happy. This week was gonna be a glorious rain of Timothée Chalamet nip-slip memes, but instead, you’re all in for a year-plus of slap memes, Lupita Nyong’o reaction .gifs, and late-night jokes cribbed from Facebook comments. And speaking of nip-slips, I don’t even get to walk away with best bare chest of the night. Thanks a LOT, Venus Williams. You know what? Maybe next time, I’ll just stay home. Or worse, show up in Carhartt.
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