The story of Kate Winslet being body-shamed by the media and film industry is both ridiculous and all too familiar.
On the one hand, she starred in the biggest film of the 20th century, a love story in which heartthrob-era Leonardo DiCaprio risks his life multiple times because he fell in love with her in just one glance, half the ship is obsessed with her, and oh yeah, the “draw me like one of your French girls” scene launched a thousand sexual awakenings. Clearly, the woman is and was drop-dead gorgeous to audiences, directors, and basically everyone with working eyes. But on the other hand… Hollywood. Ugh.
Winslet opened up about the ridiculous career advice she got as a young actor when the industry tried to pigeonhole her talent just because she wasn’t a waif. “When I was younger, my agent would get calls saying, ‘How’s her weight?’ I kid you not,” the Oscar winner revealed to The Sunday Times, per People. She recalled being called “blubber” and told that she should expect a career of “fat girl” roles.
And sadly, people are still taking their own insecurities out on others these days on social media. “It can be extremely negative,” Winslet said. “People are subject to scrutiny that is more than a young, vulnerable person can cope with.”
Still, she sees progress on the horizon. “In the film industry, it is really changing,” said Winslet, calling the slow embrace of body diversity “heartwarming.”
Now well beyond “fat girl” roles (whatever that even means?), Kate Winslet is still walking the walk. In the gritty HBO drama Mare of Easttown, she revealed the director promised to cut around her “bulgy bit of belly” when editing a sex scene, and she told him to keep it in. Similarly, she made the graphics team keep her fine lines on the poster.
Hey, directors, acting teachers, agents, casting directors, and basically everyone who thinks stars can only look one way: Please stop!!!