In a new interview, the 'Oppenheimer' actress referenced the controversy over her wearing a pink Valentino dress in 2022
In a new interview in ELLE, for which she is also featured on the cover of the magazine’s October issue, the Oppenheimer star, 27, spoke with actress Jodie Turner-Smith about her candid reaction to people scrutinizing her physical appearance.
“I speak the way I do about my body because I’m not trying to hide the cellulite on my thigh or the squidge in between my arm and my boob: I would much rather lay it all out. I think the scariest thing for me are the instances where people have been upset that I’ve shown ‘too much’ of myself.
“When everything went down with the Valentino pink dress a year ago, my nipples were on display through a piece of fabric, and it really wound people up,” she continued in the interview. “It’s the freedom that people are scared of; the fact I’m comfortable and happy. Keeping women down by commenting on their bodies has worked for a very long time. I think we’re in this swing now where lots of people are saying, ‘I don’t give a s---.’
“Unfortunately, we’ve become so terrified of the human body that we can’t even look at my two little cute nipples behind fabric in a way that isn’t sexual. We need to keep reminding everybody that there is more than one reason for women’s bodies [to exist].”
In July 2022, Pugh, stepped out wearing the Barbie-pink gown at Valentino's haute couture show in Rome. In an Instagram post that featured a photograph of her donning the dress, she captioned: “Technically they’re covered?...Feeling magical in @maisonvalentino 🌸.”
In another Instagram post shortly after, she said that she knew wearing the Valentino dress would draw a reaction, writing: “Whether it be negative or positive, we all knew what we were doing. I was excited to wear it, not a wink of me was nervous. I wasn’t before, during or even now after.
“What’s been interesting to watch and witness,” she continued, “is just how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for everyone to see. You even do it with your job titles and work emails in your bio..?”
Towards the end of her post, Pugh wrote: “Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans. Life will get a whole lot easier, I promise. And all because of two cute little nipples….”
The Little Women star also took to the media to address the controversy, beginning with an interview with Harper’s Bazaar’s Icon Issue from August 2022. "I was comfortable with my small breasts," she told the magazine. "And showing them like that — it aggravated [people] that I was comfortable."
And in an interview earlier this year for Vogue’s winter issue, she appeared defiant to the scrutiny. “I’ve never been scared of what’s underneath the fabric,” Pugh said. “If I’m happy in it, then I’m gonna wear it. Of course, I don’t want to offend people, but I think my point is: How can my nipples offend you that much?”
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In April, it was revealed that Pugh was named Valentino’s brand ambassador.
"As you can see. I'm pretty shocked and ecstatic to announce that my @maisonvalentino campaign is here,” she captioned the Instagram announcement. “Truly an honor to continue creating art with my family at Valentino. Working with talented people is one thing, but to work with talented people who are great friends feeds the soul! And this campaign truly did feed the soul. Thank you for letting me be me."
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