"It's just so ingrained in us, the idea that we should take up the right amount of space, literally and figuratively," says actress Claire Danes
Claire Danes is no stranger to body shaming, but the actress has learned how to rise above it all.
“It’s just so ingrained in us, the idea that we should take up the right amount of space, literally and figuratively,” Danes, 36, tells Allure in her December cover story. “I’ve wrestled with this my whole life, as just a person in the world and as somebody who makes images.”
“It’s OK to want to look and feel your best. It’s OK to work at being attractive, whatever that means to you,” she continues. “And it’s also OK to not expect to be defined by that. It’s OK to be powerful in every way: to be big, to take up space. To breathe and thrive.”
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While the Homeland star says she wants “to look pretty in the world” in terms of her personal life, she has different priorities at work. In the studio, she cares less about beauty and more about her perfecting her craft.
“I’m very vain about my performance,” she says. “I want to give as honest a performance as I can. But I’m not so worried about being regarded as beautiful when I’m playing a character.”
And Danes – who recently told PEOPLE she felt her body is “monitored and commented on infinitely more than my male counterpart” – finds peace in not comparing herself to other actresses.
“I know some of the most beautiful women on the planet – unequivocally, objectively friggin’ gorgeous – and they are rife with insecurity and self-doubt, and you just think, ‘Well, how can that be?’ ” she says. “I’m attractive enough. I can do the work I want to do. I’ve found this wonderful man who wants to make out with me. I’m good.”