Kate Winslet opens up (and undresses) for “Vanity Fair”


I’m not normally a jealous person. I took the lessons I learned in kindergarten to heart and have no problem sharing my toys. But, after seeing the cover of the December issue of Vanity Fair featuring Kate Winslet, I found the green-eyed monster rearing its head in the most unexpected of places. Like at inanimate objects. Damn, some jackets have all the luck.

Insane jealously over inanimate objects aside, I think we can all agree that Kate looks divine or, as the magazine quipped, “Deneuvely.” If you’re tempted to think Kate doesn’t look entirely like Kate, that’s the point. The photo shoot was a recreation of Catherine Deneuve‘s character from the 1967 French film Belle de Jour, about a housewife who escapes her ennui by moonlighting as a high-priced prostitute. Yeah, I don’t know why they picked that film either, but I am happy to see its results.

And, before you ask, Kate’s publicist insists that she was not overly airbrushed to achieve such a Deneuvely look. In fact, her rep said Kate was “furious at suggestions that her body has been airbrushed” and added that “she is in terrific shape and what you see is how she looks or she would never have agreed to pose for those shots. … The only retouching was the usual work on skin tone that happens in every glamour shoot.”

Of course, Kate could just be furious at the British tabloids for going all Woodward and Bernstein on her photo shoot. The Daily Mail even hired a professional airbrush artist to analyze the pictures. If someone took a magnifying glass to my backside and concluded “her bottom has been rounded off so it looks nice and pert. I would be very surprised if her bottom was like that naturally,” I’d be pretty pissed, too.

The accusations of digital trickery are especially ironic given that Kate was one of the most egregious and unwilling victims of Photoshop’s “liquefy” function in her now- infamous 2003 GQ cover. Kate even issued a statement at the time saying, “I just didn’t want people to think I was a hypocrite and that I’d suddenly lost 30 pounds or whatever. So I just came out and said, ‘Look, I don’t look like that.’”

The whole not-even-a-controversy is made sillier by the fact that Kate is unblinkingly frank about her body image in the new Vanity Fair article, as she has been throughout her career. She talks about her teenage weight fluctuations, which once put her at nearly 200 pounds, and how her secret to great-looking skin is — quite simply — makeup.

This is going to sound really weird, but I never had a desire to be famous. I never had huge ambitions — never. … I was fat. I didn’t know any fat famous actresses. I just did not see myself in that world at all, and I’m being very sincere. You know, once a fat kid, always a fat kid. Because you always think that you just look a little bit wrong or a little bit different from everyone else. And I still sort of have that. I often look at women who wear great jeans and high heels and nice little T-shirts wandering around the city and I think, I should make more of an effort. I should look like that. But then I think, they can’t be happy in those heels.

So, is it all much ado about nothing? Or is the airbrush mightier than the publicist’s denial swords (or some such mixed metaphor)? And, most importantly, seriously, how lucky is that jacket?

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