ByChris Moore, writer at
Full-time writer and professional movie geek; writer of all things Star Wars, DC and Marvel for the Moviepilot Editorial team. @Irish_CGM
Chris Moore

Kirsten Dunst is known today as a veteran actress who has frequently played the role of the lovable friend or romantic interest. Who can forget her contribution to the Spider-Man universe? She brought to life the iconic Mary Jane Watson, giving Spider-Man's love interest a well-rounded personality and depth of character.

Seriously, do you remember that iconic moment from Spiderman?

Anyway, I digress...

Kirsten was not always such a confident figure in Hollywood. Like many of us, she had to start at the bottom of the ladder before building a name and reputation upon which she could grow a career.

Topless Maxim photoshoot

In an interview with Stylist, Kirsten Dunst recently opened up about a photoshoot from when she was just 18, in which she was photographed wearing little more than a denim jacket.

The Maxim cover
The Maxim cover

Although in the photo she looked radiant as always, Kirsten has revealed that in the photoshoot for the cover of Maxim, she was pressured to remove more clothes than she was comfortable with. She further stated that at 18 she didn't have the confidence or knowledge to say "no" when asked to do something she would rather not.

No young actress should ever be forced to make themselves uncomfortable for the sake of the industry, but it seems that it's a regular occurrence, not simply with actresses, but with models, who are increasingly sexualized.

Dunst on youth and fame

Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten has also spoken up about the harmful influence of fame in today's society. In an interview with Town and Country Magazine, she discussed the unrealistic expectations assigned to actors and actresses, who are expected to be thick-skinned, yet sensitive.

This interview occurred as a result of the rumors surrounding Kirsten's brush with drugs and alcohol, after which she checked herself into Utah's Cirque Lodge, for the treatment of her depression.

Kirsten claims that her depression was brought on by the pressures of the industry, which are unrealistic and damaging to those involved.

"What people expect of an actor is totally ridiculous." [...] "So all you can do is be yourself -- just be who the hell you are."

It's not the first time the fashion industry has been called out over sexual expoitation

Cara Delevigne
Cara Delevigne

Former model Cara Delevigne recently quit the fashion industry due to its detrimental influence on her physical and psychological health. She has now taken up arms for the cause, exposing the sexual exploitation prevalent throughout the fashion industry.

"It's horrible and it's disgusting. You start when you are really young and you do, you get subjected to … not great stuff."

Having now made the leap to Hollywood, Delevigne is well aware that her new field isn't much better than her former career, however she seems ready to tackle the challenge.

“I am very good at standing up for myself now, and for other people [...] If there is injustice, I will flip out. If someone is crossing a line, they will know about it, and so will everyone else.”

Exploitation is alive and well in Hollywood

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence

So it seems sexual exploitation is yet to be expelled from Hollywood, but with dominant figures from within the industry -- such as Kirsten Dunst and Cara Delevigne -- continuing to step forward, we could be well on our way to fixing the problem.

Sexism in Hollywood has become a huge topic recently, with women such as Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson stepping forward to battle culturally imbedded sexism.

Emma Watson
Emma Watson

With Kirsten Dunst now admitting exploitation prior to her gaining confidence, it seems a light is being shined on the darkest corners of Hollywood, and it's about time.

Perhaps we are well on our way to a time in which sexual exploitation and culturally imbedded sexism are issues of the past, but until then the problem is far from solved.

Remember to let us know what you think on this issue. Speak up and get your voice heard.


What about you? Do you think Hollywood has issues with exploitation and culturally imbedded sexism?



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