Kate Winslet has opened up about the fatphobia she was on the receiving end of at the start of her career, revealing she was told she could only play "fat girl" roles. Interestingly, this conversation comes a couple of years after body confidence influencers called out "fat" roles on screen, with many highlighting that the actors used to play them are often not fat – with many relying on fat suits – and that bigger bodied actors are unfairly overlooked.
Recalling how the fatphobia began as a child – when she was nicknamed "blubber" – Kate says that at acting school she was told she had to settle for "fat girl" parts.
Thankfully, Kate says she's started to see changes in the industry which makes her hopeful for the future of young, up and coming actors. "It can be extremely negative," she said of the media – and social media – industry's fatphobia. "People are subject to scrutiny that is more than a young, vulnerable person can cope with. But in the film industry it is really changing."
Kate continued: "It’s heartwarming that this has started to change."
"My daughter’s generation have an ability to speak for themselves," the 47-year-old said of the changing times, directly referencing the #MeToo movement and the prevalence of body confidence on social media in recent years. "They have already learnt that they will be heard. Obviously not in every situation, but they know how to use their voice — especially young women."
"That’s striking to me," she added. "When I was younger you spoke when spoken to. That is not the case now. Young women are stronger. And they’re prouder of their bodies."
If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s health, you can contact Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677 or beateatingdisorders.org.uk.
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