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Kate Winslet has revealed that she was was bullied at school when she was younger.
Speaking during to an audience of 12,000 children at the We Day U.K. charity event at Wembley Arena, Oscar winner Kate admitted that her peers had taunted her with cruel nicknames and played nasty pranks on her.
‘I had been bullied at school,’ she said. ‘They called me Blubber. Teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard. Laughed at me. I wasn’t the prettiest.’
She went on to explain that criticism about her appearance had occured throughout the early stages of her career, adding: ‘I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts. [Casting agents] would say, “You’re just not what we’re looking for Kate.” I’d hear that a lot.’
Kate, 41, used her story to tell the children not to give up on their aspirations, and to maintain self esteem in the face of adversity.
‘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.’
‘One day, I was cast as Rose in Titanic. The most unlikely candidate — Kate from the sandwich shop in Reading — suddenly acting in one of the biggest movies ever made! You can be from anywhere and you can do anything, believe it. It is possible to overcome your fears.’
‘I learned to embrace my flaws, to make no apology for who I am. 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.’
Kate has always been an outspoken advocate of body confidence, after feeling like she never had any ‘positive reinforcement’ in her own early years.
‘When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life,’ she said in 2015. ‘I only heard negatives. That’s very damaging, because then you’re programmed as a young woman to immediately scrutinize yourself and how you look.’
‘I stand in front of the mirror and say to [Kate’s daughter] Mia, “We are so lucky we have a shape. We’re so lucky we’re curvy. We’re so lucky we’ve got good bums,”‘ she continued. ‘And she’ll say, “Mummy, I know, thank God.”‘