The 2019 Academy Awards was a record-breaking night for women


This year’s Academy Awards was all about breaking records. With 13 women winning awards, this night felt like a change of pace for entertainment’s biggest night.

Often called entertainment’s biggest night, the Academy Awards is perhaps the most prestigious of all the award ceremonies. However, over the last few years, there have been upsetting controversies, including issues of representation for women and people of color. These resulted in social campaigns to bring attention to such issues, such as #OscarsSoWhite and the  4 Percent Challenge.

With so much attention on the Oscars, we couldn’t wait to see how women did during this award ceremony. From the winners to the speeches, there were plenty of moments that were both exciting and inspiring. And with no host to lead the charge, all eyes were on the presenters to help give us moments that we will be talking about for at least the next few days.

We went into the Oscars with a mix of expectations and emotions. Female directors were snubbed yet again, despite several qualified options including Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and Karyn Kusama (Destroyer). Still, history was made as well for many women. Roma‘s Yalitza Aparicio was the first indigenous person from the Americas to be nominated and Nadine Labaki, who directed Capernaum, was the first female artist in the Arab world to receive an Academy Award nomination.

Fans of Lady Gaga had high hopes for the fresh actress, who was the first person to be nominated in both the Best Original Song and Best Actress categories in the same year. Not only did Gaga not disappoint, but she was also a stunning image of Hollywood elegance. When it came time performing “Shallow” from A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper, it became clear that no matter what happened with the awards, she was already a winner. (And yes she won Best Song which made it that much sweeter.)

Of course, we can’t forget the moment when Emilia Clarke pointed out that her Game of Throne‘s character, Khaleesi, has nothing on Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In fact, she even told the Supreme Court Justice that if she ever needs to borrow Khaleesi’s dragons, just to give her a call. And yes, we were totally here for this.

The night started off with a bang for women, and it just seemed to get better as the night went on. Of course, we have to start with one of our favorite moments courtesy of a dynamic trio of presenters.

Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey open the Oscars

When Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Maya Rudolph step onto a stage, whether on their own or together, they can easily steal the show with their wit, charm, and humor. And this time was no different, as they took the stage to present the very first award of the show for Best Supporting Actress.

However, it was their ability to steal the show with political humor, touching sentiment, and a bit of song that really stood out. From Rudolph pointing out that, “there is no host tonight, no popular Oscar category, and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” to Poehler saying, “in my experience, all actresses are outstanding supporting actresses because all actresses support each other,” these women opened the award ceremony the best way possible.

Regina King shows what “support and love” can do

Regina King winning her first Oscar was a major moment that kicked off the ceremony. Not only did we get to watch as Chris Evans escorted the actress up the stairs to get her prize, but her speech was one that inspired tears.

According to King, “it’s appropriate for me to be standing here because I’m an example of what it looks like when support and love is poured into someone.” And with her mother sitting in the audience, it is clear exactly where that love and support came from.

At the same time, she also honored her fellow nominees, as she told them, “Emma, Rachel, Marina, Amy, it’s an honor to have my name said with yours. It’s been pretty amazing.” As fans of all of these actresses, we loved that King had such a lovely thing to say about the other women who were nominated alongside her.

Hannah Beachler’s “best” was award-worthy

Not only was this a win for Black Panther, but with Hannah Beachler’s win for Best Production Design, she became the first African-American to not only be nominated for this category but to actually win the award. And she definitely deserved the win.

In her speech, she paid tribute to many people, but it was her words of wisdom that were truly moving. Beachler told the world:

"I give strength to all of those who come next, to keep going, to never give up. And when you think it’s impossible, just remember to say this piece of advice I got from a wise woman, I did my best, and my best is good enough."

It’s easy to see why Hannah Beachler’s best was award-worthy.

Ruth E. Carter wins for Wakanda and Black Panther

Another history-making win came when Ruth E. Carter won Best Costume Design. She too was the first African-American to win in this category. Perhaps the reason she stood out for me personally is she was born in my hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts; still, it was her words that were a scene stealer.

According to Carter, “Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design we turned him into an African King.”

And we agree with her, because those costumes were stunning masterpieces that deserved every ounce of love that they received. It really is Wakanda Forever with this win (along with Beachler’s).

A shout out to “nerdy girls”

Disney’s Pixar made history with Bao, as it was the first animated short to be directed by a woman. Domee Shi has said this adorable short is an ode to Chinese mothers and Asian food and was inspired by growing up in Canada with her Chinese parents. Shi accepted the award with producer Becky Neiman-Cobb, and the two had a message to nerdy girls everywhere.

Shi spoke to all fangirls when she said, “To all the nerdy girls out there hiding behind your sketchbooks, don’t be afraid to tell your stories to the world.”

A documentary about menstruation wins an Oscar

If ever there was a moment that was all about women at the Oscars, it would have to be when Period. End of Sentence won the Best Documentary Short Oscar. It’s a film about menstruation and it won on entertainment’s biggest night. This is the kind of news that we never saw coming and we are here for it.

Perhaps the best line of any acceptance speech came from the film’s director, Rayka Zehtabchi. As she said, “I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything.” And if that doesn’t sum things up for us, nothing else can. She was crying tears of joy over this win and we were right there with her.

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The 2019 Oscars was an epic night for so many people. And women certainly helped to steal the show. From the women of Black Panther to a notable film about menstruation, this year’s Oscars moved things forward in the realms of change. And yes, while there is still a long way to go, we appreciate the steps that were made last night.