Keira Knightley’s topless photo shoot had a noble purpose, she says. The actress wanted to protest that way that photo editing is used, promoting an unrealistic standard of beauty. However, as anyone who’s been on the internet might guess, the tides quickly turned to misogyny and insults.
Knightley chose not to have her photo retouched, so her body was denigrated and insulted on social media. She chose to pose topless for a photo, so she has been called names and accused of seeking attention. She also, it seems, had the gall to be photographed while pretty and while using other beauty techniques, which apparently defies everything that not having her waistline or chest edited stands for, somehow.
Knightley posed for a photo shoot with Interview Magazine, including one topless shot. However, she gave the caveat that the semi-nude shot couldn’t be edited.
According to CNN, she explained her reasons.
“I’ve had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it’s paparazzi photographers or for film posters, That [shoot] was one of the ones where I said: ‘OK, I’m fine doing the topless shot so long as you don’t make them any bigger or retouch.’ Because it does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are.”
Keira Knightley may have intended to send a message that it doesn’t matter what your body look like, but she’s being criticized on two sides: one, from people who want to insult her body, and the other, from people who say it’s easy enough to feel happy in your own skin when you have the body of a model.
It’s super brave of Keira Knightley’s brother to pose topless like that #Brave
— John (@LucasJackson67) November 7, 2014
Keira Knightly… the “I’m beautiful the way I am” message doesn’t exactly work when your body and face are perfect.
— Eddie Scarry (@eScarry) November 7, 2014
Slow clap to Keira Knightly for her ultra-feminist act of posing like a model for Interview magazine. — Real Carly Fisher (@carlyafisher) November 7, 2014
Of course, the actress is also being slammed for the photo by people who accuse her of doing it for publicity. After all, an actress doing a photo shoot for publicity is basically her job.
I am both shocked and amazed to find out Keira Knightley (sp) has boobs. What was the point of that again? I mean, apart from publicity.
— War & Doom (@JamesVonDoom) November 7, 2014
Keira Knightly posted topless photos to prove she’s still famous. Daniel Craig will be next. — Dave (@DaveFriedel) November 7, 2014
And then, of course, there are these:
Apparently Keira Knightley has posed topless to protest against Photoshop. All I can say is Praise The Lord! Such a worthy protest :-0)
— I am bikebritain (@bikebritain) November 7, 2014
Thanks facebook, you made it so much easier to see Keira Knightly topless. — Kevers (@Wafflematic) November 7, 2014
Keira Knightly’s topless shoot was a protest.. Can some point me to the tits as I am a big believer in womens rights.. #KeiraKnightly
— FootballBarmy (@wideon) November 7, 2014
Keira Knightly posed topless to protest photoshopping. That kind of activism I can get into. So when’s she protesting hardcore video porn? — Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) November 7, 2014
Keira Knightley’s topless photo may have been intended to support women in accepting their bodies but if it showed anything, it’s that any semi-nude photo on the internet will get pretty much the same treatment no matter how closely it matches society’s beauty ideals.