July 27, 2021

Kate Winslet uncovers discrimination against real women

British actress Kate Winslet plays Mare Sheehan, a harassed and scruffy cop on the HBO series The Mare of Easttown, in which she also serves as an executive producer. (HBO screenshot image)

Kate Winslet ruffled the hornet’s nest again and accomplished something unthinkable: give visibility to despised middle-aged women.

And I speak with knowledge of the facts. I am almost 6 years older than Winslet and I have never been skinny either.

So I found it very refreshing when in 1998 she appeared nude and in vintage dresses that highlighted all her curves in a Hollywood blockbuster like Titanic. Although at that time, the super slim Angelina Jolie or Nicole Kidman personified the ideal of beauty of the moment, the extraordinary talent and mettle of that young English actress prevailed over the wave of criticism for their roundness.

But what was Winslet’s last daring that has the whole world on its head? Well prevent the director from his last job The Mare of Easttown will digitally hide her wrinkles and belly in a sex scene.

The reaction of the specialized press was immediate.

The film critic Tomàs Delclós from El País in Catalonia first described the series as “a goldsmith’s filigree worked with a microscope that its creator Brad Ingelsby handles with intelligence and feeling”. And then he said that Winslet’s performance was exceptional, “… an actress who does not hide her maturity or dress it up with makeup.”

A few days later, the journalist Nuria Labari asked in the Spanish version of the same newspaper “Why we like fat and old Kate Winslet more than the muse of ‘Titanic’ ” and the hecatomb was armed.

Labari tried to ironically criticize sexism and discrimination in the American entertainment industry, but not everyone understood his sarcasm.

But what is the maximum age for a successful actor? Ten less than you have. And for an actress? What a silly question. They have no age: they are myths, they have no right to grow old or to live. So what the hell is Kate Winslet doing asking for her crow’s feet to be respected? Isn’t your belly sufficient for you? Doesn’t Kate Winslet know who she is and what she stands for? Would anyone like to know Marilyn Monroe when they were old? Kate should know that a true diva would prefer death. This is why Kate is a great disappointment to the American industry.”Wrote the Spanish journalist who revealed that she was three years younger than Winslet on her Twitter account.

The publication Counterinformation lashed out at Labari and said that Instead of dismantling prejudices, what he did was fall into stereotypes. “We wonder what need a millionaire newspaper like El País has to generate content to obtain advertising revenue using headlines in sensationalist ways. The networks, wise transmitters of popular opinion, have it clear: “I already remember why I stopped reading El País.”

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Actress Kate Winslet attends the special screening of 'The Mountain Between Us' at Time Inc. Screening Room on September 26, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)

Kate Winslet has always defended natural beauty and since she has power in the entertainment industry, she prevents her photographs from being retouched. On one occasion they retouched her face digitally and she said: “I don’t look like that. And, above all, I don’t want it ”. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik / Getty Images)

The newspaper El Mundo did not miss the opportunity to join the controversy and countered with the headline: Kate Winslet, neither old nor fat: stands up to Hollywood and prohibits them from retouching wrinkles and love handles.

In his article, the journalist Luis Fernando Romo recalled the harassment that Winslet suffered for his weight in a business that fuels reaching the myth of perfection.

Romo believes that the secret to evolving in film and television is self-love. “It is for this reason that L’Oréal Paris has just appointed him its spokesperson worldwide to convey the idea that women have to believe in themselves.”

In my opinion, the most interesting perspective on Winslet’s tummy concussion was provided by British journalist Gaby Hinsliff, who is concerned about the media attention caused by a naked 40-year-old woman. Although he limited that the fascination with Winslet’s flabby stomach seems healthier to him than the recently broadcast faked image of the Friends reunion, “In which the three stars looked just a day older than when the show first aired in the mid-1990s.”

Understand that these actresses were forced to freeze time and stay toned well into their 50s to keep their jobs. “Middle-aged women, expecting people to actually pay to look at them, with their wrinkles and gray locks and secret sagging? Phew, how disgusting. Then they will want people to listen to what they say ”, he ironically.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 18:  Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (L) arrives with co-star Kate Winslet for the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton 18 January  in Beverly Hills, CA.  DiCaprio is nominated for Best Actor in the drama category for his role in

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet attended the 1998 Golden Globe Awards together. Both received nominations for best actor and best actress. (Photo credit should read HAL GARB / AFP via Getty Images)

Hinsliff wrote that as encouraging as it is to see someone naturally age on screen for once, She believes that many women neither realized nor cared what was under Winslet’s shirt when he took it off. What mattered was what her character’s life looked like, not her body: “messy, difficult, but richer and deeper in some way than it might have been at 20.”

For her, what drives women to dye their hair or hide the hot flashes of menopause is not vanity or the fear of becoming invisible to the male gaze. Terror is the “hard and cold economic price” that must be paid when society considers you too old to learn new things.

And that danger appears when women’s professional lives get back on track after the complicated years of motherhood.

This is not the first time, and surely it will not be the last, that Winslet has taken a firm stand in the face of what he considers injustices towards the most vulnerable.

For years he has denounced the practices of “Body shaming”, the discrimination and stereotypes of Hollywood towards the homosexual community, the bullying that she suffered when she was a teenager.

Last year, she interviewed Vanity Fair journalist Julie Miller with no makeup and fresh hair to promote the premiere of her film Ammonite at the Toronto Film Festival. In fact, he confessed that le talked in pajamas because it didn’t fit into any of his pants.

He said the long-term impact the pandemic will have on exorbitant spending by film studios to promote their films remains to be seen, but was grateful that he did not have to wear fancy dresses and shoes.

“It has always been so puzzling to me: eThe fuss and wasted money that could be better spent making more independent films, to start with, or building classrooms… ”

And on the character of paleontologist Mary Anning he took the same position as with the police officer Mare Sheehan in the original HBO series.

“Physically, with my own body, I was determined to allow the differences of my feminine self to be seen, and not to cover them with makeup or hide them. It wouldn’t have been right for Mary. And I would not have honored the age that I am now and those changes. I don’t think the movies show that enough. “

I stand up to applaud Winslet for taking advantage of her notoriety to say out loud what many mature women think about our lives and our bodies.

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