Kate Winslet is at her prime — and she isn't afraid to let the world know.
In a recent interview with the BBC’s Woman’s Hour, the Oscar-winning actress, 47, offered a strong message to women about embracing their power.
"I have arthritis in my big toe and my left foot swells up in the heat," she quipped. "I’m 47, you know, there are bits that don’t do what you want them to do anymore. And there’s something that’s kind of fab about going, ‘Oh well, that’s just the way it is, isn’t it?’”
“I think women come into their 40s — certainly mid-40s— and think, Oh, this is the beginning of the decline," she continued. "Things start to change and fade in directions that I don’t want them to go in anymore. But I’ve decided: no. We become more woman, more powerful, more sexy. We grow into ourselves more. We have opportunities to speak our mind and not be afraid of what people think of us. Not care what we look like so much. I think it's amazing."
The star ended with a call to action for other women: "Let’s go girls! Let’s just be in our power. Why not? Life is just too flipping short."
The mother of three also gave advice on how to parent kids in today's toxic social media culture.
Winslet shares son Bear, 9, with her husband Edward Abel Smith; son Joe, 18, with her second husband director Sam Mendes; and daughter, actress Mia Threapleton, 22, with her first husband Jim Threapleton.
"I don’t have some magic formula," she explained of shielding her kids from toxic online culture. "But it is possible to just say no. My children don’t have social media and haven’t had social media. There are many fake accounts for myself and also my children, weirdly, so I’m told."
For other concerned parents, Winslet advises simply: "Don’t let your children have a phone if they are too young to know what to do with it."
"It is possible to just say, 'No. You can't have it,'" she said. "'I want you to enjoy your life. I want you to be a child. I want you to look at clouds and not photograph them and post them on your Instagram page — and then decide whether or not the clouds were worth looking at because someone out there thought they were rubbish.'"
Elaborating more on the topic, Winslet says social media addiction is like "tampering with a very basic level of self-esteem, but on a bigger and darker scale."
"It is tampering with young people’s self-esteem to the extent that they are completely losing a sense of who they are," she said. "They don’t know how to communicate with not just their friends, but their families, and it’s making them depressed. It’s obviously a huge problem."
Winslet has raised such concerns in the past, especially recently, as she acts alongside her daughter in the British TV drama I Am Ruth.
Earlier this month, Winslet told the Sunday Times that because her body was under constant scrutiny by the press as a young actress, she's afraid Mia will be subjected to similar criticism.
“It was hard enough having the flipping News of the World on my doorstep, but that doesn’t even cut it now,” she says, referencing the British tabloid. “That phrase about ‘today’s news being tomorrow’s fish-and-chip paper’ doesn’t exist. The thing you did when you were drunk or foolish? It may come back to haunt you. Needing to be on one’s guard for young actors is just a different thing. It must be extraordinarily hard.”
Art seems to be mirroring life in I Am Ruth, which sees Winslet and Threapleton playing mother and daughter, exploring how such pressures have toxic consequences for teens and their self-image.
"Mia and I absolutely had in real life some of those conversations in I Am Ruth,” she said. “But so have most of the mothers that I know with their teenagers. Friends have gone through white-knuckle living hell and these days, as an actor, I endeavor to find roles that shed light on topics that are difficult to talk about. This was one.”
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