Lily James’ Tiny Waist Rebuttal: I Used A Corset

Apparently the Internet wants its fairy tales to be a bit more realistic. Disney is under fire for its live action revamp of Cinderella, because its princess – played by Lily James – has a tiny waist and its Prince Charming has eyes that are too blue.

As soon as Disney released its trailer featuring James as Cinderella in a baby blue ballgown, the Internet exploded with complaints about Lily’s tiny waist. They accused Disney of photoshopping the Downton Abbey actress to make her waist tinier than appeared natural.

But Lily James has set the record straight. She told the LA Times that no digital magic had been used. The Cinderella secret is actually quite old-fashioned – she had to wear a corset, which pulled in her waist to a tiny 17 inches, ABC News added.

“I have naturally a quite small waist. And on top of that I have a corset that was pulled me into the inch of my life. And then the skirt is so big that the perspective and the proportions make it look smaller than it is.”

James, who plays Rose MacClare on Downton Abbey, is so used to wearing corsets in the show she claimed she could sleep in them. But what’s worse is what she calls a “boob flattener” that is “much more painful and much more distressing than a corset.” She had to wear one to fit in her 1920’s era costume.

All that proves you don’t need Photoshop to alter a woman’s body. And Lily James said she doesn’t think Cinderella’s tiny waist promotes an unhealthy body image. She insists she’s very healthy, according to the Times.

“I think it’s all very hypocritical, and they contradict themselves, and they’re drawing more attention to it. I think all that stuff’s so negative, and you’ve got to let it wash over your head. I’m so healthy. I’ve got hips and boobs and a bum and a small waist.”

Lily James also defended the Cinderella costume, which she said fit like a suit of armor. Created by an Oscar-winning costume designer Susan Powell, the blue ballgown is made of 270 yards of fabric and three miles of hemming.

“I think it’s a beautiful gown with a beautiful shape. I love the curves. I think it’s very old and 40s, the way it goes in and out. It’s what made me feel like I could be a princess.”

And if the tiny waist accusations weren’t enough, critics also accused Cinderella‘s filmmakers of making Richard Madden’s (also known as Robb Stark on Game of Thrones, and who plays Prince Charming) eyes too blue, ABC reported. Director Kenneth Branagh had to quash these rumors.

“He was not wearing blue contact lenses. He has very, very striking blue eyes and when beautifully lit … these make for a very strong impact. We did not Photoshop (Lily James’ tiny) waist… everything you see is what was there.”