When Rose McGowan hit the red carpet at the 1998 VMAs wearing a completely see-through chainmail dress, she didn’t realize her outfit would prove so scandalous — or spark backlash on a massive scale. But to this day, she has no regrets.
“They slut-shamed me like crazy. It was kind of hard. I hadn’t really ever dealt with global media shaming. But it prepared me for later on it happening to me a whole bunch. It was also like, ‘Sorry you’re square and I’m not. Bummer,’” the “Charmed” star, 46, told Yahoo Entertainment.
“I’m like, ‘Why did I do that?’ I’ve had to look at that,” she continued. “You know, when you do stuff sometimes on instinct and in a mood, like when a mood overtakes you on, you analyze what it was that brought you to that mood or that choice. So, I’ve certainly had a lot of time to analyze and I’m looking at the timeline. But I completely understand why I did what I did.”
As she’s shared in the past, McGowan — who was one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault — picked that particular dress to send a powerful message to the entertainment industry.
“It was my first big public appearance after being sexually assaulted,” the “Brave” author told Yahoo. “I just felt like, ‘Oh Hollywood, would you want a body just that you can use and throw away? Then I’ve got one for you!’ It was like at the end of ‘Gladiator’ when he comes out and he’s like, ‘Are you not entertained?’”
McGowan, who attended the awards show with then-boyfriend Marilyn Manson, even adjusted her red carpet pose for the occasion. “If you look at me, I did it with power. I didn’t do it with my hand on my hip to be sexy,” she said.
“Most of the women that are dressed like that on the red carpet, it’s a calculated, sexy move to turn people on. Mine was like, ‘I’m gonna f—k with your brain. I’m going to blow your brain up.’ And nobody had done it.”