Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Brie Larson on experiencing the fashion industry's sexist “cycle of abuse”


Brie Larson is never afraid to speak her mind – and now the self-confessed feminist is taking aim at the sexist double standards forced upon women in the spotlight.

Recalling her first-ever photo shoot at a fashion magazine, she explained that she was handed a “one-off piece of clothing” from the runway. Male models, in comparison, were visited by tailors and offered made-to-measure clothes.

“The first time I got a spread in a fashion magazine, there was a one-off piece of clothing from the runway,” explained Larson. “I asked, 'Can you only be in magazines if you're the size of this one piece?'

“There was this silence.”

Read more: Nike celebrates all body sizes with hit new sports bra advert

Larson continued: “Men get custom suits or shirts made to fit, but as women, if you don't fit into that sample you bump up against an aspect of your career you can never blossom into.

“We'd all love to get out of this cycle of abuse where our mental weight is based on our body weight.”

“Female sexuality was confusing for me"

“Female sexuality was confusing for me"

The 27-year-old actor, who was speaking with Jane Fonda for Net-A-Porter’s The Edit, went on to admit that she finds it difficult to get to grips with “female sexuality” – especially since so much of it is determined by the “male gaze”.

She said: “Female sexuality was confusing for me. I went to auditions where they wanted a sassy, smart, sexy girl.

“I would arrive in sneakers and they’d say, ‘Come back in a mini-skirt and heels.’ I would come back and blow [ruin] the audition.

“I felt more in my body when I wasn’t dressing as a fantasy for the male gaze.”

Read more: Get daily outfit inspiration with our round-up of the best A-list casual looks

Listening to Larson’s experiences, Fonda responded: “I think it is terrifying being a young actress now. You have to get naked so much. There is even more emphasis on how you look.”

And it seems as if she is not alone in this belief; Maggie Smith, in conversation with Judi Dench at the Tricycle Theatre in London, recently said: “I think they are so brave, the young actresses of today. They seem to have to strip off every second.”

The 82-year-old, who made her professional debut at 17, added: “I can’t imagine how they cope with it today, I really don’t. They are required to do the most extraordinary things.”

“I felt more in my body when I wasn’t dressing as a fantasy for the male gaze”

“I felt more in my body when I wasn’t dressing as a fantasy for the male gaze”

In recent years, the fashion industry has made moves towards greater inclusivity – from models such as Tess Holliday and Ashley Graham moving into the mainstream media and becoming advocates for fashion for all shapes and sizes, to Nike launching its first plus-size range.

Read more: Nike releases its first ever plus-size fashion collection

A statement released by the brand said: “Nike recognises that women are stronger, bolder and more outspoken than ever. In today's world, sport is no longer something that she does, it’s who she is. The days where we have to add 'female' before 'athlete' are over. She is an athlete, period.

“And having helped fuel this cultural shift, we celebrate these athletes' diversity, from ethnicity to body shape."

However, as Larson’s comments have proven, more needs to be done.

Images: Rex Pictures



Jane Fonda nails the big problem with the patriarchy

brie larson.jpg

Brie Larson wore a low-cut top on TV – and misogynists lost their s**t


Casey Affleck addresses his controversial Oscars win



The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Gal Gadot's daughter to David Beckham's sweet tribute

by Nicola Colyer
27 Jun 2017

Amy Poehler is here to fight for your right to be an idiot

Because why should women always have to be the sensible ones?

by Moya Crockett
27 Jun 2017

OITNB’s Julie Lake on how she transforms into the delightful Angie

This is what the cast go through to inhabit their characters

by Amy Swales
27 Jun 2017

Serena Williams hits back at claim she couldn’t beat top male players

John McEnroe said Williams would be “like 700” in the men’s rankings.

by Moya Crockett
27 Jun 2017

Juror in Bill Cosby case blames victim Andrea Constand's outfit

It's 2017 and we're still blaming sexual violence on how women dress

by Elle Griffiths
27 Jun 2017

Britney Spears on how ‘overwhelming’ anxiety caused 2007 breakdown

“There are moments where I look back and think: ‘What the hell was I thinking?’”

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jun 2017

Sex and the City’s Kristin Davis gets honest about losing her hair

The actor began losing her hair after she finished filming SATC

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jun 2017

“Why I won’t stop campaigning against the DUP”

As the DUP and the Conservatives reach a deal, one woman explains why we can't afford to get complacent

by Moya Crockett
26 Jun 2017

Jo Cox memorial plaque unveiled by her children in Parliament

“More in common”

by Amy Swales
26 Jun 2017

Chrissy Teigen isn’t about to let anyone shame her for using IVF

She knows exactly how to deal with bullying Twitter trolls

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Jun 2017