From Megan Fox’s barely-there VMA dress to Rhianna’s sheer négligée on the Dior front row in March, the ‘naked dress’ has been a long-enduring trend of 2022. But, frustratingly, each time the style emerges its accompanied by another persistent movement: Men having an opinion on women’s bodies.
Florence Pugh became the latest subject of critique on Friday after wearing a sheer tulle gown to Valentino’s haute couture show in Rome. Since then, everyone has been Googling: ‘Florence Pugh sheer dress’ to see the needlessly controversial pictures and share their opinion on her breasts. Sigh.
Responding to the sexist trolling, Pugh wrote on her Instagram: ‘Listen, I knew when I wore that incredible Valentino dress that there was no way there wouldn’t be a commentary on it. Whether it be negative or positive, we all knew what we were doing. I was excited to wear it, not a wink of me was nervous. I wasn’t before, during or even now after.
‘What’s been interesting to watch and witness is just how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for everyone to see. You even do it with your job titles and work emails in your bio..?’ she continued.
'It isn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last time a woman will hear what’s wrong with her body by a crowd of strangers, what’s worrying is just how vulgar some of you men can be. Thankfully, I’ve come to terms with the intricacies of my body that make me, me. I’m happy with all of the ‘flaws’ that I couldn’t bear to look at when I was 14.'
‘So many of you wanted to aggressively let me know how disappointed you were by my ‘tiny tits’, or how I should be embarrassed by being so ‘flat chested’, Pugh added. ‘I’ve lived in my body for a long time. I’m fully aware of my breast size and am not scared of it.
‘What’s more concerning is…. Why are you so scared of breasts? Small? Large? Left? Right? Only one? Maybe none?’ she questioned. ‘What. Is. So. Terrifying.It makes me wonder what happened to you to be so content on being so loudly upset by the size of my boobs and body..?
‘I’m very grateful that I grew up in a household with very strong, powerful, curvy women,’ Pugh revealed. ‘We were raised to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable. It has always been my mission in this industry to say ‘fuck it and fuck that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive.’
The vulgar body shaming Pugh has been forced to endure demonstrates the right men feel to sexualise, judge, and vilify women simply for having breasts. Aesthetically, there’s almost no difference between a man and a woman’s nipple but, on Instagram, the areola has caused endless offence. If a woman’s nipple is shown, it’s considered nudity—a man isn’t called indecent for doing the same.
Previously, the app has taken down pictures of woman breastfeeding or with post-mastectomy scarring due to their nudity policies. Since then, the app has clarified that breasts in that capacity are okay (as is nudity in paintings or sculptures) but whether Pugh’s pictures will survive the censorship process still remains to be seen.
‘Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans. Life will get a whole lot easier, I promise,’ Pugh signed off. ‘#fuckingfreethefuckingnipple.’