By Lynsey Eidell. Photos: Getty Images.
Kate Winslet is famously confident (and rightfully so)—embracing her "natural beauty" and aging while rejecting plastic surgery and Photoshop—but the Oscar-winning actress is revealing that she wasn't always so self-assured. In fact, Winslet is opening up about being bullied as a child for her weight and appearance—an experience she describes as "horrendous."
At the fourth annual WE Day U.K. event, Winslet, 41, spoke candidly about the childhood bullies she faced from a very young age. "I was always comparing myself to others," she said, 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 the 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 Glamour.
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