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Florence Pugh has a simple question to the sexist trolls up in arms about her see-through dress: “Why are you so scared of breasts?”
The “Black Widow” star powerfully addressed the commentary swirling around the totally sheer bright pink tulle Valentino gown she rocked at the brand’s haute couture show in Rome on Friday.
Pugh said she anticipated the reaction to the daring ensemble, which completely exposed her chest, but was taken aback by “just how vulgar” the reaction to “two cute little nipples” was online.
“Whether it be negative or positive, we all knew what we were doing. I was excited to wear it, not a wink of me was nervous,” she wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday alongside photos from the event. “I wasn’t before, during or even now after.”
“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,” she continued, noting that many of her critics include their “job titles and work emails” on their accounts.
“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.”
Pugh is seen arriving at the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter '22/'23 fashion show on July 8 in Rome. (Photo: (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage))
Pugh first unveiled the gown on Instagram Saturday alongside the caption “Technically they’re covered,” which apparently was enough to satisfy the platform’s famously restrictive and often unfairly punishing nudity policy.
Pugh shared that some of the responses included people letting her know “how disappointed you were by my ‘tiny tits’” or that she “should be embarrassed by being so ‘flat chested.’”
The negative comments, however, haven’t shaken Pugh’s confidence in the slightest.
“I’ve lived in my body for a long time. I’m fully aware of my breast size and am not scared of it,” she continued. “What’s more concerning is.... Why are you so scared of breasts? Small? Large? Left? Right? Only one? Maybe none? What. Is. So. Terrifying.”
The Oscar nominee said she credits her self-acceptance to how she was raised “to find power in the creases of our body” among a household of “very strong, powerful, curvy women.”
Her upbringing has informed how Pugh has pushed back against toxic beauty standards in Hollywood, including that expectation that her body should “morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive.”
“I wore that dress because I know 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,” she concluded the post alongside the hashtag #fuckingfreethefuckingnipple.
“Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans. Life will get a whole lot easier, I promise.”
Anna Wintour and Pugh pictured together at the Valentino fashion show. (Photo: Daniele Venturelli via Getty Images)
Pugh has previously spoken about the relatively conservative attitudes toward nudity in America as opposed to her native England, expressing her surprise at how audiences here are “quite scared of bums and nipples.”
“I don’t know why. Such strange people,” she told Radio Times magazine in 2018. “My parents were very cool and made sure we watched lots of European films when we grew up, so nudity has never been a problem for me, as long as it’s done beautifully.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.