Julia Roberts is not only America鈥檚 sweetheart, she鈥檚 also a red carpet veteran, having walked for more movie premieres and events than we can probably ever imagine. But now she鈥檚 done something that she鈥檚 only ever done once before (she did it at her 1993 wedding to Lyle Lovett), and it鈥檚 definitely not what you鈥檇 expect or even for the reason you鈥檇 assume.

Julia Roberts barefoot Cannes 2016

While we鈥檝e all probably kicked off our stilettos at the end of the night to get down and dance-y with our besties, the Cannes red carpet doesn鈥檛 really qualify in that category. That鈥檚 why it was strange to see Julia Roberts waltzing around totally barefoot. Yep, no shoes, toes out, giant smile flashing at the cameras.

While blisters might be the obvious culprit, it turns out that there might be a completely different reason for Julia ditching her heels. Equality, y鈥檃ll, and a seriously silly policy that popped up last year. Yes, Julia鈥檚 feet are protesting!

Julia Roberts Cannes 2016

While walking the red carpet to promote her new movie Money Monster, co-starring George Clooney and directed by Jodie Foster, Julia showed up in a flowing black Georgio Armani Prive gown with a neckline that was reminiscent of the famous red dress she wore in Pretty Woman. That plunging neckline showed off what appears to be a HUGE emerald which distracted many from the matching shoes she wore. At first.

Julia Roberts Cannes 2016 _ shoes

It wasn鈥檛 long before she ditched her shoes and began walking around, posing and chatting with friends, all while barefoot. But why? You might remember the kerfuffle last year when Cannes denied entry to some of their events (including the red carpet) to any woman who was not wearing high heels. That included anyone elderly or with a disability who needs or prefers to wear flats. This, obviously, did not go over well. Stars spoke out about the sexist policy, like Emily Blunt, who The Guardian reported as saying, 鈥淭hat鈥檚 very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality.鈥

Money Monster Cannes 2016

The absurd policy, which still has not been changed, seems to have prompted Julia鈥檚 barefoot appearance. It also prompted Kristen Stewart to address the issue this year with Vanity Fair, reporting her stance with the celeb saying, 鈥淭hings have to change immediately. It has become really obvious that if [a man and I] were walking the red carpet together and someone stopped me and said, 鈥楨xcuse me, young lady, you鈥檙e not wearing heels. You cannot come in.鈥 Then [I鈥檓 going to say], 鈥楴either is my friend. Does he have to wear heels?鈥 It can work both ways. It鈥檚 just like you simply cannot ask me to do something that you are not asking him. I get the black-tie thing, but you should be able to do either version 鈥 flats or heels.鈥

Footwear freedom FTW!

What do you think about Cannes footwear policy? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Andreas Rentz, Tristan Fewings, Clemens Bilan/Getty)