Florence Pugh slams criticism of see-through Valentino gown: 'What. Is. So. Terrifying.'

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Florence Pugh has choice words for critics of the sheer dress she wore to Valentino's Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show.

Pugh is among the recent slew of celebrities who have embraced “Barbiecore,” donning a stunning hot pink sheer gown by the luxury fashion house at their fashion show over the weekend, where Anne Hathaway, Ariana DeBose and Ashley Park were also in attendance.

On Saturday, July 9, the “Little Women” star proudly shared a series of photos on Instagram showing off the gown, which featured a high neckline and an entirely sheer bodice. Pugh opted to not wear a bra, leaving her bare chest exposed beneath the see-through fabric. She left a cheeky note in the caption, writing, “Technically they’re covered?”

Florence Pugh. (Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)
Florence Pugh. (Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)

The next day, Pugh, 26, shared more photos from the fashion show on Instagram, this time changing her tune in the caption to address the negative feedback that her photos received.

“Listen, I knew when I wore that incredible Valentino dress that there was no way there wouldn’t be a commentary on it. Whether it be negative or positive, we all knew what we were doing,” she wrote. “I was excited to wear it, not a wink of me was nervous. I wasn’t before, during or even now after.”

“Thankfully, I’ve come to terms with the intricacies of my body that make me, me. I’m happy with all of the ‘flaws’ that I couldn’t bear to look at when I was 14.
“Thankfully, I’ve come to terms with the intricacies of my body that make me, me. I’m happy with all of the ‘flaws’ that I couldn’t bear to look at when I was 14.

Pugh called out a specific brand of feedback she was receiving, namely from men who criticized her appearance. She added, “What’s been interesting to watch and witness is just how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for everyone to see. You even do it with your job titles and work emails in your bio..?”

While the actor acknowledged that it wasn’t the first or last time that a woman's body has been criticized by strangers, she said the most worrisome part was how “vulgar” some of the critics were.

“Thankfully, I’ve come to terms with the intricacies of my body that make me, me. I’m happy with all of the ‘flaws’ that I couldn’t bear to look at when I was 14,” she continued. “So many of you wanted to aggressively let me know how disappointed you were by my ‘tiny t—s’, or how I should be embarrassed by being so ‘flat chested’. I’ve lived in my body for a long time. I’m fully aware of my breast size and am not scared of it.”

Pugh went on to share what she found the most concerning, adding, “Why are you so scared of breasts? Small? Large? Left? Right? Only one? Maybe none? What. Is. So. Terrifying.”

“It makes me wonder what happened to you to be so content on being so loudly upset by the size of my boobs and body..?” she inquired, adding that she is “grateful” for growing up surrounded by “strong, powerful, curvy women” in her household.

She shared some of the lessons that she learned about herself and her body growing up, writing, “We were raised to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable.”

“It has always been my mission in this industry to say ‘f—k it and f—k that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive. I wore that dress because I know,” she said. “If being loudly abusive towards women publicly in 2022 is so easy for you, then the answer is that it is you who doesn’t know. Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans. Life will get a whole lot easier, I promise.”

The actor was met with celebratory messages in the comments, with fans and fellow celebrities commending her for speaking out on the cruel criticism.

DeBose, a fellow attendee of the show, wrote, “RESPECT. Period,” while actor Aubrey Plaza commented, “OK this is what i been sayingggg.”

“Bridgerton” star Nicola Coughlan wrote, “Adore you” with a pink heart emoji, with Joey King adding, “You are truly so amazing. You put into words what so many feel but can’t articulate.”

Pierpaolo Piccioli, the creative director of Valentino, even participated in the discourse, simply commenting on the post, “Respect."

Pugh, who is starring in the upcoming film “Don’t Worry Darling” alongside Harry Styles, has not been shy about standing up against criticism directed at her throughout her career.

In April 2020, the actor defended her relationship with Zach Braff, who is 21 years her senior in a video shared on Instagram. While she said she was “wrestling with the idea” for several days, Pugh ultimately decided to address the comments for her “own peace of mind.”

“It is the first time in my entire Instagram life that I have had to turn off the comments on my page,” she said, referring to a post she shared to celebrate Braff’s 45th birthday that received negative comments from fans due to the age difference.

She later added, “I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love.”