Florence Pugh on Body Shaming Backlash

“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”
09 September 2023
Photo: Los Angeles Time / Creator: Vianney Le Caer, Vianney Le Caer | Credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP / © 2023 Invision

After donning a stunning sheer pink Valentino gown last year, Florence Pugh has spoken out and set the record straight on the effects of the hundreds of unwelcome comments she received from men and the unwarranted body shaming. The 27 year old British actress attended Valentino’s haute couture show in Rome last July, the fashion house’s tulle dress showed the outline of her nipples through the material which unleashed backlash and a bigger discussion around the sexualisation of a woman’s body.

Speaking to Jodie Turner-Smith in an interview with ELLE UK, Pugh spoke out about the aftermath saying, “my nipples were on display through a piece of fabric, and it really wound people up…keeping women down by commenting on their bodies has worked for a very long time.” 

At the time of posting last summer, Pugh commented on how many messages and responses she had received from “vulgar men” who thought it was okay to discuss her body and their opinion on how it looked in the dress. We remain to live in a space where certain men believe they have the authority to comment on how a woman’s body looks and share their opinion on matters that have nothing to do with them.

Photo: WWD / Creator: Vittorio Zunino Celotto | Credit: Getty Images / © 2022 Getty Images

Speaking in her recent interview, the Oppenheimer actress continues to say, “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).”

In her Instagram post, posted on July 10th 2022, Florence clapped back and praised how growing up in a household with “very strong, powerful (and) curvy women” gave her the confidence she feels today in her own skin.

“We were raised to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable. It has always been my mission in this industry to say ‘f*ck it and f*ck that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive.” 

Ending her Instagram post with #f***ingfreethef***ingnipple, which has garnered an impressive 1.4 million likes and growing, was met with praise from fellow industry females. Feminist Jameela Jamil said, “you’re a magical f***ing queen and we do not deserve you” while Joey King commented saying, “you are truly so amazing. You put into words what so many feel but can’t articulate.”

Body shaming & men’s approach to commenting on women’s bodies is something that isn’t going away anytime soon and the discussion that Pugh had shows how much work there is yet to do. Whilst it’s a shame to see yet another female public figure speak out about the body shaming she’s been experiencing, it’s good to see her speak out and be received with such vast amounts of support from other women.