Snarking About Fugly Dresses at the Emmys

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The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards will be held Sunday night. I'm tuning in for sure. I have favorite shows and actors to cheer and betting pools to win or lose. 

It should be an entertaining night because it's been an outstanding year for television, and because Neil Patrick Harris is hosting.  NPH is so amazing that he just won an Emmy (at the Creative Emmy Awards) for hosting the Tonys. If you started a Kickstarter to fund NPH to host every award show and local charity and/or kids' sports banquet and then also GIVE him an award at every subsequent award show from now until forever, I'd donate at a high enough level to get a sticker featuring NPH holding a NPH statuette.  The Washington Post and 90% of the rest of the world agrees he'll be great.

My Emmy bingo card is full of expectation. Wry grin from Tina Fey? A smug one from Jason Bateman? Cleavage shenanigans of some sort involving Sofia Vergara, Lena Dunham and/or Christina Hendricks ? Buzz about how Netflix changed everything this year? These are a few of my favorite TV things.  Check out the full roster of nominees on the official website.

So I'm sure I'll be watching the broadcast of the awards. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether to watch the red carpet show.


Tim Gunn kissing Heidi Klum while arriving at the 2013 Primetime Creative Emmys.
Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum arriving at the 2013 Creative Emmys. Image: Prensa Internacional/



I love it, I truly do. Typically I plan to watch the pre-show at all the big award broadcasts. But if I'm honest with myself, I know my devotion is not because I adore the fashion, and I only sometimes enjoy the celebrity interaction (Tim Gunn, watch out for those prison-made weapons on Heidi's ears!) and interviews. Only rarely do we get fun, live moments amidst the awkward posing. 

via Giphy

I don't watch the red carpet for the beautiful dresses. They can be a lovely parade, but what I really love is the fugly ones. The WTF ones. I particularly love watching Twitter try to describe dress fails in comical terms, or argue in defense of univerally panned gowns. Nice dresses are nice dresses, but wretched ones are wretched in unique and glorious ways making fashion snark is my favorite part of the red carpet.

Is this wrong? I know I'm not alone.


to snark or not to snark about the red carpet

Original image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

I definitely avoid body snark, though I admit I've dabbled in plastic surgery commentary despite my best intentions there. The humor lies in the dresses, not the wearer. In bizarre concoctions of misplaced lace or bridesmaid-gone-bad color schemes. When the gown warrants a "layers of mermaid tails freshly rolled by drunk sushi chefs" or "chainmail made by Mrs. Howell using coconuts and The Professor's Canterbury Tales" fashion burn, that's where the fun lives.

Should I be ashamed of my fashion effrontery?

Commentary on red carpet dresses seems fair game to me, a balance to an otherwise indulgent practice. But perhaps Worst Dressed pans just one Kevin Bacon degree of separation from bullying. To snark, or not to snark? It's obvious which is nobler, but in this case I think I want my ethics and to Tweet my cheekiness too.


Emmys 2012 shoes
Sept. 23, 2012 - 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theater in Los ANgeles. (Image: © Javier Rojas/Prensa Internacional/


Either way, I'm sure to be online Tweeting (@debontherocks), perhaps with a barbed tongue, or perhaps just celebrating my betting pool wins.  @BlogHer will be Tweeting too. What about you? Join us with the hashtage #BlogHerEmmys!



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