Skip to main content

Kate Winslet is one of the most successful actors of our time. Yet despite how far she’s come, she had a rough childhood filled with bullies and naysayers. Winslet was repeatedly told that she’d never make it as a Hollywood star due to her size. (As a child, Winslet claims she was a lot heavier.)

Because of her unconventional beauty, the students at school laughed at Winslet for dreaming of one day walking the red carpet. But luckily, she refused to let all the negativity get to her and instead fought hard to achieve her dreams.

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet | Mike Marsland / Contributor

Kate Winslet was told that she would only get ‘fat girl’ parts in movies

When Winslet was just a teenager, she was told by her drama teacher that she’d never make it in Hollywood unless she was willing to play “fat girl” roles. In an interview with The Guardian, Winslet opened up about the experience.

“When I was younger, when I was 14, I was told by a drama teacher that I might do OK if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts,” she said. “So what I always feel in these moments is that any young woman who has ever been put down by a teacher, by a friend, by even a parent, just don’t listen to any of it. Because that’s what I did – I kept on going, and I overcame my fears and got over my insecurities.”

Kate Winslet was shamed for her weight and for wanting to become an actor

According to Winslet, she was severely bullied as a child. The other kids would laugh at her, not only because she was overweight but also because she dreamed of one day being an Oscar-winning actor. And apparently, they tried to steal her shine by locking her in a cupboard.

“I had been bullied at school,” Winslet told a U.K. charity event (Via Vanity Fair.) “They called me Blubber. Teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard. Laughed at me.”
But fortunately, Winslet refused to let the bullies get to her. Instead, she used their cruelty as a motivator to fight harder for her dreams. Being an actor was her greatest passion, and she wasn’t about to give that up just because she was told she didn’t “look” the part.

Kate Winslet refuses to apologize for who she is


Leonardo Dicaprio Walked Kate Winslet Down the Aisle at Her Wedding

As time passed, Winslet was able to find confidence. Now she is totally comfortable in her own skin, and she loves to show off the “real” Kate.
“I learned to embrace my flaws, to make no apology for who I am,” she announced. “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.”

Now, as a mother, Winslet makes sure to use positive reinforcement when it comes to her body (as well as her daughter’s.)

According to Marie Claire, Winslet said, ‘When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life. I only heard negatives. That’s very damaging because then you’re programmed as a young woman to scrutinize yourself and how you look. I was chubby, always had big feet the wrong shoes, bad hair.'”

But with her daughter, she makes sure only to leave positive comments:

“I stand in front of the mirror and say to [my daughter] Mia, ‘We are so lucky we have a shape. We’re so lucky we’re curvy. We’re so lucky that we’ve got good bums.’ And she’ll say, ‘Mummy, I know, thank God.’ It’s paying off.”