Kate Beckinsale Opens Up About Being Body-Shamed & We Need to Talk About It

Kate Beckinsale

It's no surprise that women in Hollywood aren't treated any differently than women in the workplace in the real world. We're all women and, thus, no matter what industry we happen to work in, men don't cease to overlook, demean, and unethically criticize us. That said, it does surprise me to find out how seemingly bold Michael Bay was with his alleged statements regarding Kate Beckinsale's appearance during the filming and promotion of Pearl Harbor in 2001.

Advertisement

Beckinsale came forward with claims that the director minimized her looks -- or, for lack of a better word, objectified the actress -- over the course of the time period from casting to promotion. 

More from The Stir: Kate Beckinsale Didn't Feel Attractive Until She Hit This Magic Age

Kate revealed on The Graham Norton Show that she hadn't believed that she fit "the type of actress Michael Bay the director had met before ... I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren't bigger than my head, and I wasn't blonde."

Playing the role of a 1940s nurse in the film, Beckinsale was admittedly (and understandably) confused as to why she was instructed to hit the gym upon receiving the part -- especially because this was right after she'd had her daughter, and thus had already lost her desired amount of weight. 

But, this isn't even the most insulting part of it -- apparently Bay felt comfortable enough to tell the press that he had chosen her for the role because (brace yourself):

I didn't want someone who was too beautiful. Women feel disturbed when they see someone's too pretty. ... I'm not saying Kate's not pretty ... [she] is very funny, could hang with the guys. She's not so neurotic about everything, like some actresses.

What the entire f*ck is that? If I didn't know any better I'd say he was negging her. Nonetheless, it doesn't matter what it was that prompted him to say something so awful -- but, it does matter why it is that he felt comfortable enough to say this about her to the press or anyone out loud for that matter.

More from The Stir: Kate Beckinsale Recreates Her Daughter's Birth Photo 17 Years Later

I'm here to tell you that it goes beyond artistic arrogance. It comes down to us as women taking a stand. A**holes like Bay say this type of stuff in almost any industry because they know that out of fear (for many reasons), we as women are more likely to tolerate this type of f*ckery before we cost ourselves our careers.

We fear that we'll walk away from one job, only to face the problem at another -- and then what? Quit again? And while all of our fears are valid and very real concerns, there must be a point where we stand up for ourselves (as Kate is doing now) -- otherwise the cycle is never-ending. If we were to all stand together and demand more, then we'd certainly see change sooner rather than later. 

That said, I certainly wish that Beckinsale would've come forward about 15 years earlier with these claims, because I like to think that it could've helped a lot of women -- in all industries. However, late is always better than never, and now that we have one more actress coming forward we can continue to make headway in this much-needed conversation -- a conversation that will be the first step toward some real change.

 

Image via Getty/Albert L. Ortega 

Read More >