What is the significance of the white rose at the Grammys?

Nothing in recent times shook Hollywood the way stars speaking out about being sexually harassed in the industry did. Who knew that one simple hashtag had the capability of practically taking the world by storm? It all started with #MeToo but it certainly did not end there. With a vast number of actresses and musicians coming forward with their experiences of being sexually assaulted, Hollywood had finally decided that it had had enough and that it was time to do something about it. It was time to use the biggest platform of all to send a message out to the world.

Celebrities in white outfits symbolised peace and resistance

The 60th Annual Grammy awards was no different. Inspired by the #TimesUp movement at the Golden Globes, where celebrities strutted the red carpet in all black to take a stand against gender inequality and sexual harassment in work place, the awe inspiring artists of this generation walked the red carpet incorporating a white rose in their outfit.

Why a white rose? Because white rose has historically stood for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance- values that you choose to abide by when standing against an unjust situation. You resist and fight. You provide and look for hope and sympathy in those dark hours and pray for peace. While the colour white universally stands for peace, it is no stranger to past historic female movements. White, along with green and purple were chosen for the infamous suffragette movement which fought for women’s rights to vote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Miley Cyrus at the 60th Grammys

While some stayed in sync with the theme of the Golden Globes sticking to black outfits, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga to name a few, they made sure to carry a long stemmed white rose in their hands or pinned one to their shoulders. The colour white and the white rose were very creatively integrated in the outfits of the biggest names in the music industry, where Cardi B while carrying a stem of white rose showed up in the colour white as well as SZA, Childish Gambino and Lana Del Rey who wore a white rose as a corsage. While Camila Cabello wore her rose as a ring, Kesha took her representation to another level of creativity as she marched in a white rose embroidered navy suit.

The Chainsmokers standing against sexual harassment and gender inequality in a black and white combo

Sensing a political and cultural change in the past 2 months because of the movements that took place against gender equality, Meg Harkins who is the senior vice president of marketing at Roc Nation and Karen Rait who is the head of rhythm promotions at Interscope Geffen A&M records implemented the idea of the white rose along with a few more high profile women in the industry.

Trevor Noah, the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central

For women who struggle everyday all over the world, it must mean a lot to see their icons representing them in a platform this big. With so much going on in the world, we hope that these movements in the Hollywood industry on the red carpets would make significant difference for the ones who struggle daily off cameras and outside the music studios.

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Arshae Ahmed

Arshae Ahmed is a contributing writer at ICE Today whose love for travelling and food knows no bounds.