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Cannes Film Festival bans flats on their red carpet

Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer whose work places a feminist lens on a variety of topics, including motherhood, maternal health, gender, and reproductive rights. Her work has been featured in Bitch magazine, Cosmopolitan.com,...

Ladies wearing flats turned away from Cannes events

The Cannes Film Festival is known for its high fashion and irresistible glamour. Stars of all kinds walk the red carpet decked out in designer dresses, perfectly coiffed hair and stunning jewelry. Yet this year, they'd better make sure they've opted for heels over flats, or they just might find themselves getting kicked off the red carpet.

Reports are surfacing that women are being denied entry to various Cannes events for wearing flat heels. During a premiere for a screening of Carol this past Sunday, some women who were wearing flats claim they were denied entry based on their footwear.

Others noticed this occurring at other Cannes events.

Yesterday a producer got to the red carpet and was told she had one hour to change. From flats into heels, that is pic.twitter.com/k78tWjQzKX

— Anna Mikhailova (@AnnaMikha) May 17, 2015

In fact, director of the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, Asif Kapadia, substantiated these claims, confirming on Twitter that his wife was turned away.

More: Are your high heels hurting your health?

The famed film festival does have a dress code — including requiring tuxedos or formal dress for Gala screenings — however, there is no official wording on footwear. There are plenty of high end and glamorous options for flat footwear, and remarkably enough, only a few years ago flat sandals were the trend, so it seems absolutely ridiculous for Cannes to be turning women away for wearing flats. It should also be noted that some of the women who were wearing flats did so for health or medical reasons, but apparently Cannes organizers — sadly — believe in the oft-repeated saying "beauty is pain."

While no statement from Cannes has been released so far about these allegations, social media has been very vocal about the situation. Tweets continue to pour in sharing stories of being kicked off the red carpet for footwear options and people are rightfully outraged. While it's all well and good to have high standards and a dress code, enforcing high heels as the exclusive footwear is a bit much.

More: 10 Fun flats for moms on the go

It should be noted that beyond "tuxedo," men attending the film festival have very little pressure to adhere to any high fashion expectations. Yet women, who usually spend hours prepping for such events, are held to much higher scrutiny and critique. Yet, sexism in Hollywood in particular is not something new. Actress Emily Blunt addressed both the larger issue as well as the shoe debacle during a Cannes panel.

The actress was answering questions while promoting her film Sicario when she was informed about the flat heel controversy. Blunt responded:

I think everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t wear high heels anymore. That’s just my point of view. I prefer to wear Converse sneakers. That’s very disappointing.

Blunt's director in Sicario, Denis Villeneuve, jumped in and stated that "as a sign of protest," he will walk the red carpet in heels alongside Blunt's co-stars, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. While this provided some chuckles for the audience, the actual banning of flat heels at Cannes is truly no laughing matter.

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