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Nicole Kidman’s racy outfit divides fans and raises an important question about mature women in Hollywood

Where do we draw the line when it comes to sexuality and women in their 50s?

By Maddison Leach
Since breaking into the film industry in the 1980s, Nicole Kidman has had plenty of memorable fashion moments, including plenty of wins on the Oscars red carpet.
But the Best Actress nominee's latest ensemble in the lead-up to awards season has left fans truly divided.
Following her Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Lucille Ball in Being The Ricardos, 54-year-old Nicole was honoured with a cover for Vanity Fair magazine's annual Hollywood Issue.
Nicole embraced old Hollywood glamour for much of the film's press run and it was easy to imagine she'd do the same for the prestigious cover.
Perhaps she would don a classic gown straight out of the 1950s, or a vintage frock from one of Hollywood's most iconic designers?
Instead, the award-winning actress appeared in a cropped grey bustier and matching mini-skirt, reminiscent of a schoolgirl outfit.
Her tall grey socks and contrasting leather slingback heels only make the similarities between her ensemble and a school uniform all the more striking.
Fans were divided over the outfit when Vanity Fair released the cover on Instagram on Friday, questioning the styling choice for such an acclaimed actress known for her elegant approach to fashion.
Nicole Kidman embraced Old Hollywood glamour while promoting Being The Ricardos. (Image: Getty)
"Would love to hear the concept behind this…cause I don't get it," one commented on the Vanity Fair post.
Another chimed in: "She's an accomplished actress who's nominated for an Oscar. Why is she dressed like a school girl? Not cool."
"Why does a 50+ year old woman need to be fetishised as a teen to make it on the cover of Vanity Fair?!" said a third.
Many fans complained that the outfit was over sexualised and distracted from Nicole's latest award nomination, others wondering why the star agreed to the styling.
Nicole's styling on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine's annual Hollywood Issue has divided fans. (Image: Vanity Fair)
Several questioned why the actress also appeared to be wearing a wig, despite being well-known for her beautiful natural curls.
Some said that it was sad to see an actress in her 50s "forced" into an outfit reminiscent of a school uniform to sell magazines, though there was nothing to suggest Nicole wasn't on board with the ensemble.
But other readers were pleased with the cover, noting that critics wouldn't be upset with the outfit if Nicole was 20 years younger.
"Haters are going to hate! Nicole looks amazing here," one wrote.
WATCH: Nicole Kidman stars in Being The Ricardos. Story continues after video.
The reactions to the Vanity Fair cover pose an interesting question around age and the sexualisation of women in Hollywood.
While it's no secret that sex appeal is a major factor in many magazine covers and photoshoots when it comes to female stars, it's also widely known that women over 50 in the film industry are treated very differently to their juniors.
At 54, Nicole should be treated with the same respect as any other female actress, and that means having the right to express herself and her sexuality in whatever way feels best to her.
But does that make it okay for her to be styled in a schoolgirl-esque outfit on the cover of one of the biggest magazines in Hollywood?
Reactions to her cover shoot have sparked questions around mature women and sexuality in Hollwyood. (Image: Getty)
The consensus online is that no, it doesn't.
"Why are we dressing mature, accomplished, powerful women like sexy little girls? I'm surprised she was okay with this," one fan said.
It's unclear how much influence Nicole had over the direction and styling of the Vanity Fair shoot, but for now it seems that the cover will continue to divide her fans and critics alike.
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