Penelope Cruz: you don’t have to be thin to be pretty

Mar. 07, 2010 - Hollywood, California, United States - Actress Penelope Cruz arrives at the 62nd Annual Academy Awards - the Oscars - on the red carpet in front of Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, USA on 03-07-2010 2010.K64865AM. © Red Carpet Pictures

Unlike her contemporaries, we don’t hear much from gorgeous Newlywed Penelope Cruz about her diet, exercise regime or how she keeps her bod so svelte. There may be a very good reason for that. You Magazine quotes her as saying that you don’t have to be thin to be pretty and that she would “close down all those teenage magazines that encourage young girls to diet.” (Please note that while these quotes are excellent and they sound legitimate, I could not verify on You Magazine’s website that she granted them an interview to go along with their cover story. All they have on their site is a general article about her under-the-radar marriage to Javier Bardem.)

She tells Britain’s You magazine, “I would close down all those teenage magazines that encourage young
girls to diet. Who says that to be pretty you have to be thin?

“Some people look better thin and some don’t. There is almost a standard being created where only thin is acceptable. The influence of those magazines on girls as young as 13 is horrific.”

The 36-year-old actress also says she’s determined to grow old “gracefully” like movie icons Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn, and that she’ll never play the Hollywood game of knocking a few years off her birth date.

“I never want to lie about my age,” she says. “If I look around at the actresses I admire, they are all women who have not fought growing older, but embraced it — women like Sophia Loren or Audrey Hepburn … It’s a good thing to be old, because that means you haven’t died yet right? And when I do get older, I want to have the grace to be proud of it, not to lie about it or try to fight it.

“The people who love me, love me for who I am. They love me for a mixture of things that makes anyone love another person, and those things will still be there when I am 40, 60 or 80.”

[From Wonderwall]

Actually the teen magazines and general media influence girls much younger than 13. It’s sad and disheartening. I hope that if Penelope said this she’ll repeat it in more interviews. We hear way too much about celebrity recommended diets and exercises and not enough reflection about how that influences fans, particularly young ones.

In related news about Ms. Cruz-Bardem, Johnny Depp has confirmed in a teaser trailer shown at Comic Con ( here) that Penelope is set to star in fourth Pirates movie with him, On Stranger Tides, and called her character “vicious and vivacious.” I hope that the next Pirates film isn’t as bloated and hard to follow as the last one. At least the stars are highly watchable.

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 23: Penelope Cruz attends the Palme d'Or Award Ceremony held at the Palais des Festivals during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2010 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Photo by: RE/Westcom/ 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 3/7/10 Penelope Cruz at the 82nd Academy Awards (Oscars). (Los Angeles, CA)

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 06: Actress Penelope Cruz attends a press conference for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar Nomination on March 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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46 Responses to “Penelope Cruz: you don’t have to be thin to be pretty”

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  1. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I have loved this woman since I first saw her on the Oscars years ago and everyone was like, “Who is this new chick?” I went and rented some of her Spanish language films right away. I think she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen (let alone in Hollywood) and admire that she’s never felt the need to be so damn skinny. She’s the top of my “Women I’d go gay for” list. :-D

  2. Isa says:

    I used to not understand her appeal, but as time has gone by I find her incredibly beautiful.

    I’m not sure if it’s the old, POS computer I’m stuck on right now but the audio was faster than the video.

  3. bellaluna says:

    Amen to that! And the sound is way off on that teaser.

  4. anon says:

    Except that like most actresses she uses smoking (aka cancer sticks) to help stay thin. I like her but please spare us the hypocritical statements.

  5. denise says:

    I always found Penelope exceptionally beautiful in her Pedro Almodovar movies. In American movies, not so much, and her accent is really distracting. But love, love ,love her in Pedro’s movies.

  6. carrie says:

    easy to say when you’re slim! but nice quote

  7. irishserra says:

    @Isa: Nope. It’s not your comp. I had the same problem – and I’m with you on the appeal of PC

  8. guesty says:

    she’s gorgeous for sure…but @ times her accent is soooo hard to listen to.

  9. Solveig says:

    Ok, I have loved this woman since Abre los ojos and in Almodóvar’s movies. She has unique features and amazing eyes, but she can’t say that Sophia Loren is growing old gracefully, considering the amount of plastic surgery La Loren has had. No need to say that Donna Sophia has amazing face and body to start off with.
    But I have to say that we are (people are) reaching the opposite edge of the “diet” issue, the tendency to criminalize (natural) skinny people is as harmful as making people believe that to be skinny is right on every level.

    Ps: can’t wait to see PotC 4!

  10. k says:

    @ anon: exactly my thought

  11. Scarlet Vixen says:

    @anon: not all actresses (or ‘regular folks’ for that matter) use smoking to stay thin. Maybe she just likes smoking? As someone who smoked on and off for years before suddenly realizing I hate them, sometimes people do it cuz they like them. Not to mention it’s pretty tough to smoke if you don’t like it, simply for the sake of staying thin.

    And, by Hollywood standards she’s not really thin. Girl’s got some meat on her bones–Hell, she practically looks fat by Hollywood standards in some pics!

  12. Oi says:

    I appreciate what she’s saying, and maybe I’m a being a bitch this morning, but we also have to do something about overweight/obesity. These things are also not OK.

  13. Fae says:

    Totally agree with the woman. I went to a female only grammar school and the level of utter panic as far as weight was concerned was horrendous.

    It strikes me as bizarre that the more we know about health, the less we seem inclined to pay attention. It’s sad that this is being passed on to younger generations, but something will eventually have to give.

  14. Lisa S. says:

    Amen Penelope. At least she looks HEALTHY. Thank goodness there are some actresses out there today that us girls can look up to- body image wise.

  15. annaloo says:

    what is this “at least you’re not dead” line coming from?….didn’t Cameron Diaz use that aging v death comparison in an interview a week ago— sort of dramatic, no?

    Hollywood actresses are so over the top…

    as usual: WHAT-EVERRRRR

  16. Isa says:

    That line comes from a saying. Something about not wanting to get older but the other option (death) is worse.

    I think.

  17. Cam says:

    She’s amazing and beautiful, thank you Penelope.

    Although I don’t think there’s something wrong with recommending a HEALTHY diet and some excercise, it’s (again) HEALTHY.

  18. Shawna says:

    To people who think Cruz is being hypocritical: she said that *some* people are better off not looking thin. I think what’s interesting is not that she’s being a JLove Hewitt (“I love myself as I am / I’d rather look like a model”); rather, she just thinks that her frame and face look good when she is thin.

    Think of all the starlets whose faces and upper chests look caved in, with bones protruding: those are people who naturally would look better with more poundage on. (Rene Zellweger, Nicole Kidman.) For people who still have non-skeletal faces when they’re a size 2, 0, or 00, good for you. Like Penelope: her face is filled out and lovely at this weight; it’s healthy for her. It’s why we think Drew Barrymore is cuter when she’s a size 6.

    I’ve been a size 2 and hated it. I thought my cheeks look caved in, my ribs looked like I was a refugee, and my back looked sharp and prickly. Now I’m back to my size 6 and I look prettier.

  19. jc126 says:

    I can’t blame actresses for wanting to stay REALLY thin. Not just because the camera adds weight, but they’re onscreen next to other really skinny people, and would look big by comparison. And no one wants that – I don’t believe anyone is comfortable with being the biggest person in the room.

  20. kiko says:

    the title of the movie is:”on stranger tides”????really???i mean REALLY??

  21. SammyHammy says:

    “sometimes people do it cuz they like them”

    Yeah, they “like” them because they are addicted to them. Why else would anyone want to go around smelling bad, wasting money, having bad breath and being a social outcast in many areas?

    (spoken as a smoker of 25 years that quit almost 3 years ago)

  22. TQB says:

    Well, I like that she said what she said, but I have to agree with all the folks calling her out on the smoking. Maybe she doesn’t smoke for the specific reason of staying skinny, but anyone who has quit must acknowledge the tendency to replace the cigs with food. I’d love to hear her say that hey, not only does everyone not look good in skeletal form, but it’s important to be healthy, no matter what your shape. A skinny smoker is not healthy.

  23. Coop says:

    She’s a despicable Roman Polanski supporter. She’s also a boring actress. Either way, her movies are boycotted.

  24. Fae says:

    TQB: ‘but anyone who has quit must acknowledge the tendency to replace the cigs with food’

    However there are very few smokers who do the reverse.

  25. CH says:

    hello from Spain!
    my first comment!
    anyways, Penelope has changed a lot since she started
    she was famous in Spain from the beggining, when she was a naive bombshell
    she´s not the kind of actress that it always perfect in any role
    and she does not always look good on pictures
    but she´s strikingly beautiful in real life, she´s very polite and extremely hard working
    i think because she knows she´s not naturally talented she is very perfectionist
    and i would say she doesn´t smoke
    and she ´s very thin, but you are right she doesn´t look that thin in pictures, wich makes me wonder how very thin are the women that look thin in pictures.
    I´m almost sure that when she´ll be forty or so, Penelope will leave USA and make mostly films in Spain
    she cannot fight against her accent but she would have never been able to make films like Pirates4 or Nine in Spain, or work with Woody Allen, so i guess all the efforts she put on going to USA where she was a nobody, being so famous in Spain, were worth it
    although she had to pay some prices
    like being typecasted, dating Tom Cruise …

  26. lrm says:

    She’s Spanish-they smoke socially….not necessarily addicted, and yes, many europeans smoke socially like they drink a glass of wine, b/c ‘they like it’. There is a middle ground with those ‘things’-even though i hate ‘em-ick-always have!
    but i’m not european.

    anyway, there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to be fit, healthy and youthful, even into your 90′s and beyond. the human body was absolutely designed to live at least 150 yrs, and we eat things that are nto really ‘food’ and drink things that are essentially poison. the human body is made of the same compenents [minerals, etc] that the earth is made of-only makes sense that eating food grown of the earth, not synthetically producted out of earth materials, would assist one in being healthy, fit and feeling good…

    so, age gracefully or death?
    what a ridiculous comparison-
    there are other choices!

    Penelope cruz=meh, to me.

  27. Mrs Odie 2 says:

    I hate when skinny people tell me I don’t have to be skinny. Shut up, skinny bitch.

  28. Jeri says:

    Penelope is beautiful. Glad she got smart about Tom C.

    Agree Sophia has had much plastic surgery.

    I smoked many years & I did not start or continue as a diet aid. I quit but that had nothing to do with diet either.

  29. Ellie says:

    while i love penelope, i wish she had picked better role models. audrey hepburn is probably the most famous anorexic and sophia loren has had boat loads of plastic surgery.

    hate to nitpick, but although i find her comments right on, this one stuck in my craw

  30. Mistral says:

    That was funny Mrs Odie 2. :D

    Penelope is really pretty, and her sister is even prettier. I like her in Spanish movies, but I find her accent grating.

    And it is so true about skinny versus plump—some people look better with less meat on the bones, and some people look way better with the extra cushion. I guess it depends on the individual.

  31. benny says:

    “The influence of those magazines on girls as young as 13 is horrific”

    It’s funny (and not in the ha-ha way) that she thinks magazines are harming 13-year old girls, and yet she turns around and defends a man who drugged, raped, and sodomized a 13-year old girl. She would “close down” magazines, yet she doesn’t want Polanski to serve his deserved jail time? Why the HELL would anyone listen to this woman?

  32. Terry says:

    Oooh, deep. So it’s “horrific” to have 13-year-olds dieting but just peachy when they’re drugged, raped, sodomized, held captive, and globally humiliated. Gotcha, Penny.

  33. Beck says:

    She looks like she’s had a fair amount of plastic surgery already. She thinks she’s so insightful giving this regurgitated speech all actresses approaching 40 deliver. It’s like they pass it from one to the other. Actresses need to either tell the truth about plastic surgery, or STFU and say nothing. They should also stop being such sheep and demand equal scrutiny of their male counterparts. She is incredibly pedestrian and stupid, but she has a foreign accent so maybe it seems like she’s saying something new. No matter what, she’ll always be a Roman Polanski apologist.

  34. viper says:

    Wow, she is STUPID.

  35. nona says:

    It’s so funny when celebrities start to preach about physical self-confidance and inner beauty and blah,blah…

    All this while they spend tons of money on stylists, PR agents and clothes that cost the same as a small house.

    “No need to be thin to be pretty” she says

    What about “There is no need to be pretty AT ALL”?? Be smart, well read and honest instead.
    That would be a better advice for fat young girls who are huge but, according to P. Cruz, they still need to prove they can be pretty as anybody else.

  36. becca says:

    *frowns* Wait a sec….I heard from somewhere that she endorsed a strict juice diet. Hey Cruz, is this true? Because if it is, you’re an absolute hypocrite.

    Thanks to that person who reminded me a few posts up that she signed that effin petition supporting Polanski.

    Oh, and the audio doesn’t match the video in general. It’s the youtube vid. Here’s a better link:

  37. Stephy2185 says:

    Spot on, my friend!

    And I’m pretty sure it’s Hollywood (which influences society) that says you have to be thin to be pretty.

  38. mojoman says:

    IMO, she has a weird, squishy face. I was “meh” about her but after finding out she supports Polanski, I know she will be in my blacklist book along with Natalie Portman.

  39. Missfit says:

    comment 36 nona said it best! I agree. ;)

  40. Kelly says:

    I dont think you could call her thin. I think she looks relatively healthy and non-starvy. She seems naturally petite to me.

    Many of her spreads are heavily p-shopped to ‘deal’ with her thighs and hips etc; clearly she is too ‘fat’ for many editors but why am I not surprised?

    God, when are people going to grow out of this stupid misogynistic obsession with weight? BORED WITH IT!

  41. Raven says:

    CH, what do you think of her marriage to Javier Bardem? Do you think it will be easier for her to return to Spain to live because her husband is also from Spain?

  42. WYIJM says:

    I don’t know the British YOU magazine from which this quote is supposed to come, but the provided link is for the South African YOU magazine.

  43. bee number 2 says:

    i’m also from Spain, so I’m pretty tired of her.
    We haven’t many actors that cross the ocean to Hollywood, mainly because most are terrible actors and can’t speak any english. Anyway, I like her more now she’s not here, but that’s just me, i find spanish films to be tacky and repetitive.
    On smoking, you have to realise that we are years behind you in that matter. None of my friends smoke but years ago everyone did, and some people find it harder to quit. Thank god now there’s a law that bans smoking in closed spaces…

    @Raven: Pe (please don’t say Pene, it means penis in spanish) and Javier Bardem are the most famous actors of our country, everyone knows who they are so they can’t posibly go unnoticed here

  44. CH says:

    i think they make a nice couple
    they had an affair a long time ago
    i´m pretty sure they will root in spain
    although the spanish paparazzi pressure is very heavy, and both of them hate it.
    They have really strong ties with their families and friends.
    Penelope has already said that she wants to work in fewer films
    and she´s reaching that age when the clock is ticking very fast if you want to have babies.
    Believe me, Penelope is a really nice and polite lady. Javier Bardem is kind of rude and exudes sexuality.
    As for the Polanski thing, maybe she was convinced by somebody to sign up, you never know. She has done some dumb things before, like being against bullfighting and then making a movie about a bullfighter and having to deny everything she said. But hey, everybody says stupid things sometimes, the difference is we dont have a mic recording. She should be more careful with her statements.

  45. kate217 says:

    this coming from a thin woman? Who cares.