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Florence Pugh Slams "Vulgar" Comments After Wearing a See-Through Dress

"Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans."

When Florence Pugh attended the Valentino haute couture show on Friday, she knew her outfit would be an attention-getter. The Little Women star wore a hot pink gown from the luxury fashion label with a see-through bodice. Now, two days after the show, Pugh has responded to comments she received about her dress and shared the aspect of the reaction that was "concerning" to her—namely, how openly and aggressively men were willing to insult her body and criticize her. Read on to see what Pugh had to say.

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Pugh was excited to attend the show.

Ariana DeBose, Anna Wintour, Florence Pugh, and Laura Pausini, at the Valentino haute couture show in July 2022
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

On Friday, July 8, Pugh got to take in the Valentino haute couture show in Rome, Italy. She wore a dress and platform shoes in matching bright pink. In a post on her Instagram (which can be seen here and contains nudity), she wrote, "Technically they're covered?" referencing the sheerness of the gown.

"Feeling magical in @maisonvalentino," she added, tagging designer Pierpaolo Piccioli. "@pppiccioli you absolute genius. Stunning. Stunning. Stunning evening. Thank you again, my beautiful team, for making my pink princess dreams come true."

She knew the look would cause a stir.

Florence Pugh at the Valentino haute couture show in July 2022
Daniele Venturelli/WireImage via Getty Images

In an Instagram post on July 10 (which also contains nudity), Pugh noted that she knew the dress would get people talking and that she was OK with that.

"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."

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She called out men who were "vulgar."

Florence Pugh at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards
DFree / Shutterstock

Even though Pugh knew the dress would get a reaction, she didn't understand why people felt the need to comment negatively on her body—or why seeing breasts upset them so much.

"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..?" Pugh wrote.

"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," she continued.

Remarking specifically on the comments about her breasts, Pugh went on, "So many of you wanted to aggressively let me know how disappointed you were by my 'tiny [expletive]', 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. What's more concerning is…. Why are you so scared of breasts? Small? Large? Left? Right? Only one? Maybe none? What. Is. So. Terrifying."

She has a message for those who criticize women's bodies.

Florence Pugh at the premiere of "Marriage Story" in 2019
Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock

Pugh noted that she has "come to terms" with her body, is comfortable with it, and that she was raised "to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable."

The Black Widow star concluded, "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. Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans. Life will get a whole lot easier, I promise."

Pugh has opened up about being confident in her body before.

Florence Pugh at the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2022
Cubankite / Shutterstock

Body image and the pressure she has felt about her appearance as an actor are things Pugh has opened up about before. In a 2020 interview with Glamour UK, she shared that a pivotal moment came when she was asked by an unnamed project to lose weight for her role.

"I did a job where it was made very apparent that I needed to lose weight [by the team working on the production] and when it was over, I was very aware I didn't want to do that kind of work," she told the magazine. "Because I was faced with that, I realized what I wanted to represent, and had that not happened, I may not have overcome my issues with my body at such an early age. I'm happy about that, but a lot of women aren't that lucky."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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