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These John Cena-Katy Perry photos expose troubling double standards women still face

The year is already 2024, yet it seems like we haven’t progressed that much, have we? Because clearly, society still holds the same exasperating—and hypocritical—double standards when it comes to the way men and women dress.

Recently, the 96th Academy Awards show has been making rounds on the internet–from Robert Downey Jr. winning his first Oscar award and Ryan Gosling’s “I Am Ken” performance, to Emma Stone’s dress being broken and Messi’s, the adorable pup from the Anatomy of a Fall, appearance.

Truly, the 2024 Oscars had some of the biggest highlights, but perhaps the most-talked-about moment was the stunt pulled by John Cena where he appeared naked while presenting the prize for Best Costume Design. He went on the stage with his bare chest and an envelope covering his manhood, uttering “Costumes are…so important,” to the audience.

The skit was a homage to the 1974 Oscars streaker Robert Opel, who had run naked onstage while David Niven was presenting British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Despite the controversial nature of the act, Cena’s stunt drew bouts of laughter not only from the audience but also from people all over the internet.

This kind of energy, however, was not seen when it came to Katy Perry, who was scrutinized for her ensemble at the 2024 Billboard Women in Music event.

The “California Gurls” singer was wearing a red strapless corset top paired with a matching skirt. What made Perry’s outfit bold was in the back of her dress revealing her black lingerie and her faux butterfly tattoo.


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This, unfortunately, drew the ire of many social media users, with some commenting that she should haven’t flashed her backside.

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Now for some people, this might not be a big deal but frankly, it actually is. The different reactions received by both Cena and Perry exposed how double standards are still prevalent today.

And, unfortunately, this isn’t the only case where men are being celebrated for wearing provocative clothing—or lack thereof—while women are being crucified by the public for doing the same thing.

Another similar example of this issue was when Kristen Stewart posed for a Rolling Stone magazine last February. On the cover, the actress was in a jockstrap with her hand inside her underwear, and predictably, many people shared their distaste for the magazine cover.


In fact, during the Twilight star’s appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert revealed that they were asked by CBS not to show the magazine cover because it “would not be a good idea.”

But you wouldn’t hear that feedback if a male celebrity did the same thing on the cover of magazines—showing off their bare physique with their hands touching their crotch or inside their underwear or pants. You would hear celebrations and praises because they are embracing their sexuality instead.

And remember when Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performed at the 54th Super Bowl halftime show in 2020? Instead of focusing on their superb talent, many criticized the two artists because of “what they wore” and “how they moved their bodies.”

But of course, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine—who performed at the 53rd Super Bowl halftime show and sang with no shirt on mid-show—didn’t receive this kind of backlash.

These are just among the overwhelming evidence of double standards plaguing our society. It’s honestly infuriating how these are still normalized, but what can we expect in a society with a patriarchal system?

Of course, they will put women to unreasonably higher expectations than men, undermining our abilities and credibility. And if we fail to conform to society’s standards and try to get out of the certain gender boxers they put us in, we will immediately receive backlash. Men, however, will always be rewarded—even if they only do the bare minimum.

As Taylor Swift, accurately, puts it, “A man does something, it’s strategic. A woman does the same thing, it’s calculated. A man is allowed to react, a woman can only overreact.”

As far as we’ve come a long way in advocating for equality and creating an inclusive space for everyone, there’s no denying that there is still so much work that needs to be done. These double standards are forms of sexism and misogyny, which only reinforces inequality. So it’s time that we put an end to it—for good.


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