It’s no shock that shaming women’s bodies is still rife in Hollywood.
Nicola Coughlan recently responded to a hurtful comment about her body by asking people stop asking women about their weight. Natalie Portman also reacted to pregnancy rumours by calling out those who “comment on a woman’s body shape whenever they want”. And, after a film reviewer commented on the size of her thighs, Florence Pugh said she hopes “people take more away from the film than the circumference of my hams”.
Winslet talked to The New York Times about playing the titular role in the series, which she has been applauded for by critics and audiences alike. Mare is a straight-talking, middle-aged detective, who Winslet describes as being a “wildly flawed, messy, broken, fragmented, difficult woman”. But, according to the actor, some people behind the show still wanted to filter Mare’s appearance by making edits.
Referring to a sex scene with Guy Pearce in the opening episode, Winslet said that when director Craig Zobel assured her he would cut “a bulgy bit of belly” in the shot, she responded: “Don’t you dare!”
She also revealed that she sent the show’s promo poster back twice because it was too retouched, saying: “They were like ‘Kate, really, you can’t,’ and I’m like ‘Guys, I know how many lines I have by the side of my eye, please put them all back.’”
Winslet added: “I guess that’s why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters. She’s a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes from. I think we’re starved of that a bit.”
It comes a few months after Winslet talked about body image in The Guardian: “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 also recently talked about taking control of the sex scenes with her co-star Saoirse Ronan in 2020 film, Ammonite: “We marked out the beats of the scene so that we were anchored in something that just supported the narrative. I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt doing a love scene on Ammonite. And I felt by far the least self-conscious.”
While it’s great that Winslet is calling out the problems with body shaming during sex scenes in Hollywood, it would be even better if she just didn’t have to in the first place.
Images: Getty, Sky