Kate Winslet is famously confident for embracing her "natural beauty" and refusing to be Photoshopped. But the Oscar-winning actress recently revealed she wasn't always so self-assured. At a recent event, Winslet spoke candidly about being bullied as a child for her weight and appearance—an experience she describes as "horrendous."
"I was always comparing myself to others," Winslet said at the fourth annual WE Day U.K. event, according to the Evening Standard. "They called me 'Blubber,' they teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard and would laugh at me. I wasn't the prettiest, and I was even told that I'd be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts. I'd never let go of that, and they'd say, 'You're just not what we're looking for, Kate.' This unkindness made me feel truly horrendous."
The horrific bullying, Winslet said, led her to feel like she "wasn't enough" and "didn't look right"—but she channeled that negativity and let it fuel her passion for acting. "I didn't lock myself away and give up on my dream," she said. "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."
She continued, "I was always auditioning for the school plays. I didn't really get very good parts, mind you, but I didn't mind. I didn't care. I would often get cast as the crocodile, or the scarecrow, or the dark fairy. I was even a dancing frog once. But it didn't matter. I still loved it. I loved acting. It didn't matter how big or small the parts were. I wanted to be great and I was determined to keep learning."
And that determination eventually led to the casting of a lifetime: Rose in Titanic. "The most unlikely candidate—Kate from the sandwich shop in Reading—suddenly acting in one of the biggest movies ever made," she said. "You can be from anywhere and you can do anything, believe it. It is possible to overcome your fears."
Winslet ended her inspiring speech with an equally inspiring message/ "I learned to embrace my flaws—to make no apology for who I am," she said. "I dug deep and I decided that I simply wouldn't listen when they said my body didn't fit. This is who I am, the real me, Kate from Reading."
Hell yes, Kate from Reading. Hell yes.
This story originally appeared on Self.
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