It’s been one of those weeks (she said, every week since November 8, 2016) where time has slowed to a crawl and we’re all like, “Oh wow, it’s only Thursday? Crazy! I thought it was Friday in maybe like, 2021 because how can a year feel like molasses?” Which means we need a quick distraction. And I have chosen to make Kate Winslet’s words at the WE charity event in London yesterday that distraction, you’re welcome.
Taking to the stage and addressing what Vogue’s referring to as “Generation Z” (I . . . like, no one is actually using this phrase, right?), Winslet spoke out on bullying and keeping your eye on the prize and/or dreams.
“I had been bullied at school,” she said. “They called me Blubber. Teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard. Laughed at me. I wasn’t the prettiest. I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts. Casting agents would say, ‘You’re just not what we’re looking for, Kate.’ I’d hear that a lot.”
(Also, here’s a thing: a lot of things about her experiences make me angry here — like the fact a leading woman is expected to be a certain size, or that being fat is seen as a bad thing or that Kate Winslet wasn’t fat, and, and, and.)
“I didn’t lock myself away and give up on my dream,” she continued. “I fought back. I had to ignore the negative comments. I had to believe in myself. I had to choose to rise above it all, and I had to work hard. You have to be indestructible to do what you love, and believe that you are worth it. And sometimes that’s the hardest part.”
But here was her closer, which I think applies as much to adults as it does to the teens she was talking to.
“Today, social media robs so many of us of just basic conversations,” she explained. “We are constantly distracted from being our true selves in a world that is fuelled by insta-tweet-bookface, as I like to call it. Society is changing so fast. It’s not easy being a teenager, and it’s becoming harder than ever in a world of peer pressure and such awful things as cyber bullying and and exposure to unattainable aspirations. Let’s think about how else to share. Share a real chat with the person sitting next to you, share stories, share being in this moment. By talking. Or with a hug.”
Though I will say if any of you try and hug me without asking first we will be having a very real chat about why you have been deleted from my insta-tweet-bookface as a result.