How Pearls Became a Symbol of the “Time’s Up” Movement

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Back in January, Hollywood actresses showed a united front when they all attended the anticipated 2018 Golden Globes wearing all-black outfits. The reason behind their choice was much more than a fashion statement – it was a way to support the victims of sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry. Next came the SAG Awards, where both actors and actresses alike sported ‘Time’s Up’ pins, followed by the Grammys, where Hollywood’s finest opted for white roses to show their support.

The need for change in regards to women’s issues in Hollywood continued to gain interest – and as a result, some of Hollywood’s leading men have been spotted at various red carpet events wearing elegant pearl pins. Created by the organization Pinned by Pearls, the discreet, yet elegant accessories are a symbolic way to show support for projects both created by and starring women. By wearing the pearl pins, celebrities indicate that they fully follow this pledge: “I am actively looking for projects directed, produced, written by and starring women, as well as other marginalized voices. I believe our industry culture will only heal when there are new, diverse voices in power. I wear this pin because I don’t want to stand by; I want to stand up for change.”

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Back in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, pins were used by the members of the suffragette movement, when women who fought for their right to vote started wearing hat pins. On some occasions, said pins became actual weapons used in defense, which later led to them being banned in many American cities. The organization explains that by choosing pins, they wish to connect the fight against sexual harassment and assault with history, while also representing a “first step towards industry-wide change.” Moreover, the organization chose vintage pins to create the symbolic pieces, explaining that by doing so, they intended to also militate for a low waste society.

As an iconic symbol of honesty, integrity and dignity that is often associated with patience, pearls and pearl jewelry are a great emblem for new, meaningful journeys – just like the fight against sexual harassment. Representing the transition of a grain of sand into a precious, beautiful gem, pearls were the first choice when it came to symbolizing the need for a much-needed culture shift. Moreover, the organization made sure to explain that the pearl pins were chosen “both for their symbolism and their sustainability. By connecting to history, we want to honor the long-fought battle for equality in this country. In finding a new use for old objects, we aim for a small environmental footprint, and to shed light on the unrecognized tools all around us.’

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Despite the fact that Pinned by Pearls is not officially affiliated with the Time’s Up movement, the pearl pins have gained a lot of popularity in the recent months, with some of Hollywood’s finest actors sporting the elegant pearls at posh industry events. While on the dainty side, the accessory which is usually tucked into lapels definitely conveys a powerful message of not only solidarity, but also support for women’s issues pertaining to the Hollywood industry. Some of the top supporters include Tom Hanks (who is also a big fan of the ‘Time’s Up’ badge), Richard Jenkins, “The Handmaid’s Tale” star O-T Fagbenle and “This Is Us” actor Sterling K. Brown.

Founders of Pinned by Pearls Suzanne Zoe and Jennie Tucker shared that they created an accessory especially designed for men in order to engage them in the fight along their female coworkers: “It is vital that men listen as women speak out. However, as women, we believe change will only happen when men also engage with the issues through action. Representation – both in front of and behind the camera – will disrupt the long-standing power dynamic that has enabled pay inequality, sexual abuse and marginalization.”

Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.