Kate Winslet Has A Strong Message for Her Daughter on Beauty Standards

July 31st 2015

Kate Winslet has been struggling with body image issues since her breakout role in "Titanic" nearly two decades ago, but the British actress makes a conscious effort to give her 14-year-old daughter, Mia, a body positive message every day.

"I stand in front of the mirror and say to Mia, 'We are so lucky we have a shape,'" Winslet told Bear Grylls during an episode of his NBC show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls" earlier this week. "'We're so lucky we're curvy. We're so lucky that we've got good bums.' And she'll say, 'Mummy, I know, thank God.' It's paying off."

Winslet has been doing this for years, as she said in a 2011 interview.

“I accept my body," she told German publication Brigitte. "I accept how I am and make the best of what I am given. Children orientate towards examples. That’s why I talk solely positive about my body in front of my daughter. I say things like ‘Hey, look at my strong arms!’ Or I shake my butt and say ‘Look at my fabulous butt!'"

This is a far cry from the kind of environment in which Winslet grew up. During her interview with Grylls, she said that no one ever gave her body positive reinforcement.

"I was chubby, always had big feet, the wrong shoes, bad hair," Winslet said. "When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life. I only heard negatives. That’s very damaging because then you’re programmed as a young woman to immediately scrutinize yourself and how you look."

During a 2007 interview with Good Housekeeping, she said that she finally felt her body became what it needed to be when she had kids several years earlier.

"When I started having children six years ago, my body settled into itself," she said. "And I think that happens for most women when they have kids. Your hormones really settle down. So I've stayed at the same weight for a while now. I just don't worry about my weight anymore. I notice it, if I've enjoyed a Christmas vacation and I've had too many glasses of Champagne or too many canapés. But I don't avoid anything, and I'm not a fanatic. I think that's a miserable, terrible way to live your life."

Winslet isn't the only big name celebrity to come forward and discuss female body image issues. Last month, Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence said at Comic-Con that many actresses have trouble living up to Hollywood's idea of beauty. She's been open about her love for food for a long time, having said in a red carpet interview at the 2013 Oscars, "I don't know what I'm trying to say, I'm so hungry," but she knows that newer performers don't always have the luxury of indulging however they please.

"I was just having a conversation with somebody about the struggles of weight in the industry because they know that it's something I talk non-stop about," she said, discussing a question she received about whether it was still true that Hollywood only rewards skinny women even though many actresses today do not fit that description. "I said, 'Yeah, because once you get to a certain place [in your career], people will hire you and they want you to be in their movie, so they don't care.' It's more about the struggle for the actors and actresses who haven't made it to a certain place. I'm not really in a place where I can complain or speak to not getting enough roles because I'm very lucky to have a lot of opportunities. But I would be interested to hear someone who is not in two franchises answer that question."

Several years ago, Lawrence lamented that she's viewed as a "fat actress" by industry standards.

“In Hollywood, I’m obese," she said. "I’m considered a fat actress. I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach … I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I keep waiting for that one role to come along that scares me enough into dieting, and it just can’t happen. I’m invincible … I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That’s something that I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.”

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