Kate Winslet Is Intent On Controlling Her Body Image

Kate Winslet is suing the Daily Mail over comments the paper printed about her exercise regime. This isn’t the first time she’s sued a publication about statements regarding her body image, and we bet it won’t be the last. Kate’s “curvy girl” shape and healthy attitude about eating and exercise are as important a part of her image as puffy lips are to Angelina Jolie.

In a suit she filed for nearly $300,000 in libel damages, Kate claims an article in the Daily Mail “injured her personal and professional reputation.” The suit stems from the paper’s retort to a quote Kate had given to Elle about how she stays in shape. In the magazine, she said, “I don’t go to the gym because I don’t have time, but I do Pilates workout DVDs for 20 minutes or more every day at home.” In “Should Kate Winslet Win an Oscar for the World’s Most Irritating Actress?”, writer Liz Jones doubted this was actually Kate’s exercise routine, and speculated that the star probably had to work out a lot more to maintain her figure. In 2007, Kate accepted an undisclosed amount of money from Grazia after she sued them for printing allegations that she had visited a diet doctor.

Why is Kate so sensitive to statements about her body? It seems she feels the need to protect her reputation as a healthy, curvy girl because it’s her calling card. Kate banks on being womanly, rather than stick thin, and her body’s been discussed in nearly every magazine interview. Here’s a sampling:

Entertainment Weekly, Sept. 2006

And [friend Emma Thompson] also told me, “If you ever lose weight, I will never f—ing talk to you again.”

Vanity Fair, Dec. 2008

Everyone can commit to 20 minutes,” she says of working out, “especially if there’s a glass of Chardonnay afterwards.

The Telegraph, Jan. 2009

As a young girl, I never felt attractive. I was fat and unhappy at times and that kind of thinking stays with you your entire life. There’s always going to be a part of me that worries about not looking as slim as other actresses. But at a certain point, when you achieve a lot of your goals and you can be proud of your work, you start to relax more about who you are. And that includes you appearance and self-image – I don’t think I look too bad for a mother-of-two.

By talking so openly about her weight, does Kate open herself up to criticism? Celebrities who don’t make a point of discussing their body in interviews still have their hips and thighs written about. However, Kate makes it seem as though it’s incredibly easy to get a figure like hers. When I hear that she exercises as little as 20 minutes a day, I wonder why I don’t look as good as Kate in skintight dresses. She has given credit to makeup for making her skin so lovely, and she has spoken out against the use of airbrushing. She seems like an honest lady. So, while she may be truthfully sharing her fitness routine, I’m glad someone questioned it — Kate makes it seem too simple. But if that’s really all it takes for her to look that hot, well, we’re jealous. [Sydney Morning Herald, BBC]