James’s tiny waist has been under scrutiny since the “Cinderella” trailer premiered last month.
This is how Cinderella’s waist appeared in several shots from the trailer:
Disney’s promotional images also displayed Cinderella as having a teeny-tiny waist:
The images led many to believe that James’ waist was digitally altered, and people were furious that Disney would set such an example for young girls.
After making her waist smaller, they also CGIed Lily James’ FEET for Cinderella? I’m gonna CGI myself giving this movie a big middle finger.
— Gaby Dunn (@gabydunn) March 5, 2015
Good grief, what has happened to Lily James’ waist??
— Hannah Furness (@Hannah_Furness) December 17, 2014
But “Cinderella” director, Kenneth Branagh, has denied that there’s been any use of airbrushing on Lily James.
“To all the airbrush conspiracy theorists I can answer now: no,” Branagh said in a new interview with HuffPost Live. “The simple truth is, we didn’t alter anything. In fact, it partly seems a little bit more extreme because it’s shadowed… the lit part feels very narrow, and it’s a bit wider on the top.”
“It’s not a mystery — if you put someone in a corset, you’ll see also that there’s a wide [part],” the British filmmaker added. “Not that Lily James isn’t slim. But, in that wide bow of the dress underneath, basically you squeeze things in, things come out at the bottom. It all gets hidden under there. The natural body physics of it aren’t insane.”
James, for her part, told the LA Times: “I naturally have a really small waist. The skirt’s big and the corset pulls me in, and that’s the point. That’s the shape [costume designer] Sandy Powell created.”
Indeed, it does appear James has a very small waist in real life:
But James didn’t help her case when shetold E! Newsearlier this week that she went on a liquid diet to fit into the corset.
“When [the corset] was on we would be on continuous days so we wouldn’t stop for lunch or a lovely tea like this — you’d be sort of eating on the move. In that case, I couldn’t untie the corset. So if you ate food it didn’t really digest properly and I’d be burping all afternoon… and it was just really sort of unpleasant… I’d have soup, so that I could still eat but it wouldn’t get stuck.”
But James takes her role as a role model seriously, and has been disturbed by the negative attention recently on her slim figure.
“On one hand, it’s upsetting. On the other hand, it’s just boring,” James said during HuffPost Live interview Monday. “Why do women always get pointed at for their bodies? And why is this whole thing happening that I’m constantly having to justify myself? I’m very healthy and I always have been. I really have been lucky because I’ve always had a very healthy attitude to my body. That’s why in a way it’s confusing me, because it’s a costume.”
James assured: “I’m so healthy. I’ve got hips and boobs and a bum and a small waist.”
“For girls growing up sometimes I think they get the wrong idea for what women should look like,” she tells E! News. “And I think it’s so important to be healthy and confident and natural. And not put too much stress on trying to be thin — I don’t get the thin, thin thing at all.”
Richard Madden, who plays Prince Charming in the film, confirmed that James’ waist appears onscreen exactly as it is in real life.
“I can vouch for Lily on this,” he added. “That’s her real waist; I held it, I know how tiny it was. And she did eat. She eats like a boy.”
Many others have taken to Twitter to defend Lily James, as well:
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