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Chloë Grace Moretz: I've been dealing with misogyny all my life

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Anna Brech
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In a candid new interview, Chloë Grace Moretz lifts the lid on the toxic sexism she faced as a teenager in Hollywood - including the pressure she felt to get breast enhancement surgery

She may be just 21 years old but that hasn’t stopped Chloë Grace Moretz from facing off against a tide of unwritten and damaging sexism during her time in the Hollywood limelight.

In a new interview with The Sunday TimesStyle magazine, Moretz reveals that she grew up in a “very feminist” household; yet this could not prepare her for the prejudice she encountered in the film world.

The Kick-Ass actor began appearing in movies from the age of six but it wasn’t until she hit her teens that she started to become aware of an undercurrent of sexism.

“It wasn’t until I was 14 that I was confronted with this shocking realisation that ‘Oh, I’m not seen as equal,’” she says. “‘I’m not listened to in a meeting where there are male counterparts to my left and right, even though I’ve made more movies than both of them.’ 

 “That was something I had to really grapple with. I realised I’d been dealing with misogyny all my life. ‘Just shut up and look pretty, why don’t you smile enough?’”

Chloe in her teens, at the premiere of Kick-Ass 2

Moretz recalls a particularly disturbing incident in her teens that left her convinced that she needed breast implants.

“When I was 16, and on my first day of filming, I found a push-up bra and ‘chicken cutlets’ in my trailer,” she explains. 

“I was, like, ‘Where did these come from?’ Those little things were insidious. Even though you can brush them off, you still internalise them. They make you question yourself and think, ‘Well, maybe I am unhappy with the size of my breasts.’”

That same year, she says, she considered having surgery on her breasts.

Moretz’ path to fame has also been complicated by her on-off relationship with Victoria and David Beckham’s eldest son, Brooklyn Beckham.

Moretz admits she and Beckham, who have now broken up, “can’t complain” about the attention they received, after both they shared candid photos of their relationship on Instagram. 

But at the same time, the frenzy of interest made the split much harder.

“Break-ups are hard across the board, but when every verified account on Twitter posts something about me I get tagged,” she says. “And every major publication is verified. So anytime they post something about a certain relationship it pops up on my phone.” 

The experience, she says, taught her “to be secretive” about her life. 

Moretz’ latest film, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, tells the story of a teenage girl sent to a Christian-run camp to “pray away the gay”.

It’s been hailed as “a compassionate LBGT story” by critics, who have singled Moretz out for her “career-best” performance.

Images: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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