Dawn French rejects society’s obsession with perfection, embracing her ‘faux pas’ wholeheartedly

Oct 14, 2023
The actress, best known for her role in iconic series such as The Vicar of Dibley isn't just preaching self-acceptance—she's living it. Source: Getty Images.

In an age where perfection is often hailed as the ultimate goal, beloved British actress and comedian Dawn French stands out as a shining example of authenticity and self-love.

The 66-year-old icon has been making headlines recently for her unwavering and admirable rejection of society’s obsession with perfection, instead choosing to embrace her “faux pas” wholeheartedly.

French recently shared her refreshing take on self-image and authenticity during a recent appearance on The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X.

“Nobody’s perfect are they? I don’t know why we tried to pretend to be,” French began.

“We all know that we can’t achieve it but we somehow try to live to be perfect and then we feel like we failed and I’ve gotten to the age now where I just think I can’t do that and actually I didn’t desire to do it.

“Don’t you love your mates the most who come to you and say, ‘I did this dreadful thing yesterday. I told so and so such a thing and I said…’

“Whatever faux par it is? I love people who tell me that stuff, flawed people owning their flaws is my favourite, that’s how you connect with people.”

The actress, best known for her role in the iconic series The Vicar of Dibley, isn’t just preaching self-acceptance—she’s living it. Her refusal to indulge in filters has not only inspired her admirers but also shone a light on the damaging impact of unrealistic standards.

“I’m not into filters and perfect and I don’t want my daughter to feel like she has to be like that, either,” she explained.

“So the minute I started thinking about all the mistakes I’ve made and all the stupid times I have been what you call a twit that I thought, ‘oh, there’s a tsunami of it’. I am mainly made of it.”

In addition to her compelling and inspirational messages about self-acceptance, French has recently taken a bold stance against the entertainment industry’s fixation on appearance. Fearlessly confronting body shamers, she delivered a powerful message that reverberated far and wide.

French found herself thrust into the public eye’s unrelenting gaze when she underwent a hysterectomy in 2014. In an effort to expedite her recovery, her doctor suggested shedding some weight, prompting the star to shed over 40 kilograms in preparation for the procedure.

Her transformed appearance didn’t go unnoticed; it swiftly captured the media’s spotlight, making headlines worldwide.

In a recent interview with The Times, French candidly discussed how women are frequently “reduced” to their physical appearance when they find themselves in the public eye, shedding light on a pervasive issue in the entertainment industry.

“I have never rejected the bigger woman I have been. Lots of people do it and say, ‘Oh, you look so much better – now you look well.’ And I think, ‘F*** off! Don’t judge that other person who I loved,’” she told the publication.

French isn’t alone in being judged for her appearance, the 66-year-old recalling how her fellow entertainers have suffered under the same intense glare.

“[British singer] Alison Moyet is a very good friend and so often she has been reduced to descriptions of her physicality,” she said.

“She’s this giant talent, why reduce her to that? I’m not taking any s*** from anyone about any of it.”

French also touched upon the early years of her career when she and her comedy partner, Jennifer Saunders, starred in their BBC show French and Saunders. She emphasised that they often encountered comments about their looks, a situation she felt was different from their male colleagues.

“For many years Jennifer [Saunders] and I were always described by how we looked, especially me, because I was the bigger one,” she said.

“It was always about ‘running to fat’ or ‘plump’, and they never said that about any of the male comedians.

“I absolutely own whatever my size is and I will call myself whatever I want. But if I feel like the intent is to shame me, I will not have it.”

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