01 July 2007

Kate Winslet: proud of her stretchmarks

I hired a fantastic film, Little Children, this weekend (only just released in Australia) featuring Kate Winslet as a bored and particularly uncaring mother who has an affair with a married father played by insanely attractive Patrick Wilson. When it was first released, Hollywood was all abuzz not only because of a few fairly graphic sex scenes but more importantly because Kate Winslet was bold enough to show off her stretchmarks. I read some of these articles prior to seeing the movie and, I have to say, the critics' overwhelming praise for Winslet's acceptance of her post-baby body motivated me to hire the movie specifically for this reason. After all, how many times in your life will you get to see a beautiful actress portrayed as a 'real' person? And why does everyone assume that Winslet should be embarassed or ashamed of her body? An article from the Telegraph titled 'Why Winslet bared body and soul?' implies that she should justify her 'womanly curves'. I still find it funny that even though Winslet is perhaps a bit more curvy than most skinny bitch celebrities, she's still thinner than most women, and yet her weight is a constant source of debate.

"Not to put down other women in movies or movies in general," says Winslet, "but I do have an issue with this kind of image of perfection that a movie can put across. You want to say to people 'Stop! Stop! It's not real. We've been in makeup for 212 hours. We don't really look like that.' I mean, I'm living proof that we don't really look like that."


"I've had two kids, and every woman out there knows that when you've had a child your body just doesn't go back to normal," she says. "I have lots of stretch marks and all the rest of it, and I'm sort of proud of all my battle wounds."

"I just thought to myself, 'You know what? I am playing a woman who is a mother and therefore it doesn't stand to reason that every part of my body would be perfect – which, by the way, it's not. Who is perfect?"

"It was important for me to just be a real person and be in the position where I can stand up and say, 'Hey, look, I'm normal. I have these stretch marks. I'm not perfect,' " she says. "The notion that women in films are perfect and beautiful and have some kind of secret beauty that nobody else has is just so ridiculous to me, because we're all normal."

This all sounds great, doesn't it? Finally, an actress admits that it's okay to be a mother and not have a 'perfect' body.

So, I watch the movie. NO STRETCHMARKS TO BE SEEN! There must have been some serious post-production magic happening because Kate looked perfect, her skin flawless and you would never have any inclination that the state of her body in this movie could have sparked such bizarre dialogues about her courage to expose her 'battle wounds'.


Robert & Anjanette said...

Just came across your site and wanted to compliment your work. I love it when people bring the (unecessarily) negative issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth to light.

My husband and I are currently expecting our first. We live in the US and it has been quite a trial so far. The pregnancy is great, but the politics are ridiculous. We live in a state where homebirth is illegal. The closest free-standing birthing center is 45minutes away in another state.

Without insurance here if we wanted to give birth in a hospital with a doula or other advocate, it would cost us thousands and thousands of dollars. To have our own baby! We can't exactly say, "stay in there! We're not quite ready for you to come out, waiting for the laws to change!" :) We had planned on homebirth and knew we could afford it. We knew that the law against it was changing in August, but now it looks like there is opposition. Here's hoping!

Anonymous said...

Though you posted this a while ago, just wanted to point out that I did notice her stretchmarks, but I thought nothing of it since I find it quite normal for people to have them. Very few people I know don't... Anyway, I think it was during a scene where Kate is sitting in front of a tree, wearing a bathing suit and you can see them on her thighs. It made me feel a million times better about mine lol.

Creative Commons License
The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.