‘Everyone looks like Barbie dolls’: Aussie actress comes out swinging over social media filters

Cate Blanchett has taken aim at social media filters which distort how ageing is viewed. Source: Getty Images.

Defying the unrealistic beauty standards set by social media filters, Australian actress, Cate Blanchett, claims that apps like Instagram with their built-in photo filters are distorting the expectations around ageing and beauty.

The actress, 54, was speaking to The Sunday Times on Monday, March 11 and said she finds it “confronting” that people look too much like “Barbie dolls” these days.

“Nobody’s getting older. They just look like Barbie dolls,” she said, adding that she does not feel “regret or shame” when seeing photos from her younger days.

“It’s not the ageing I find confronting at all. Because that is like when you stumble across a photo of a holiday when you were 16 or one of my husband and me when we got married.

“It doesn’t produce regret or shame. Rather, a recognition of the joy of the experience or a painful moment. I’m transported right back.”

The actress consistently adopts a candid stance on the passage of time, expressing in a 2018 interview with Harper’s Bazaar that she harbors no sense of alarm towards ageing, but rather views it as an existential journey.

“I think about it on an existential level, sure, but on a career level, I refuse,” she told the publication.

“It’s important to keep karate-chopping those doors down and creating new opportunities not just for yourself, but also for those who are coming up behind you.

“I’m not panicking on a work level. It’s more that there are so many lives I want to live.”

During her early twenties in Australia, Cate became fixated on bronzing her fair complexion, succumbing to the pressure of meeting societal standards. Nowadays, her perspective on beauty has undergone a significant shift.

“You’re so vulnerable to other people’s interpretations and impressions of what you should look like,” she said.

“And I’d say “f**k that” a bit more. And that’s where women can step in and really champion different types of beauty and working [with] what you’ve got.

“Everyone’s starting to look the same and talk the same, it’s only interesting when we’re all [different] – it’s the melting pot, right? I’d worry about it less.”

Another star who refuses to conform to unrealistic beauty and ageing stereotypes is British actress, Helen Mirren.

At 78, Helen has been vocal about embracing ageing with grace and confidence and, especially when it comes to her hair, chooses to break societal norms when it comes to her looks and getting older.

Last year the veteran actress was in the spotlight over her gorgeous long tresses.

At the time she revealed she’d grown her hair out over the COVID-19 lockdown and “couldn’t be bothered” to cut it.

“You’re not supposed to have longer hair after a certain age,” Mirren said, speaking on the show Lorraine

“But during Covid, I started growing my hair and I hadn’t actually had long hair since I was in my 20s. And it sort of grew and grew and grew, and I couldn’t be bothered to cut it, basically.

“I thought, do you know what, it’s pretty cool, I think I’ll stick with it for a little while. It will come off eventually.

“But I’m kind of enjoying it, it’s quite radical.”

The Hundred-Foot Journey star said she wants to show women over 60 that they don’t have to conform to the stereotypes society wants to keep them in.

“Life doesn’t stop. And creativity doesn’t stop and passion doesn’t stop and energy doesn’t stop, unless you decide to stop it,” she said.

“So, it’s just be self-motivated, really, and never give up. And find enjoyment, if it’s possible in your life.”

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