You’ve probably seen the clip, but when Jenny Beavan won the Oscar this Sunday for her costume work on Mad Max, a bunch of stuffy, boring men refused to clap for her. Why?
Because girlfriend was wearing a leather jacket and jeans.
Embarrassing, right? FOR THEM, DUH. Beavan is a badass boss-bitch. She wore pieces that were a tribute to the movie (see: the jacket’s skull embellishment) and wore what she felt great in. And dudes could not handle it. Weak. Weak!
But Beavan is continuing to boss up, saying — in the wake of this madness — that you “don’t have to look like a supermodel to be successful.” (Truth!) And she also said some other very interesting things.
“I am British with a slightly rebellious character; I always have been,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “But actually, in truth, you’ve seen me. I’m short, I’m fat. I really would look ridiculous in a gown. What I was actually wearing at the Oscars was a sort of homage to Mad Max — a kind of biker outfit. And George [Miller] loved it. The [vegan] leather jacket had the Immorten Joe symbol on the back and I was just giving a little wink to Mad Max.”
I love Jenny Beavan more than I love any of you. And she continues:
“I really do think things will calm down, but the only thing I would like is for my outfit to have a positive effect on what women feel about themselves,” she said. “You don’t actually have to look like a supermodel to be successful. If that could be a takeaway, I think that would be a good thing. It is really good to have a positive feeling about yourself, because you can do anything. People don’t have to clap for you; they don’t have to like the work.”
And holy shit, to that last line. I mean it: they don’t have to like the work. She’s right! They don’t. And they won’t. Not every person is going to like everything we say and do, and in fact, a lot of people probably wont, but guess what: who cares. Do you think Jenny Beavan cares? (She doesn’t — she also said in the interview that she wasn’t bothered by the lack of applause from Tom McCarthy or Alejandro Inarritu because your hands get tired and also *shrug*.) And what a limited, boring-ass life we would lead if we did care so much about a bunch of basics thought about our successes.
I mean, it’s easy to forget that when you’re in the thick of it — or even if you’re a normal person having a normal day and one person says something snarky on the internet. So in moments of self-doubt or “what am I doing why am I here who even am I,” let us all pause to acknowledge Jenny Beavan who does not give a fuck. The woman is from the school of Patti Smith: do the work, and let it speak for itself. Because ultimately, that’s all any of us have control over, so we might as well get used to it and ride our own waves instead of appealing for approval from the entire ocean.
Jenny Beavan, you guys. Boss-ass B.