Imelda Staunton voices opinion on representation of women in British media

At a recent Telegraph Wonder Women event, actress Imelda Staunton (Professor Umbridge) voiced her opinion on the way that women are portrayed in British media. While happy about the fact the fact that Britain is celebratory of many of its older actresses – with Staunton mentioning fellow Harry Potter actress Dame Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) as one such example – she went on to decry glossy magazines for the pressures that they put on young women:

How can we stop those magazines? They’re revolting. I think it’s a real crime what those magazines want from women, from young women, from young girls – who they want to portray them.

Staunton, who is 58, spoke about the double standard for women, saying,

I think older women are more celebrated in this country in film and television terms we are because we keep working and we’re allowed to have our own faces.

She went on to add,

I feel desperately sorry for actresses who aren’t allowed to work because they’re 42, and they look 42.

Staunton also gave her thoughts on actress Keira Knightley’s decision to pose topless in a recent photo shoot – as long as the photos were not retouched:

I think Keira Knightley gets a lot more shtick, and she had to do something. She’s just an actress who wants to do her job, and yet, she’s hounded. It doesn’t say much about our society that she had to do that in order to silence people.

A far cry from Professor Umbridge, Staunton is an advocate for women’s rights and spoke at the Telegraph event in support of Plan UK, a charity that works to protect girls’ rights on an international level. For over two decades, she has sponsored both boys and girls through the charity.

For more on Imelda Staunton’s speech, you can read the Telegraph article here. To find out more about her work with Plan UK, you can read the article from its website here.

What do you think of Staunton’s views? Are you glad to see her in support of women’s rights? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.