Variety Needs to Reconsider The Women They Honor

By Amelia Hamilton Published on April 18, 2015

This week, Variety released their list of women to be honored later this week as “Inspiration Impact Honorees” through their “Power of Women” initiative. This honors women in the entertainment industry who make a difference through their philanthropy. While philanthropy is, of course, always admirable, some of the choices are a little questionable in terms of role models. Are Kim Kardashian West and Lena Dunham, for example, really women to hold up for emulation?

Both women support great causes. Lena Dunham, from the HBO show Girls, supports Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, which works with women and girls who have experienced commercial sex exploitation and domestic trafficking, helping them get out of the sex industry. Yet this is a woman who, in 2008, compared voting for Barack Obama to losing her virginity and  has shared plenty of nude or nearly-nude photos online, to which I won’t be providing a link. She created the show Girls, which routinely show sex acts as explicitly and graphically as they can possibly get away with. The show also portrays abortion as a mundane experience to be dealt with casually.

Kim Kardashian West supports the Children’s Hospital Los Angles, another great cause. Her inclusion on this list is confusing all around. Is she really part of the entertainment industry? She became famous due to a rather graphic video of, shall we say, a private moment, and has been famous for being famous ever since. Does a naughty tape and a reality TV show really put someone on par with Glenn Close, who is also on the list?

We need higher standards for role models for women. Not just women who give money to great causes, but who also live their lives in a way that we’d want girls to emulate. Come on, Variety, you can do better.

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