It’s safe to say that 2021 isn’t shy when it comes to discussing body shaming in Hollywood. But while the conversation is no longer taboo—thanks to the release of The New York Times‘ documentary Framing Britney Spears—the conversation around how high-profile women are mistreated by the public still echoes today.
Along with the sexist—and downright shocking—treatment of Spears and David Lettermen’s now-viral and cringe-worthy interview with Lindsay Lohan, Kate Winslet is joining the ranks to recall the misogynistic and cruel body-shaming she received during her Titanic era.
Some may think that those who achieve monumental success and attention for their work would be more glorified and less ridiculed, however Winslet says otherwise. Following the 1997 release of Titanic, which saw Winslet‘s Rose opposite Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Jack, it has offered a retrospective look back at the unsettling media focus around her body in her youth.
“In my 20s, people would talk about my weight a lot. And I would be called to comment on my physical self. Well, then I got this label of being ballsy and outspoken. No, I was just defending myself,” Winslet told The Guardian.
The Oscar-winning actress also told the publication that she had found articles written about her, from the 1990s, which left her in extreme shock, so much so that she found them “almost laughable”.
“It was almost laughable how shocking, how critical, how straight-up cruel tabloid journalists were to me. I was still figuring out who the hell I bloody well was! They would comment on my size, they’d estimate what I weighed, they’d print the supposed diet I was on. It was critical and horrible and so upsetting to read,” she continued.
Also recalling the effect that the persistent commentary had over her body, she revealed that it played a significant part in damaging her confidence at the time.
“I didn’t want to go to Hollywood because I remember thinking, ‘God, if this is what they’re saying to me in England, then what will happen when I get there?’ Also, it tampers with your evolving impression of what’s beautiful, you know? I did feel very on my own,” she explained.
Additionally, she revealed that giving birth to her daughter Mia, when she was only 25-years-old, saw her perspective change, making her care less about those delivering unwarranted speculation and opinions over her body.
But the silver lining? The Ammonite star concluded by revealing that she ended up feeling “moved, by how different it is now”, paying respect to other influential women who are pioneering a revolt against Hollywood’s evident and toxic sexism issue.
To this day, there is still dangerous social commentary over women’s bodies and their place in society. But while renewed discussions about sexism proves that a complete overhaul is necessary, there is evidently more work to be done for us to finally reach inclusivity for all.