Kate Winslet Recalls ‘Horrible’ Comments About Her Weight During 'Titanic' Era

Olivia Blair
·3-min read
Photo credit: Mike Windle - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Windle - Getty Images

From ELLE

The recent release of Framing Britney Spears has triggered a conversation about the way high-profile women were treated by the press and public in the 1990s and early 2000s.

From the sexist - and shocking - questions directed at Spears at such a young age through to a resurfaced David Letterman interview with Jennifer Aniston during which he sucked her hair, over the past week or so there has been a retrospective look at the misogynistic and, at times, frankly cruel comments and actions women faced.

Now, Kate Winslet - who achieved a monumental amount of success and attention in 1997 following the release of Titanic, where she played Rose opposite Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack, - has recalled the unsettling media focus on her body in her youth.

'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,' the Oscar-winning actor told The Guardian.

Winslet told the newspaper she had found some articles from the 1990s which were so shocking she found them 'almost laughable'.

'It was almost laughable how shocking, how critical, how straight-up cruel tabloid journalists were to me. I was still figuring out who the hell I bloody well was! They would comment on my size, they’d estimate what I weighed, they’d print the supposed diet I was on. It was critical and horrible and so upsetting to read,' she continued.

Photo credit: Jim Smeal - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jim Smeal - Getty Images

Winslet also recalled noticing how the effect of the persistent commentary over her body was damaging her confidence at the time.

'I didn’t want to go to Hollywood because I remember thinking, "God, if this is what they’re saying to me in England, then what will happen when I get there?" Also, it tampers with your evolving impression of what’s beautiful, you know? I did feel very on my own,' she said caveating that giving birth to her daughter Mia when she was 25 years old did change her perspective and made her care less about those delivering unwarranted speculation and opinions over her body.

One silver lining of reviewing the archival articles now, the Ammonite actor said, was that she ended up feeling 'moved, by how different it is now'.

Photo credit: Getty - 20th Century Fox
Photo credit: Getty - 20th Century Fox

The dangerous societal commentary about women's bodies and roles in society, like that which Winslet and countless other women faced, was and continues to be damaging for millions of young women. Renewed discussions about this sexist rhetoric reinforces the need for a complete overhaul in the way we talk about women and men.

Thankfully, the body positivity movement has come on a long way in recent years and sexist and offensive reporting and comments are challenged more frequently. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to reach a truly inclusive media and societal landscape when it comes to diversity, in all its forms.

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