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Image / Editorial

Kate Beckinsale’s cutting troll clapbacks are a lesson in the art of riposte

by Erin Lindsay
05th Dec 2019

The woman who told Kate Beckinsale that she was too old for a bikini clearly didn’t know who she was dealing with 

When a woman reaches her 40s, it’s ridiculous to think that this is the point at which her life as an attractive, sexy woman is over. But, unfortunately, that’s the attitude of much of social media/Hollywood/the wider world. Women are constantly criticised for attempting to embrace their bodies post-40 and in most cases, are expected to retreat to a position of quiet body negativity for the rest of their lives.

That’s why it is so refreshing when a woman post-40 does completely embrace her sexiness and beauty without apology (especially when it’s done with some sass). Actress Kate Beckinsale is obviously an attractive woman, but her candid social media posting has invited plenty of trolling to her account. But her quick, sharp responses to shut down the trolls have become the subject of widespread praise.

In the past, Kate has never been one to shy away from humour, quipping jokes in response to mean comments on many of her posts. When an Instagram user commented on how “hideous” a dress she’d worn was, she came back saying, “I wear what pleases me. In a similar vein, carry on with your orange t-shirt and expression of startled agony”.



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Clap ?? back ?? queen ?? #CommentsByCelebs

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Kate has also been criticised for her romantic relationships, including one with comedian Pete Davidson last year. When she posted a picture of her mother on Instagram, a follower berated her choice in partner, saying “Dear heavens, Kate. Not Pete Davidson.” To which Kate replied, “No, that’s my mother. Easy mistake.”

‘Don’t let that noise bother you’

But Kate’s best response yet came a few days ago, as she posted snaps from her holiday in Mexico. Sharing plenty of photos in her swimsuit (in which she looks amazing), Kate was again subject to trolling about whether or not it was appropriate for a woman in her 40s to bare so much skin. Again, the A-lister showed her ability to deal with casual ageism with grace.

One critic wrote: “She’s too old… looking for attention.” Kate replied: “Are you aware that when you get the urge to accuse someone of something, especially someone you don’t know or attribute an intention without ever having met the person, that the only thing really being achieved is revealing something about yourself or something you fear about yourself?

“I don’t know you and I don’t know who has made you feel that if you get older you have no value, can’t be attractive or sexy or have a relationship with your body that isn’t only self-loathing, but as one female to another, don’t let any of that noise bother you. You’ll feel more powerful, may well physically blossom, know who you are and what you want and get good at setting healthier boundaries.

“If you’re young and fearing getting older, don’t. It’s not at all how people scare you it will be, especially for a woman. You’ll come into your own power in a way that feels steady and so many more things will feel possible. The people or press that are scaring you that your value is tied up in youth, or in fact anything that is not currently within your reach, is noise I do hope you allow yourself to ignore. If you’re older and fearing less is available to you, it actually isn’t, don’t let that limit you in anything.

“I can’t imagine how unhappy you must feel to leave comments like this. People have all sorts of things going on that they put a brave face on and you’d never know. Sending love and the real hope you receive this message in the spirit that it’s meant. I know you have more to offer than leaving mean comments that illuminate far more about you than they do about the people you choose to comment on. Sending love x”.

Kate’s advice for the troll, as well as for all women (young and old) reading the comment, was a breath of fresh air in the stagnation of Instagram. We loved it.

Featured image: Kate Beckinsale via Instagram

Read more: We’re using older women’s naked bodies as a source of fear and repulsion

Read more: The sexist commentary at Wimbledon remains a huge problem

Read more: ‘You are your looks’: the message some retailers are still telling little girls