In a recent interview with The Guardian, Kate Winslet openly addressed the "straight-up cruel" tabloid coverage she experienced during the time of Titanic's release. Today, more and more celebrities have spoken out about how detrimental the mass media can be, especially in regard to budding public figures. Winslet was only 21 when she starred as Rose in the award-winning film, and was, in her own words, "still figuring out who the hell I bloody well was!"
In the wake of Titanic, tabloids eagerly commented on Winslet's weight. Their obsession with her still maturing body embodies the extremely harmful nature of gossip columns and baseless magazine headlines. Winslet recalls that "[the tabloids] would comment on my size, they'd estimate what I weighed, they'd print the supposed diet I was on. It was critical and horrible and so upsetting to read." This unbearable commentary damaged Winslet's confidence as a young actress pursuing a career in an already daunting industry.
American comedian, Joan Rivers, even poked fun at the young star by saying, "if she just lost five pounds, Leo would've been able to fit on the raft." This hurtful comment resembled many more aimed to ridicule Winslet's body. The '90s were not a time overly concerned with body positivity and self-love, so Winslet was left questioning what it meant to be beautiful, and if she possessed enough beauty to make it as a film star. She remembers thinking, "'God, if this is what they're saying to me in England, then what will happen when I get there?'" Obviously, Winslet did not only have the looks, but also the unparalleled skill to make it in the entertainment industry.
While looking back on this unwarranted criticism, Winslet recognizes how things have changed since then. Messages that foster a damaged sense of self are no longer celebrated but denounced. It is clear that there is still a long way to go, as celebrity culture remains engrained in public knowledge, but boundaries are becoming increasingly obvious. As figures like Winslet continue to speak out against media toxicity, the public will become more aware of the flaws they are consuming.