Actress Amandla Stenberg is tired of hearing her breasts are too big to appear on camera.
The Hunger Games star has only made eight films since the launch of her career in 2011, and she can’t believe how often her body has been criticised on set in her seven-year career.
“Being in entertainment can be hard,” the 19-year-old tells Seventeen magazine. “If you were to meet actors in real life, you’d probably be surprised at how tiny they are.
“I’m not a hella-skinny person – I’m petite, but I’m low-key slim-thick – and I’ve had people put pressure on me to lose weight or oversexualise my body, because it doesn’t look infantile.
“People often say my boobs are too big. There have been several moments when I was filming a scene and someone came over with a small sports bra and said, ‘Put this on real quick. Your boobs look too big on camera!’ You’re conceived of as ‘too much’ if you have, like, thighs. It’s ridiculous!
“I try to only work in spaces now that make me feel comfortable. It’s challenging, but I’d rather be healthy and happy and love my body.”
Amandla is of mixed African-American and Danish heritage and beauty standards involving her ethnic background have also proven to be a challenge for her to navigate, with the star admitting it took her years to embrace her natural beauty.
“I’ve had to unlearn a lot, and I’m still unlearning things. I hated my hair growing up – I thought it was ugly. By the time I got to high school, I was using a relaxer (to make it straight),” she shares. “But when I was 16, I chopped off all the dead hair and started wearing it natural, and I realised that it was so beautiful and cool and versatile! Anti-black beauty standards are so pervasive.
“Fighting that requires constant unpacking and positive self-messaging, so of course I still have my moments when I feel insecure. But in those moments, I’m always (inspired) by the fact that being black is just so poppin’ (cool). The perspective, the culture, the family, the food… I love everything about being black.”
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