“Bra-Burning Feminist” Romola Garai Talks Body Image

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“My weight was a very big issue when I started. I was then — and am now — a very normal size 10. But that’s not acceptable. Everyone’s aware of it. It’s partly because fashion, film and television have become so interdependent. Increasingly, it’s actresses doing the big fashion advertising campaigns and now there’s no distinction between actresses and models. There’s no way I could ring up a company that was lending me a red carpet dress and say, ‘Do you have it in a 10?’ Because all the press samples are an eight —I would say a small eight. If you want the profile, you have to lose the weight. … It’s difficult because if I refuse to do any magazines at all, my work, I think, would suffer in a very immediate way. But when I appear in these magazines, I know I’m being ‘trimmed’. I’m being airbrushed a lot. And I know that people are accepting those images and are under the impression that that is really how my body looks, that I’m hairless and sexless and weigh 90 lbs. That really worries me. And I really don’t know what to do except talk about it.”

Romola Garai plays a pioneering woman in journalism on the kickass BBC drama “The Hour” and it turns out she’s just as rad in real life. I find it fascinating that she’s aware she’s being airbrushed in magazines and feels guilty about women who look at her and think it’s the real deal. Photoshop is not going anywhere, so we all have to make peace with it somehow; it should not be too much to ask that Photoshop does not change the fundamental way we look. If I were a celebrity, I feel like I’d be okay with having a zit airbrushed off or something. But 20 lbs? That’s a bit much. [Telegraph UK]

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