I didn’t watch the Oscars on Sunday. My husband and I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies, and I was too busy - busy being mommy, cooking dinner and giving my son a bath, and being teacher, lesson planning and computing report card grades. But, like many women, I do enjoy viewing what the female celebrities in attendance wore for the big event. So I did the short-cut version; I browsed through the on-line slide show, clicking away at dresses and tuxes. Of course, I don’t quietly observe - I comment and critique, I down-right criticize. But my criticisms remain in my living room and so I feel no harm-no foul.
I was pleased to learn that Helen Hunt wore a dress she already owned. She was quite proud of the fact that she wore a dress out-of-her-closet. Of course, I always associate her with her character from Mad About You, and it makes complete sense that Jamie Buchman (Hunt’s character on the esteemed television series) would be practical enough to wear a dress she already owned. Helen Hunt was trying to make a point about the effect we have on our environment, and she used her influence to get a message across.
But, I read further, to learn that she accessorized her dress with almost $700,000 worth of jewelry. My jaw dropped, and I still can’t get that number out of my head. Who needs to wear that much jewelry? Why does such jewelry even exist? How many meals could be delivered to hungry families? How many jackets purchased for cold children? How many new pairs of shoes? How many dental visits? And how many gallons of clean drinking water?
All of a sudden, her “recycled” dress seemed a bit hypocritical when worn with jewelry than is worth much more than many years of my salary. But, when taken in context with the ceremony at hand, I guess it makes sense.
For all intents and purposes, the Oscars are all about excess. The amount of media invested in one night, the people who will camp out for hours in front of their television sets. And it seems to me we get away from the whole point - to acknowledge achievement in film-making.
So, there I am - a mommy and a teacher, and never one who will wear jewelry equal in value to some houses.