It’s no surprise that misogyny has always and continues to run rampant in Hollywood. But it’s when the A-list start to openly discuss their personal experiences with inequality that we realise the situation is even more dire than we imagined.
In an interview won the podcast Rule Breakers, the 49-year-old explained that between the ’90s and the early ’00s, she endured “heavy, heavy misogyny”.
“There were still parameters,” she told host Michelle Visage, adding, “the 1990s, the early aughts, there was still heavy, heavy misogyny. Just the level of exploitation of powers, it just laid on the entire industry.”
And while Diaz and Visage looked back at how often they were unknowingly involved in the mistreatment, they both understood that it was common to brush it off at the time.
“It was the normal thing to do to laugh and just be able to get through unscathed,” she said.
“Be the one who participated enough to make everybody feel taken care of but not to be a victim in that position,” Diaz explained.
“To know how to navigate the whole thing because it was happening all day […] It’s a very different thing now, I think.”
She continued, “I certainly didn’t do as much as could be done now because of the awareness of everybody with #MeToo.”
Diaz explained that it was the reason why she wanted to work on “anti-fairytale” films like Shrek and Charlie’s Angels, thanks to their focus on “badass women” and female empowerment.
“Fame is infantilising”, she admitted, adding that being in the public eye saw her constantly coddled by people who’d never let her do anything for herself.
“It very much takes away from your own sense of autonomy and ability to take care of yourself,” she said.
As for how she felt objectified by society, Diaz revealed that the years of constant objectification made it “hard not to look at yourself and judge yourself against other markers of beauty”.
“I am absolutely a victim to all of the societal objectification and exploitations that women are subjected to,” she admitted, adding, “I have bought into all of them myself at certain times”.
Now, having enjoyed years out of the film industry’s spotlight, Diaz admitted that all of her focus is on her daughter–even if that means barely washing her face.
“[Now] I do nothing, I literally never wash my face,” she said.
“I’m just in a different phase of life. The last thing I think about on a daily basis—maybe not at all during the day, is what I look like.”
As she prepares for ther 50th birthday, Diaz reassured her fans that all she needs in her life is her family.
“It’s the most valuable thing I have,” she shared, adding, “We know that no matter what, we can just be a family anywhere, and we’re fine.”
“We don’t need any of the things that we have, other than each other.”