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Jury member Kristen Stewart takes off her heels upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'BlacKkKlansman' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 14, 2018.
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
Girls & Women

Kristen Stewart Broke This Sexist Rule at the Cannes Film Festival

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Kristen Stewart may have lost her high heels on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet yesterday, but this isn’t a Cinderella story. 

The “Twilight” actress ditched her heels in the middle of a red carpet walk at the premiere of “BlacKkKlansman,” flouting the event’s controversial dress code.

The annual festival is notorious for its strict dress code — women are required to wear high heels on the red carpet — which many have criticized as sexist. Festival organizers caught flak for their “no flats” rule in 2015 after turning away a group of women, some reportedly with medical conditions, because of their footwear.

Take Action: Sexist Laws Have No Place in 2018. Agree? Tell Governments to Act

Stewart has been spotted on several occasions, swapping her heels for sneakers shortly after leaving the red carpet. Carrying her heels in her hands on Monday night, the actress proceeded to finish her red carpet walk, ascending the iconic Palais des Festivals’ stairs — the site of a powerful protest against gender inequality on Saturday, in which Stewart also participated.

Stewart, a member of this year’s film festival jury, has spoken out against the dress code and sexist fashion expectations at the event in the past.

“Things have to change immediately,” she said at a roundtable in 2016. “It has become really obvious that if [a man and I] were walking the red carpet together and someone stopped me and said, ‘Excuse me, young lady, you’re not wearing heels. You cannot come in.’ Then [I’m going to say], ‘Neither is my friend. Does he have to wear heels?’”

“You simply cannot ask me to do something that you are not asking him,” she added. “I get the black-tie thing but you should be able to do either version — flats or heels.”

Read more: Here's Why 82 Women Protested at the Cannes Film Festival

This is not the first time a star has opted to go barefoot at Cannes. Julia Roberts famously walked the red carpet sans shoes in 2016. And Marion Cotillard broke the rules last week, opting to wear flat, black boots instead of high heels.

Whether or not Stewart intended to make a pointed statement when she slipped out of her shoes on Monday is unclear, but many women who relate to the pain and discomfort of high heels have taken to social media to applaud the move.

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