Florence Pugh Addresses Her ‘Free the Nipple’ Controversy

Despite it being 2023, women still face undue censorship and misogynistic attacks over what they wear in public. Oscar-nominated actor Florence Pugh inadvertently highlighted this reality last year, when she wore a sheer Valentino gown. The hot pink number’s intentional “free the nipple” moment caused a stir. The Vogue publicly addressed all the hoopla in a new interview with Chloe Schama. 

Pugh says she does not allow so-called societal norms and decorum to limit how she dresses (which we can all take some inspiration from). “I’ve never been scared of what’s underneath the fabric,” Pugh said. “If I’m happy in it, then I’m gonna wear it. Of course, I don’t want to offend people, but I think my point is: How can my nipples offend you that much?” 

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

The high femme and body-conscious look caused a slew of cyberbullying and troublesome attacks from online trolls, who were predominantly men. Pugh first shut down the criticism on Instagram, writing, in part, “It isn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last time a woman will hear what’s wrong with her body by a crowd of strangers, what’s worrying is just how vulgar some of you men can be.”

That’s not to say that Pugh didn’t have her supporters, though. As Vogue’s culture writer Emma Specter wrote at the time, “Unfortunately, it appears there’s no amount of fame or wealth that can protect you from being turned into an avatar for other people’s insecurities.” 

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