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Speaking to fellow actor Jodie Turner-Smith for Elle magazine’s style awards, Florence Pugh railed against the backlash she often gets for exposing skin either in movies or on the red carpet. It was over one year ago when Pugh seemed to break the internet by wearing a see-through dress at a Valentino couture show in Rome, which ignited online conversation about her body. The Oscar nominee took to Instagram at the time to condemn “vulgar” trolls who were who sought to “totally destroy a woman’s body.”
“I speak the way I do about my body because I’m not trying to hide the cellulite on my thigh or the squidge in between my arm and my boob: I would much rather lay it all out,” Pugh now told Turner Smith. “I think the scariest thing for me are the instances where people have been upset that I’ve shown ‘too much’ of myself. When everything went down with the Valentino pink dress a year ago, my nipples were on display through a piece of fabric, and it wound people up.”
“It’s the freedom that people are scared of; the fact I’m comfortable and happy,” Pugh continued. “Keeping women down by commenting on their bodies has worked for a very long time. I think we’re in this swing now where lots of people are saying, ‘I don’t give a shit.’ Unfortunately, we’ve become so terrified of the human body that we can’t even look at my two little cute nipples behind fabric in a way that isn’t sexual. We need to keep reminding everybody that there is more than one reason for women’s bodies [to exist].”
Pugh revealed in an interview with The Telegraph that she thought becoming an actor was a “massive mistake” after she was body shamed by studio executives at age 19. She was coming off her feature film debut in the 2014 psychological drama “The Falling” at the time when she landed a lead role in the Fox sitcom “Studio City.”
“I felt very lucky and grateful, and couldn’t believe that I had got this top-of-the-game job,” Pugh saidm before revealing that the studio executives who hired her for “Studio City” began to body shame her as soon as she got cast. The execs allegedly requested Pugh change things about her physical appearance.
“All the things that they were trying to change about me – whether it was my weight, my look, the shape of my face, the shape of my eyebrows – that was so not what I wanted to do, or the industry I wanted to work in,” Pugh said. “I’d thought the film business would be like [my experience of making] ‘The Falling,’ but actually, this was what the top of the game looked like. I felt I’d made a massive mistake.”
Fox ultimately passed on “Studio City,” so Pugh went back home to England. The actor said she auditioned for her breakthrough role in the feature film “Lady Macbeth” just “two weeks later.”