Evan Rachel Wood says magazine made her feel ‘like a piece of meat’

The 2003 Vanity Fair Young Hollywood issue was SUCH a long time ago, you guys! Mandy Moore wasn’t even a Disney Princess yet!  Alexis Bledel was still Rory Gilmore deciding between Jess and Dean! Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan were basically kids!

Even though the issue was shot over a decade ago, one of the actresses in that lineup, Evan Rachel Wood, is still uncomfortable about how things went down.

In a series of tweets (that the website Vulture condensed for our convenience) Wood explains:

“I was almost in tears after this shoot. They tried that dress on me, I wasn’t comfortable but they told me there was no time cause everyone else took up too much time with their fittings. Then I was given a choice on whether I wanted to wear flats or heels. I chose flats and was immediately handed heels and told they looked better. Then we were all lined up, stared at and approved. I was 15 and felt for the first time my identity being erased and the pressure to shut up and do what you are told. I felt like meat. Since then, I have found my voice. Never again. #neverforget

To all the haters. I am not complaining about being on the cover of Vanity Fair. I understand I am very privileged and there are far worse thing to go through. My point was that things aren’t always what they seem. Especially in this industry. What may seem glamorous sometimes comes at a price. I only want to encourage other young girls to stay true to who they are. No matter what. Hold on to your self.”

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on here. Wood acknowledges that because of her privilege, her concerns are less likely to be taken seriously. Wood is, unfortunately, used to having her feelings not be taken seriously.

As a young woman in Hollywood, her wishes were not respected. She wanted to wear flats and pants, not high heels and a dress that barely passed the fingertips rule. It’s messed up to pressure a young woman to dress more provocatively than she feels comfortable dressing. Yes, you can argue that it’s only a pair of shoes, it’s only a dress, but it is still completely chilling to hear Wood tell us “I was 15 and felt for the first time my identity being erased and the pressure to shut up and do what you are told. I felt like meat.”

We need to listen when a young woman says “no.” It’s unacceptable to override a “no”—no matter who’s saying it and why—and it is unacceptable to make young women feel like meat. It’s been ten years, media, let’s get it together and make sure we’re doing better now.

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