Amandla Stenberg is tired of comments about their chest.
The Bodies, Bodies, Bodies star, 23, took to TikTok on Friday to respond to criticism they received after New York Times film critic Lena Wilson shared a Twitter message sent to her by Stenberg. In the message, Stenberg told Wilson of her review of Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, in which Stenberg is both a star and executive producer, “Ur review was great, maybe if you had gotten ur eyes off my tits you could’ve watched the movie!”
Stenberg, who is non-binary and uses both they/them pronouns as well as she/her pronouns, was referring to a line in Wilson’s review which read, “The only thing that really sets “Bodies Bodies Bodies” apart is its place in the A24 hype machine, where it doubles as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage and Charli XCX’s latest single.”
Wilson, who is a lesbian, accused Stenberg of perpetuating homophobia, writing, “Do you think she instagram DM’d Alison Willmore, Justin Chang and Anthony Lane like this or,” as well as, “Always weird when the homophobia is coming from inside the house but this is something.” She also tweeted, “me: (spends one line of a 500-word review facetiously commenting on how A24 objectifies young women to sell content) random men on twitter dot com and also, apparently, amandla stenberg: Local Dyke Cannot Stop Talking About Boobies.”
Stenberg, who came out as gay with a “romantic love for women” in a 2018 interview in Wonderland, responded to the accusations of homophobia by pointing out that what hurt them was routine comments made about their chest. Sharing that they thought that Wilson would find the comment “funny” coming from another gay person, Stenberg said, “The amount of commentary that I receive on my boobs is so extreme. And this has happened since I was a teenager. I could literally be wearing a T-shirt and just because of the size of my boobs, there will be some sort of sexualization or commentary on my chest.”
The Hunger Games alum pointed out that the tank top they wear in the film meant that “there’s going to be some cleavage, because I have boobs,” which made them think that Wilson’s comment was directed towards Stenberg, specifically.
“I think that Lena was trying to make a commentary about A24 sexualizing me, centralizing my body, exploiting young women in order to sensationalize them to make their medium more popular — which I understand the angle,” Stenberg explained. “I can tell you that I wore this tank top in this movie because me and the costume designer thought that it fit the character well. So, I do get tired of people talking about my chest.”
Stenberg added that “it seems to be in Hollywood that it’s not normalized to have boobs above an A or a B cup.”
“There seems to be a lot of unwarranted conversation around my chest,” they noted, “but it just kind of baffles me.”
Stenberg has spoken out about Hollywood feeling uncomfortable with their larger chest before. In a 2018 interview with Seventeen, the Hate U Give actress said, “People often say my boobs are too big. There have been several moments when I was filming a scene and someone came over with a small sports bra and said, ‘Put this on real quick. Your boobs look too big on camera.’”
They added, “You’re conceived of as too much if you have, like, thighs. It’s ridiculous! I try to only work in spaces now that make me feel comfortable. It’s challenging, but I’d rather be healthy and happy and love my body.”
Wellness, parenting, body image and more: Get to know the who behind the hoo with Rustwire Life’s newsletter. Sign up here.