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Florence Pugh says it ‘aggravated people’ that she was comfortable wearing sheer Valentino dress

Actor faced body shaming after she wore sheer pink Valentino gown to designer’s haute couture show last month

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 16 August 2022 15:48 BST
Related: Florence Pugh responds to troll who criticised 21-year age gap with boyfriend Zach Braff

Florence Pugh has again addressed the criticism she faced over her choice to wear a sheer pink Valentino gown, with the actor claiming “it aggravated [people] that [she] was comfortable” with her breasts.

The Lady Macbeth star, 26, faced criticism last month after she wore the neon pink sheer tulle dress to attend Valentino’s haute couture show in Rome. She later shared photos of herself in the dress to Instagram, where she captioned the post: “Technically they’re covered?” in what appeared to be a reference to her visible nipples.

The post prompted backlash, with Pugh addressing the criticism in a post shared a day later, in which she said it had been “interesting to watch and witness just how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for everyone to see”.

“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,’” she wrote. “I’ve lived in my body for a long time. I’m fully aware of my breast size and am not scared of it. … Why are you so scared of breasts? Small? Large? Left? Right? Only one? Maybe none? What. Is. So. Terrifying.”

Pugh has since reflected on the criticism she experienced in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, where she acknowledged that she had known her outfit choice was going to be a talking point, as she and designer Pierpaolo Piccioli had decided to remove the lining of the dress to make it completely transparent.

Of the stylistic decision, and the ensuing body shaming, Pugh said: “I was comfortable with my small breasts. And showing them like that - it aggravated [people] that I was comfortable.”

While Pugh was praised for her handling of the trolls at the time, she admitted to the outlet that she found the response to her outfit choice “alarming”.

“It was just alarming, how perturbed they were,” she said. “They were so angry that I was confident, and they wanted to let me know that they would never w**k over me. Well, don’t.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Pugh noted that the viral conversation about her breasts even reached her grandmother, who questioned her about the topic when she went to visit.

But, according to Pugh, her grandmother was not concerned with the sheerness of the dress, but rather how beautiful the gown was.

“I went to see my gran, and she goes: ‘So what’s all of this business about your nipples then?’” Pugh said, before revealing that she then showed her grandmother pictures of the gown. “She gasped,” she recalled. “Because the dress was so beautiful.”

The response from Pugh’s grandmother is not surprising considering the actor’s initial response to the criticism, in which the Midsommar star acknowledged that she was “very grateful” to have grown up “in a household with very strong, powerful, curvy women,” where she was “raised to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable”.

“Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans. Life will get a whole lot easier, I promise,” she concluded at the time.

While speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Pugh also revealed that she and her boyfriend of three years, Zach Braff, ended their relationship earlier this year. According to the Don’t Worry Darling actor, the former couple, who made headlines due to the 21-year age gap in their relationship, decided to part ways quietly in an effort to minimise attention on the split.

“We’ve been trying to do this separation without the world knowing, because it’s been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on,” she said. “We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we’re not together. So we’ve don’t that.”

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