Back in August Keira Knightley posed topless for Interview magazine, and insisted on the image being 100% retouch-free. This move would likely be called daring, in a confident and sexy way, for a woman more generously endowed on the boob front, but for someone of Keira's proportions, I call it brave. I call it brave because Keira does not fit the stereotypical ideal of a woman's figure. More so, I call it brave because Keira and I have almost exactly the same body shape and this is something I could never image doing.
First of all, here's the picture in question --
The primary reason I personally can't imagine doing this, is because my small chest was the bane of my existence growing up, and continues to be something I really struggle to embrace. I realise there are a lot of perks (ha - pun actually intended here, terrible) of having small breasts. I also realise that I have been very lucky in my genetic make up in a lot of others ways (height, for example, which I see as a blessing). Everyone has something they wish they could change about themselves though, and this is mine.
It's funny actually - at a girls' trip away this past weekend, I got chatting to my amigas about that one thing we would all change if we could. One said teeth, and is in the process of getting these straightened the way she wishes they were naturally. One said tummy, which is something she has the ability to change and is planning on doing. Exercise, here we come!
When it comes to boobs though, we get what we're given. There is one way to change this, but not without looking - in my opinion - absolutely f**king ridiculous. Whenever people put the implant idea to me, I say I don't want fake breasts, I want real ones. As it is, Mother Nature decided to deny me that attribute, so I'm stuck with what I got.
The only alternative to naturally small boobs... no thanks.
Knightley has recently opened up about the photo, and said:
I've had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it's paparazzi photographers or for film posters.
Yeah, tell me about it... have a look at the retouching that was done on her chest in the official poster for KING ARTHUR a few years back.
The thing about breasts is they are arguably the most recognisable aspect of a woman. They are the one feature that most prominently marks the difference between genders at a glance, and they are one of the things considered most attractive and most "womanly" about the female body. Woman have curves where men do not. So, if a woman in Hollywood is lacking in the usual curvy places, they make up for it with Photoshop. Keira went on to say,
I think women's bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame. Our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape.
Keira undoubtedly has a very particular body shape. She is extremely thin to the point that people criticise and assume she is anorexic. Again this is something we have in common. Fun fact: Before departing on a high school exchange, the organisation I was going with requested I write a statement confirming I wasn't suffering from an eating disorder. As if writing it would make it so for someone that was actually going through that. Bah.
What I love about what Keira said is the fairness of it. She is not saying her body shape is ideal. She is not saying power to the skinny people. She is not glorifying any one shape while side-lining or degrading another the way so many songs have been doing lately in mass media (Think All About That Base, Big Booty or Anaconda).
She is saying there is a variety of shapes and it's OK. Let's not meddle with those, and change those, and lie about those. Let's just depict what we are and stop putting this insane pressure on women to look a certain way that for many people, is 100% unachievable, and unhealthy to strive for.
I came across this photo and these comments of Knightley's earlier today. Serendipitous timing. Almost exactly after reading about it, I saw images of the new photo shoot Kim Kardashian did for Paper Magazine that came out today. If you haven't already seen the cover image --
Everyone knows this girl has a booty. Probably the most famous of all booties worldwide, actually. Power to her - why not flaunt what you've got. What I hate about this image is her waist. Kim has a natural hourglass figure. She is a curvy girl, she is not a skinny girl, but in this photo she is trying to be both. I mean for goodness sake, physically speaking the women is practically a goddess. This is what she looks like normally –
She has curves I think most women would kill for, and she looks incredible when she's not really trying. Why does someone that looks like this need to be altered on a computer screen to look like something else? Why isn't it OK to publish truthful photos of women, and embrace body types large and small, but at the end of the day, natural?
This is the issue Keira pinpoints, and this is one of the many things I love her for. I know... rather than talking about Keira's Knightley's body shape, let's talk about how has one of the most incredible faces in Hollywood and is considered beautiful by both men and women. Let's talk about how she's an incredible actress. Let's stop focusing on women's bodies, and start focusing on the stuff of greater importance - the things women deserve to be judged on - talent, ideas, attitudes, decisions, beliefs. In this respect sadly, Kimmy K sadly falls drastically short.
Rather than talking about the fact she's skinny and has a small chest, let's talk about the fact that Keira has one of the most ridiculously beautiful faces ever. Let's talk about the fact that she's an incredible actress.
Just to finish off, and for anyone else out there who may wish as I do that the universe has given you better physical assets, here are three of the most beautiful, talented and influential Hollywood stars who are rocking an A Cup, making me happier bit by bit with my own body shape.
I cannot explain how awesome it is to see women embracing and looking so fabulous with the feature that makes me personally so self conscious. Just by having images like these in the media is such a relief after seeing photo after photo of Photoshopped perfection. To see women owning their body type rather than having it chipped and changed does wonders for confidence. The sooner we give Photoshop a rest, the better for us all!