Kate Winslet is reflecting on the body shaming she endured early in her career.
The Oscar winner and star of upcoming biopic “Lee,” which she also executive produced, told Vogue in a cover story that she was “consistently” criticized when she was starting out for having curves — and even told to lower her career expectations when being asked about her weight ahead of auditions.
“I was consistently told I was the wrong shape,” Winslet said. “I was consistently told I would have to settle for less.”
Despite calling herself the “fat kid at the back with the wrong fucking shoes on” when she was growing up, Winslet spoke of the empowering decision to recreate a topless photograph of war photographer Lee Miller, whom she plays in the film.
“You know I had to be really fucking brave about letting my body be its softest version of itself and not hiding from that,” Winslet said. “And believe me, people amongst our own team would say, ‘You might just want to sit up a bit.’ And I’d go, ‘Why? (Because of) the bit of flesh you can see? No, that’s the way it’s going to be!’”
She continued, “I know better than to waste precious energy on criticizing my physical self. I think any woman is better off just saying: I believe in myself. It doesn’t matter what other people think; this is who I am — let’s get on with it.”
And Winslet further recalled enduring “bullying” by the media, especially after her star-making turn in “Titanic.”
“I think it probably stems from having been subjected to the most awful scrutiny and judgment, and, actually, I would go so far as to say bullying, from mainstream media when I was in my 20s,” Winslet said.
She previously called the body-shaming “borderline abusive” after the 1997 James Cameron epic.
“Apparently I was too fat,” Winslet said in December 2022 of the long-running debate as to why Leonardo DiCaprio’s character could not fit on the raft at the end of the film. “Why were they so mean to me? They were so mean. I wasn’t even fucking fat.”
She added at the time, “I would have said to journalists, I would have responded, I would have said, ‘Don’t you dare treat me like this. I’m a young woman, my body is changing, I’m figuring it out, I’m deeply insecure, I’m terrified, don’t make this any harder than it already is.’ That’s bullying, you know, and actually borderline abusive, I would say.”