Cynthia Nixon praised for viral video about impossible standards of being a woman today

‘All women need to hear this,’ writes Twitter user

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 26 February 2020 10:10
Cynthia Nixon narrates 'Be a Lady They Said'

[This article was originally published in February 2020]

Cynthia Nixon has been praised for fronting a powerful video about the immense pressures women face in society today.

The short film was produced for Girls. Girls. Girls. magazine and sees the Sex and the City actor recite a blog written by Camille Rainville in 2017 titled “Be a lady, they said”.

The blog addresses a litany of conflicting messages women are bombarded with every day, covering everything from the way women speak, dress and behave.

It highlights how intensely women’s bodies are scrutinised in the media, with lyrics including: “Go on a diet. Watch what you eat. Eat celery. Chew gum. Drink lots of water. You have to fit into those jeans. God, you look like a skeleton. Why don’t you just eat? You look emaciated.”

Elsewhere, the blog addresses victim-blaming culture: “Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it.”

In the film, Nixon recites Rainville’s words to the camera while various clips taken from fashion shoots, political debates and films are played over the top.

The video has been watched more than two million times on Vimeo, with thousands of viewers sharing their praise on social media.

“This is amazing! I am sharing it with all of my fierce female friends, especially mums of daughters. I want my daughter to be whatever they want to be!” wrote one person.

“Just incredible,” another added. ”You delivered the message with such power!”

One user concurred: “All women need to hear this” while others described the film as “empowering” and said they couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Nixon herself tweeted a link to the video on Tuesday, writing: “Proud to be involved with this powerful film that has struck a chord with so many people around the world.”

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