If ever I were to find myself navigating the perils of Hollywood fame, I can only hope I would do so with the ferocity and grace of Ms. Kate Winslet.
Not only has she been a critic of absurd standards of beauty since the attacks on her physique back in the Titanic era, but she has gone so far as to spearhead a campaign against plastic surgery among her fellow actresses, known as the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League. (Side note: I can’t resist including Jezebel’s vision of this club… “we imagine the (British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League) is mainly taken up by drinking, drawing Sharpie moustaches on overly-Photoshopped luxury ads, and shining each other’s Oscars” …heehee)
Winslet has condemned photoshopping of her own image, turned a standard clothing campaign into a platform for promoting body positivity, and has even been called out as a Body Image Warrior. Personally, I think she should start signing her letters that way: “Sincerely, Kate Winslet, BIW” It’s a title I wouldn’t mind claiming for myself – second only to MW (Master of Wine).
Winslet has come under fire for “lying about her exercise regimen,” claiming to workout with DVDs at home, aiming for at least 20 minutes a day. She rightfully retaliated, and was ultimately granted a libel settlement. I applaud her for this because I believe her. I believe her because she’s one of the few actresses out there whose body even comes close to looking like mine, and my workout habits are pretty similar.
In addition to her physical confidence, Winslet is also a fierce promotor of her own talents. And why shouldn’t she be? The woman draws you into the screen with every character she embodies, and to anyone who knows what a hard job acting can be, it’s clear that she works really, really hard. Many years ago, back before the Internet existed (yes, I’m that old), I read an interview with Kate Winslet shortly after the release of Heavenly Creatures, one of her first films. She candidly spoke about how she Insisted they give her the role. She said something to the effect of “No one will do this as well as I will.” And again, when casting happened for Titanic, she told James Cameron he “couldn’t give the role to anyone else.” She had to be the one to do it.
Can you imagine a world where every woman had such a strong understanding of her own abilities? Where we all voraciously pursued the things we deserved, knowing ourselves to be dedicated, passionate, and capable?
Let’s all raise a glass (MW!) to Ms. Winslet, for being an inspiration to her daughter, for challenging the status quo, and for being about as real as it gets.