Florence Pugh Speaks Out About Being Body-Shamed

When Florence Pugh first ventured into Hollywood, she was extensively criticized for everything from her weight, hair, and makeup.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

Florence Pugh is a rising star but once she was a new talent and endured some of the hardships many new actresses have complained about in Hollywood. According to Deadline, she told the UK’s Telegraph that one of her first roles nearly turned her from acting because the producers demanded that she make changes to her appearance. The actress had landed a lead in a proposed television pilot that never got picked up, but she reports that during filming, she fielded criticisms of everything about her looks, from her eyebrows to her weight to her hair and makeup.

“That was so not what I wanted to do, or the industry I wanted to work in,” she admitted in the interview. Florence Pugh had already starred alongside Maisie Williams in The Falling, an award-winning movie that garnered both actresses a lot of attention. Williams was already well-known for Game of Thrones, but Florence Pugh was a newcomer to the film scene and the role opened new opportunities for her.

However, the production also set expectations about what working in Hollywood would be like, and when those turned out differently, she was nearly convinced her career was over. Fortunately, she was cast as the lead in Lady Macbeth, a role that not only restored her faith in the industry but earned her awards and nominations internationally. The period romantic drama was her first step on her path to stardom, as well as the first of many period pieces for the actress, including King Lear, Outlaw King, and Little Women.

Florence Pugh
Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in Don’t Worry Darling

Currently, she is appearing in two other period pieces, Olivia Wilde’s controversial Don’t Worry Darling and the Netflix mystery thriller The Wonder. However, the sun truly rose for Florence Pugh in the Ari Astor horror fairy tale Midsommar. Here, she plays a disturbed young woman who tags along with her boyfriend and his friends on a trip to observe the workings of a Swedish cult during the longest days of the year.

She shot into international attention and secured another high-profile role, as Yelena Belova in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character takes over for Black Widow’s Natasha Romanoff, appeared in a few episodes of the Disney+ MCU show Hawkeye, and is confirmed to be one of the main characters in the upcoming Thunderbolts movie. Florence Pugh is also not known for being ashamed of her body.

The actress is known for wearing very revealing outfits to public events, including a sheer pink Valentino dress that clearly showed her breasts. She is also very outspoken against body shaming. Perhaps her early experiences informed her current style as she challenges the very constraints asked of her in that early TV pilot whenever she makes a major public appearance.

Her fashion sense is a testament to her strength as a celebrity. It would have been very easy for her to take the advice she was given and not be the starlet she is today. Instead, she seems to have used it to make a powerful statement about beauty standards and the female body.

The Wonder drops on Netflix on November 16, 2022, and Don’t Worry Darling is currently in theaters across the country. Florence Pugh will soon be seen in the upcoming Dune: Part Two as the imperial Princess Irulan, as well as in the Marvel Cinematic Universe production of Thunderbolts.