Alicia Silverstone Recalls ‘Hurtful’ Body Shaming After Starring In Batman And Robin
Alicia Silverstone has spoken out about the cruel and ‘hurtful’ body shaming she was subjected to after taking up the role of Batgirl in Batman & Robin (1997).
Silverstone was just 20 years old when she appeared in the critically-panned comic book movie, an age when most people haven’t yet overcome the painful self-consciousness of their teenage years.
However, unlike other girls in their early twenties, Silverstone, now 43, was working in an industry where her body was seen as fair game for public discussion and tabloid jokes.
Having skyrocketed to fame with the enduringly brilliant Jane Austen adaptation Clueless, it was clear Silverstone had the talent and pitch-perfect comic timing to take on Hollywood. However, not all her early experiences behind the camera were positive ones.
Speaking with The Guardian ahead of the release of her new movie Bad Therapy, Silverstone opened up about what it felt like when the paparazzi referred to her as ‘Fatgirl’:
That definitely wasn’t my favourite film-making experience.
[…] They would make fun of my body when I was younger. It was hurtful but I knew they were wrong. I wasn’t confused. I knew that it was not right to make fun of someone’s body shape, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to be doing to a human.
Silverstone went on to discuss about some of the more uncomfortable moments during her early years in the acting business, including an incident when a journalist asked about her bra size during an interview.
Reflecting upon what she learned during this time, Silverstone continued:
There were working circumstances that were less than favourable in terms of how things went down. And no, I didn’t say ‘f*ck you’ and come out like a warrior, but I would just walk away and go, OK I know what that is and I’m done, I’m not going near that again.
In 1998, Silverstone was awarded a Worst Supporting Actress Razzie for her portrayal of Batgirl, with Batman & Robin sitting at an abysmal 11% on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, Silverstone was able to think of some things she liked about the widely-despised flop during a separate interview with Collider:
I mean, I loved all my scenes with Michael Gough. Michael Gough is a dream and I just love that man so much. So, you know, just being with him was incredible and lovely.
[…] I’m trying to think what else I’d be proud of. I mean, I like it when I get to do the fighting scenes with Uma Thurman. That’s fun.
Silverstone went on to admit she would like to try out the part again, this time as a woman rather than a young girl, remarking, ‘I think it would be much better now’.
Having fallen out of love with acting for a while, Silverstone’s passion was reportedly reignited after acting in a David Mamet play. Nowadays, she tends to act in indie films rather than big budget blockbusters, preferring to stay out of the A-list spotlight.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
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