In an age of filtered pictures of perfect stars, thank god for Kate Winslet
THIS is an age when we are force-fed filtered images of Hollywood stars with their perfect skin, perfect bodies and perfect hair.
So isn’t it a breath of fresh air to look at and listen to Kate Winslet?
I have always loved how down to earth and real she is, how determinedly “normal” she’s always been.
Despite being a serious A-lister with a catalogue of blockbusters under her belt, Kate has never caved into any of the usual Hollywood stereotypes.
She didn’t immediately shrink herself into lollipop thinness when she became famous, despite endless criticism about her weight when she was younger.
Just to be clear, she is probably a size 10 to 12 or maybe a 14, like most women in the UK.
And she has steadfastly remained so. Rather than caving into criticism, she held her own and she has kept her values.
She also recognises the importance of being a role model when she is so prominently in the spotlight, harnessing that power and using it for good, projecting realistic images of women rather than ones that involve starving yourself.
Kate, who once said that her bottom resembled “purple sprouting broccoli”, said it is high time women started appreciating their bodies — warts and all.
She said she had started to love her bum “because I don’t know anyone who does that”.
She is also real about air-brushing of photos, saying that young women look at people in Hollywood, herself included, on magazine covers.
Kate said they think: “My God, how does she get skin like that? No one actually talks about this retouching thing. It’s like a secret or something.
"I’m damned if it’s going to be a secret any more. I really want these young women to know we don’t look like this.”
So it came as no surprise that she wanted to realistically portray every aspect of her role as a 45-year-old detective in the new Sky series Mare Of Easttown.
Kate actually sent back a retouched promo poster, saying she knows “how many lines I have by the side of my eye” and asked the designers to put them back in.
And when director Craig Zobel said he would cut “a bulgy bit of belly” in her sex scene, Kate objected, saying, “Don’t you dare!”
In an interview last week she said: “Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman — I will be 46 in October — I guess that’s why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters.
“She’s a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes from. I think we’re starved of that a bit.”
No kidding are we starved of that. We are so surrounded by air-brushed images of women, many of whom have personal trainers and chefs.
If you compare yourself with them, it’s easy to feel you need to starve yourself to look “good”.
It is so much more inspiring and reassuring to see images of women who look a bit more, well, normal.
The other thing I like about Kate is her unconventional private life.
I am so happy for her that she has found such an adoring husband in Edward Abel Smith.
He previously used the name Ned Rocknroll, but changed it after Kate thought it might not be great for the children.
Kate referred to Abel Smith as a “super-hot, superhuman, stay-at-home dad”. He looks after their seven-year-old son, Bear, and Kate too.
She told the New York Times: “He looks after us, especially me. I said to him earlier, like, ‘Neddy, could you do something for me?’. He just went, ‘Anything’. He is an absolutely extraordinary life partner.”
I’m not surprised that someone so in touch with who she is has such a wonderful life partner. And I’m really happy for her.
In a sense she is lucky to have found someone who is so adoring and so happy to play second fiddle to her when it comes to being the famous one.
But I reckon you make your own luck in life. From the beginning she has done it all her way when it comes to her life and career.
Good on you, Kate, and thanks for keeping it real for people like us.
CAN it really be true that a mother was kicked off a bus because she refused to stop breastfeeding her baby?
Holly Chapman, 28, of Swindon, had started to feed her 19-week-old daughter Raiya when the driver approached and told her she “couldn’t do it” on board.
As a result she was forced to leave the bus to continue feeding her daughter by the side of the road while waiting for another bus.
How can this kind of thing still be happening in 2021?
Pay for trip… and test
THE Department of Health was urged to slash its fees for Covid tests for returning holidaymakers.
This week MPs and industry chiefs hit out at the Government for charging double what the cheapest private provider does for post-holiday PCR swabs.
It currently costs £88 for one post-arrival “gold standard” PCR test and £170 for a two-test package, which could add more than £350 to the cost of a foreign break for a family of four to a green-list country (although we all know there are very few of them now after Portugal was also taken off the list).
I know that holiday-makers are up in arms about this new expense but I can’t get worked up about it.
After all, why should the NHS pick up the tab for tests so that people can go on holiday – which is a choice and not a necessity?
Babies at risk
LAST week the Born In Bradford Study found that half the city’s babies born each year are to Pakistani-heritage mothers.
And two-thirds of these women are married either to first or second cousins, a fact which heightens the risk of their offspring dying or having disabilities.
I confess that I did not know it was legal to marry your first or second cousin in this country but – shockingly – it really seems wrong, given the heightened risk of birth defects that go with marriages between cousins.
Go-getter Helen tickled pink with her life in the Fast lane
YOU’VE got to hand it to Helen Mirren for absolutely rocking this pink suit in Beverly Hills this week when she was promoting Fast & Furious 9.
It’s very hard indeed to believe she is 75 years old. I also love her vim and vigour and appetite for life. She is a woman who knows what she wants.
She started working on the film series in 2017 – on Fast & Furious 8 – by having the gumption to ask for a part in it.
Helen revealed: “My role in F and F 8 came about because I begged for it.
“I almost went down on my knees. Not quite . . . but I went down on my metaphorical knees to Vin (Diesel) and to everyone.
"I just wanted to be in one of those movies. So word went out that I wanted to be in it and they very kindly gave me a role in it. I was very excited.”
Clearly retirement is a dirty word in her book. How inspiring.
Kate looks great
I LOVED the photos of Kate Ferdinand looking fabulous in pictures she shared on Instagram during a family beach day.
She appeared super-fit and happy with her new baby, Cree, who was born six months ago.
It’s clear the camera does not lie.
She looks absolutely great. Obviously motherhood suits her.
Keep paedo in jail
I AM really shocked – and appalled – that after being given a 16-year sentence for his sickening crimes, the paedophile pop star Gary Glitter is about to move to an open prison.
He could be free in months. No wonder one of his victims – known as Diem – who was molested by him in Vietnam at the age of just ten, has talked about how horrified she is at reports that the singer could be out of jail soon.
But now we hear that he will move from HMP The Verne in Dorset to an open prison “within weeks”.
A 16-year sentence being reduced to seven is not justice and it’s very hard to believe that he has been rehabilitated in that time.
His victims will suffer for their whole life – and so should he.
It seems this country is soft on these types of crimes – which are among the worst anyone can commit, which is why we need a review of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which created a framework for sentencing decisions in court.
Currently you can get a life sentence for armed robbery but two years for drugging someone to have sex with them.
You can get life for aggravated burglary and two years for causing prostitution of a woman or two years for sex with an animal.
Something is wrong and we cannot be soft on these horrific crimes.
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