Kate Winslet, who says her longtime battle of the bulge included being called “Blubber” in school, is giving the brushoff to allegations that photos of her in the December Vanity Fair were brushed up to slim her down.
Weight is one of the issues that the 33-year-old mother of two addresses in the interview and photo display in the magazine, which features her on the cover and is slated to hit the newsstands Nov. 11, according to Telegraph.co.uk.
But the British tabloids also are making an issue of possible retouching, a reprise of the brouhaha over photos in the British “GQ” in 2003 that eventually evoked an apology from the five-time Oscar-nominated British actress.
Her skin appears flawless, and her legs, svelte, in the cover photo, rekindling the doctoring discussion in the tabloids, including the Daily Telegraph, the print version of Telegraph.co.uk, and The Sun.
The Sun suggests on its front page that "that magic airbrush has been at work again" while the Daily Telegraph had a retouching expert to analyze the photos.
Although a spokesman for Vanity Fair acknowledged to the Telegraph that there had been "a minimal amount of retouching," her publicist countered that there merely had been some skin tone correction.
Winslet’s body was not “airbrushed at all,” the publicist said.
For her part, the star of “The Titanic” told Vanity Fair that schoolmates harassed her with taunts of “Blubber” for a nickname.
"I never had huge ambitions — never,” she said. “I was fat. I didn't know any fat famous actresses. I just did not see myself in that world at all, and I'm being very sincere. You know, once a fat kid, always a fat kid. Because you always think that you just look a little bit wrong or a little bit different from everyone else. And I still sort of have that."
But now, she says she’s no different than any other mother, although she acknowledged that few others would buy that suggestion.
"I know when I walk into that classroom in the morning, even if it's for a split second, at some point, I'm being checked out,” said Winslet, whose children are 8-year-old Mia and 5-year-old Joe.
Some of the other mothers “will even say to me, 'OK, what's the secret with the skin?' At which point I'm like, 'Oh my God, there's no secret. I have make-up on. And by the way, since I turned 30, I've had an acne problem on my chin. I'm just like everybody else — I just know how to cover it. If you'd like me to show you how, I'd be more than happy.’ "
Joann Craske, the digital retouching expert that the Daily Telegraph enlisted to analyze the photos, told the newspaper: "The first place to look is under the eyes, because whether you're 2 or 92, you have darkness there, and the pictures of Kate have none. There's certainly no sign of acne either. "It definitely looks like there has been a bit of work done."
One reason the issue is creating such a stir is that it is mindful of Winslet’s battle with “Vanity Fair” sister publication “GQ” over a cover shoot in 2003.
GQ slimmed her body and elongated her legs, prompting her to vent at that time: "I don't look like that and I don't desire to look like that. It wasn't that they simply retouched my image — they completely stretched it so I looked like I was 6 feet tall and a size 2."
Nonetheless, she apologized for those photos, saying, "I just didn't want people to think I was a hypocrite and that I'd suddenly lost 30 lbs. or whatever. So I just came out and said, 'Look, I don't look like that'. I'm not mad at the magazine, but I have no intention of looking like that.’ "
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