Too many people focus on what women are wearing on the red carpet, sideswiping talent for beauty. The message being sent –– “looks count more than talent” –– is dangerous. Does that mean that only beautiful and well-coifed women earn accolades?

Hollywood is abuzz as this year’s Academy Awards will be handed out Sunday night. Fans are eager to find out who will win best actor and actress and which film will take home the top honor.


Speaking from a feminist point of view, it’s troubling that a huge platform like the Oscars perpetuates a huge gender bias. After all, it was only a year ago that the Academy awarded best director to a woman, Kathryn Bigelow, for “The Hurt Locker.” She was the first woman named best director in the Academy’s 82-year history.


Too many people focus on what women are wearing on the red carpet, sideswiping talent for beauty. The message being sent –– “looks count more than talent” –– is dangerous.


Does that mean that only beautiful and well-coifed women earn accolades? Are only size 2 ladies worthy of success? If so, I am one suburban mom who’s not red-carpet ready. My jeans, T-shirts and sneakers will never win me recognition.


So, in the spirit of awards season, I’d rather honor those women who are not the epitome of Hollywood glam but who represent the best in the community. I nominate the female letter carriers, physicians, politicians and civil service employees. These women have entered fields once dominated by men.


Other award winners are the mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces and grandmothers who shape and nurture families. Give a lifetime achievement award to that special woman who ensures your safety, boosts your confidence and makes you strive for greatness.


If you don’t have a golden statue to give one of these award-worthy women, treat them to a night out. Or, give them a big appreciative hug and simply say, “Thanks for being you.”


Dianne McDonald is a working mother who lives in Marshfield, Mass., with her husband and five kids.