Brie Larson: ‘I don’t believe that there is a beauty standard’

Brie Larson at arrivals for The 92nd Aca...

Brie Larson has an interview in W Magazine which is just flat-out spon-con for her new beauty contract with Decorte, a Japanese beauty brand. I don’t really find the spon-con of it all that interesting, but I realize that it’s a multi-billion-dollar global industry, so if you care about which Decorte beauty products she uses, you can read all about it here. I found the other stuff more interesting, where she talks about this strange pandemic year and whether or not there are beauty standards. Some highlights:

Pandemic life: “In the beginning of the pandemic, it was very easy for me to just work and work through the weekends. Now, I’ve started winding down once the sun starts to set. The sunset has become a cue to myself to say, ‘Hey it’s time to wrap things up. I’m not going to keep looking at the news, or keep responding to e-mails—I am going to use this time to wind down.”

Nighttime routines, self-care: “It is nerve-wracking. I’ve had to learn how to place more boundaries with work and my self-care. It just feels like everything can be so out of whack. As I mentioned, I have started winding down once the sun starts to set. It’s also my cue to start cooking dinner, go into the garden—that’s how it starts. I’ve been burning frankincense in the house too, because it not only smells great, but it’s great for cleansing the air in the house; it’s anti-microbial. I’ve also been trying to watch a movie every night.

She meditates too: “Sometimes I’ll do some breathing exercises, or I’ll meditate if I’ve had a particularly stressful day. For me, it’s about what can I do that is transitional out of work into decompressing time, because when you’re at home all day I feel it’s very easy to let everything stick and hang on to you. It’s about knowing what’s the routine and what’s the ritual to get out of that.

Even 10 minutes of self-care helps: “Or even a couple of minutes can help! The thing that I’m learning is that even just washing my face, putting on moisturizer, and doing five minutes of breathing exercises can help. I mean, we’re talking about 10 minutes. Before I used to be like, “I don’t have time for self-care.” It doesn’t take as long as we think it does. You can do longer forms—of course, I am a big fan of that—but even for people who feel they are too busy, you can take 10 minutes to do great things for the mind and body.

What she would say to young women having a hard time trying to keep up with standards of beauty: “I don’t believe that there is a beauty standard. I struggled with feeling ugly and like an outcast for so much of my life. And so I really, really feel for that. It took me a long time to be able to be totally comfortable with myself. The thing that has brought me solace is knowing that I can be whoever I want to be with myself. What breaks my heart is to think of people in the world who don’t feel that they have safety within their own bodies. That, to me, is my ultimate goal in life: to do whatever it is that I can so people have the freedom to express themselves and be exactly who it is that they want to be—whatever that is—knowing that that can also change.

[From W Magazine]

Before this interview, I would have said that Brie is probably one of the wokest white celebrities out there, and that she often raises good points in interviews and she uses her privilege for good. But that answer about beauty standards was as tone-deaf as they come! You have brown and black women across the board saying that they feel marginalized by Western beauty standards and Brie saunters along and shrugs, “That problem doesn’t exist, because even I, an attractive white woman, felt ugly once!” Yikes.

As for what she says about self-care… I mean, she’s right, but I also think “self care” as a thing/brand/idea is getting a bit too… general or something? At this point, we’re just saying that taking a shower or watching TV is “self-care.”

Brie Larson attends The 92nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals in Los Angeles

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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58 Responses to “Brie Larson: ‘I don’t believe that there is a beauty standard’”

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  1. Tiff says:

    “I don’t think there is a beauty standard” says blonde white woman

    • Seraphina says:

      Add: who is 31.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      I love that her message is we all feel uncomfortable and awkward, but building our self confidence and self acceptance makes us beautiful. Or at least I think that’s her message.

      Unfortunately it’s being delivered by a white, blonde movie star shelling beauty products.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Only someone who looks like her could say this.

    • Coco says:

      “I don’t believe awards matter,” says Academy Award-winning movie star.

    • Lemons says:

      It’s the same “I don’t see color.” sentiment that sounds nice, but is inevitably said by someone who will never be affected themselves.

      • Susan says:

        Lemons, your reply is PERFECTION. yes, it’s easy to not “see color,” or “beauty standards,” when you are white and beautiful. And previous posters are correct…I remember her on the United States of Tara, she weighed more, had a different nose and smaller boobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with personal augmentation and work, but maybe it would have been better to say, “I think we as a society need to REJECT standards of beauty, as I too have fallen prey to them.”

  2. SheaButterBaby says:

    This is an amazing statement coming from someone who is literally the western standard of beauty. Bye Brie.

  3. Abby says:

    How nice that she can decide the beauty standard doesn’t exist as she sits there in her blonde whiteness that apparently took years to be “totally comfortable” with? And so funny how she found “solace” that she realized she could be whatever she wanted to be and so she settled into her white, thin, perfect bodyness, I guess?

    I can’t stand this whole interview. A) she’s sooooo bizzy she just has to stop herself from work work working (how many people are out of jobs?) B) it’s so goopy to be talking about going into ‘the garden’ and burning frankinscence as the sun goes down while she cooks and moisturizes.

    • Amy Too says:

      The part where she describes the “work” that she apparently can’t stop doing as watching the news and checking emails? Seriously? That’s her “work”?

      • Susan says:

        Doesn’t her agent book the car commercials? Ha!!

      • Granger says:

        I laughed at that too. I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume that she was just lumping watching news into her list of things she stops doing when the sun sets–along with work. But based on her insane beauty standard comments, I’m thinking she’s living in la-la-land.

  4. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    Here’s a beauty criticism of her: Her foot is too big for that shoe.

    And that’s all I’ve got. By western beauty standards extremely beautiful woman whining about feeling ugly in her adolescence? Girl!

    • Aphra says:

      Remember the book “A Wrinkle in Time”? It said something about how truly beautiful adults are often gawky or “ugly” teens.

      • Nanny to the Rescue says:

        Most people feel awkward/ugly and have (at least sometimes) low self esteem in their puberty and adolescence. It just comes with the territory.

      • Seán says:

        But Larson’s been in the public eye since she was a teen (she’ll often deny that in interviews) and she was never gawky or “ugly”. That might not have matched her self image but she’s long been living up to beauty standards from appearances in teen movies to a career as a teen pop star.

      • Ann says:

        I can believe that she genuinely felt ugly and uncomfortable with her looks at one point, whether she was in the public eye or not, but now she’s 31 and very pretty and thin, etc., so she should know better than to say that?

  5. Dria says:

    She’s incredibly hypocritical in that statement, because why would she feel unattractive or be aware of women feeling uncomfortable in their bodies if there wasn’t a beauty standard?

  6. Watson says:

    I think the quote in relation to the rest of the paragraph isn’t quite cut and dry as as she talks about her own struggle with self acceptance afterwards. She articulated herself poorly.

  7. shanaynay says:

    “I don’t think there is a beauty standard” . Are you kidding me? WTF!!!!!!!

  8. Case says:

    Brie is confusing a social beauty standard with self confidence. Two totally different concepts. I feel grateful that I was raised to be confident and an individual, because my reality is that I have a physical disability and have not once seen someone who looks and moves like me in a movie or on a magazine cover. I think it wasn’t until I was 25 until I saw someone using the mobility aids I use in an ad campaign and it made me cry to finally see myself represented in some small space, so don’t tell me there’s not a beauty standard.

    Anyway, other than that I do like some of what she said about self care. Mentally, I feel a world of difference when I do yoga in the morning, take some time to read or watch movies instead of scrolling endlessly, and keep up with my skincare routine. Which can all feel like a battle sometimes when you’re in a slump, so it’s no small thing.

  9. Veronica S. says:

    Her statement is weirdly worded to me. I don’t quite get what she’s articulating there. She admits she’s felt ugly before – which implies that there is something she was holding herself to. If she meant it as in “there’s no real beauty standard because it constantly shifts to whatever generates the most revenue making women attain it, so you have to make your own” that’s another entirely from saying “beauty standards are a figment of our imagination.” I mean, they are, but it’s an imaginary concept agreed upon by the collective, so that gives it immense power. I’m wondering if she just didn’t word that well.

    • Megaladondon says:

      I read it as she rejects Western beauty standards not that they don’t exist. Maybe I am being too generous.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Yeah, I think she was trying to send out a sense of positivity and just stumbled in the articulation is my guess. It’s kind of hard to pretend beauty standards don’t exist when you’re pushing a beauty product, otherwise. I’m surprised the interviewer didn’t try to clarify that, to be honest. PR is everything these days.

  10. My3cents says:

    I liked her a lot more before this interview.
    I do remember I was pretty impressed with her on a couple of occasions in connection with Me Too, but this statement is pretty unfortunate.

  11. Valerie says:

    Says the thin, white blonde woman.

  12. OriginalLala says:

    White, blonde, thin, rich women, who fulfill and uphold toxic & stupid beauty standards really shouldn’t be announcing that said beauty standards don’t exist…fml

  13. booboochile says:

    Sigh! I just can’t..she is so irritating! Thanks for condescending to us whining about western beauty standards skinny white beautiful blonde…Life must have been so hard. Go away!

  14. Julia K says:

    Have no idea who she is but that dress is awesome.

  15. Sarah says:

    Rich, young, thin, white, blonde, cis, able-bodied woman says what? Girl, please.

  16. Nina says:

    Good, I thought I was the only one infuriated by her message

    • Lilah casting says:

      Maybe there are real things to angry about you know things Donald trump and his supporters are doing, instead of harmless celebrity.

    • Lilah casting says:

      Lexi being enfuriated about some harmless interview is too exsagerated and over dramatic and just looking to be angry over nothing.

  17. Lilah casting says:

    Maybe some people need to feel stop feeling ofended by everything and get off the high horse, and read between the lines this is a person who is still being called ugly or average by some people who feel insulted over not worshiping white men.

  18. Guest with Cat says:

    Her figure is spectacular but her face IS “harder” than is generally promoted as the beauty standard that obviously she felt held to live up to at one time. By “harder” I mean she doesn’t have the Bratz doll look that seems to have swept the entertainment world by storm when she was trying to get her foot in the door.

    To some extent that’s true of Giselle Bundchen, too. Lol but look where that got her so yeah, take a seat you awkward sexy blondes.

    I think she means well, but was having a hard time articulating the positive, encouraging message that probably sounded better in her head than what actually came out of her mouth. I have permanent foot in mouth disease myself so I probably would not last past one week of celebrity interviews. And explains why I toil in obscurity and try to just inflict my presence only on animals.

    • Lisa says:

      I think she tries to be a force for good in Hollywood and that sometimes leads her to spout platitudes that don’t mean anything. She does her best though but she is always going to attacked for caring about these things and really we should be angry at people who don’t care and don’t do anything.

  19. 123naptime says:

    She definitely says woke shit in interviews but her super hero movie was funded in part by the US air force, she did recruiting videos and events with the air force and was curiously tight lipped on the woke front there… the message being that militarism and the expansion of US empire (to say nothing of the grisly rates of assault) are fine because… girl power? I think this latest comment just shows whats really up with her: her political awareness is shallow, self-serving and mostly performative.

  20. Joy says:

    I don’t care for her one way or another but I’m wondering if she meant there shouldn’t be a standard of beauty as opposed to there isn’t one. Either way, I’m struggling to find sympathy for some rich thin blonde.

  21. lucy2 says:

    I think she’s trying to talk in ideal terms, not reality. There is, for sure, a beauty standard, one most people inundated with and feel they can’t live up to in many ways. I’m guessing her intent is to say there shouldn’t be one, which OK, but there is one, so that was a poor answer to the question.

  22. bobafelty says:

    I find her insufferable

  23. Jenn says:

    Her messaging is super muddled. I agree that it is important to reject those societal norms, but racism, misogyny, ableism, fatphobia, ageism, and rigid gender roles all do a type of everyday damage that won’t be solved with just a little self-acceptance. I’m glad, though, that she acknowledges that plenty of people “don’t feel safe in their bodies.” The last sentence in the quote feels like it’s specifically about nonbinary gender identity, which I appreciate.

  24. Mumbles says:

    Agree that “self care” is being used too broadly. Initially it stood for the idea that the people who provide care for others – disproportionately poorer women, women of color – should not neglect caring for themselves. Now it’s a way for privileged women to justify spa treatments and such.

  25. Jaded says:

    Total jabberwocky. I thought she was more intelligent than that but clearly is spouting stuff she knows little about whilst trying to sound woke. Not believing in beauty standards when you’re stunningly beautiful and are profiting from your beauty is utter nonsense. Of course there are beauty standards and, unfortunately, they are all built around slender, white, blondes with perfect figures and faces. The least she could have said, which would have made more sense, is that inner beauty – kindness, resilience, acceptance, honesty, respect – is far more important than the outer shell.

  26. L says:

    If there’s no beauty standard, why did she feel ugly? What a doofus. And she BURNS frankincense to CLEAN the air? Oh honey…

  27. Chartreuse says:

    Thin beautiful blonde with surgery says there is no beauty standard. Hard eye roll. And why were all beautiful women ‘outcasts’ at some point. It’s the story they all tell. Extra hard eye roll.

  28. Gennessee says:

    Taking a shower or watching tv or even doing a spa treatment is most certainly self-care. For many people dealing with mental illness, anxiety, or overburdened while caring for others those simple tasks or activities can help so much as they get through just One. More. Day.

    The point of self-care is doing something for YOU that brings YOU joy or distracts or gives YOU some “me time” from your daily stressors. It can be anything — reading a magazine, staring at a wall and daydreaming for 10minutes, or even some quiet time in the bathroom doing….”whatever”

    For people in high anxiety situations or lifestyles this can be a godsend. And let’s face it, right now, the whole planet is dealing with some major crap thanks to the pandemic, natural disasters, or political issues. Extending some grace to everyone regarding “self care” in this instance would be nice. We don’t know if Brie suffers from anxiety or some other issues, nor should she have to explain it to the world.

  29. foile.15 says:

    Well trying to be kind on her statement that there is no beauty standard … I think that is true in general in the world, it isn’t only the beautiful people who are successful, have relationships, are happy, etc. Of course in Hollywood, fashion magazines, the beauty industry etc there is a beauty standard, or more like an employment requirement especially for women. But if you look around (at least where I live) there is a huge variety of people in terms of looks in all sorts of life situations and it makes a greater difference how you carry yourself than if you adhere to beauty standards (which may differ too depending on which community, etc you belong or feel aesthetically drawn to)

  30. Vizia says:

    Real self-care is hard. Real self care means looking our demons in the face and doing the work to beat and heal from that shit. Spa treatments and bubble baths have their place–in terms of making time to not do things for others and slow down, and relax our bodies, make space in our brains for ourselves etc. But real self care is work, takes time, and requires re-wiring crap in our brains that’s been there for decades, breaking us down. So worth it. But not a fun process.

    • Vizia says:

      And as Gennesse says, above, the small self-care actions are sometimes all that people have time for, and even that is a luxury. So I support that, absolutely–reading back on my post it sounds pretty tone deaf to assume that everyone can afford that kind of time/energy, when that’s plainly not-true (I’d edit the post if I could figure out how to do it!). Apologies.

  31. Chloe says:

    Says the skinny, blonde woman with big boobs LOLLLLLLL. K!