If you’ve been tracking the start of Keira Knightley‘s ‘Anna Karenina’ PR blast, you’re probably really confused. First, she told Huffington Post that she thinks Hollywood underserves women; then she told Allure everything you never wanted to know about her small breasts. She’s trotting out some pretty standard topics when it comes to empowering women in her industry–photoshop, the lack of female lead roles–but I have to say: Keira, you’re doing it wrong.
When she talked to Huffington Post, she talked a lot about her role in Anna Karenina, and how she’s been able to work so much while remaining “picky” about her roles:
[...]yes, it is frustrating. But given that I’m not producing and not directing I don’t really have a right to complain. I think it is very difficult to find really interesting roles and there are very few, so I feel incredibly fortunate that this is one [I got to play]. I think, in general, the female audience is a massive one, and actually it’s one that’s rarely really tapped into. Everybody is after that very famous and rather elusive demographic of men, age 18-24. Well, actually, I’m not in that demographic and I want to see women who are complex and strange and people who I can relate to and be terrified of and want to be and all the rest of it. So, I guess, as an actor, that’s what I’m looking for: those people that interest me the most.
Confused? I was. But not as confused as when I read her Allure interview. Called “Keira Knightley Gets Something Off Her Chest,” the article–which is basically just a bunch of photos of Knightley(‘s boobs), with running commentary–really is all about Keira Knightley’s chest It goes as follows:
Allure editor says: “We didn’t do any surgery to Keira Knightley’s breasts—neither with a scalpel nor a retoucher.”
They always pencil in my boobs. I was only angry when they were really, really droopy. For King Arthur, for a poster, they gave me these strange droopy tits. A) I don’t have tits anyway, and B) they digitally made them, and I thought, Whoaaaaa! It’s my face on that poster. I thought, Well, if you’re going to make me fantasy breasts, at least make perky breasts.
Then Knightley explains why her boobs don’t look like they used to:
My back grew after that, and my tits disappeared. Isn’t that annoying? When you get to 17, you think, Great! I’ve got tits! This is fantastic! And then all of a sudden you grow, and they disappear.
And why she wouldn’t wear cleavage-revealing dresses like she used to:
I certainly wouldn’t wear anything like that now. I think that’s common with all young women where they suddenly find their sexuality—and they suddenly go, ‘Whoa!’
Sex scenes in films—I’m quite rigorous about what gets exposed…. No bottom half! I don’t mind exposing my tits because they’re so small—people really aren’t that interested!
According to other sites, the print edition of her interview is meatier, and includes some juicy lines about feminism:
I am a feminist, but I clearly objectify myself—so that right there is a total contradiction to feminist principles.
I don’t even know if Knightley was sober for that one, but I’ll grant her that, indeed, being a feminist in Hollywood must be terribly confusing. But centering an entire interview around your body doesn’t seem like a great first step towards empowering yourself or other women.
Unfortunately, she’s not the only one doing it. Les Miserables’ PR strategy seems to revolve primarily around discussing Anne Hathaway‘s 25-pound weight loss for her role as Fantine, and Hathaway’s other big role of 2012–as Catwoman–was mostly discussed in terms of what she had to eat and do to her body in order to wear the requisite body-conscious rubber costume. And let’s not forget all the hype around Black Swan last year, which involve the drastic weight loss of not one, but two leading ladies.
Film critics are already starting to wonder where leading actresses disappeared to in 2012. Apparently, they all got lost in a rabbit hole of losing weight and talking about their bodies. I’d rather have them back onscreen.