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“I got pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing”: Scarlett Johansson Admits Being Objectified by Movie Makers Before Earning Her Highest Earning Actress Status

Hollywood might be all about stardom and success, but it also has a bitter and much less delightful side behind its lustrous limelight. And no one has seen that part of the industry better than female celebrities. Regardless of how accomplished a woman might be, most of them, if not all, have been prey to a much darker part of the industry.

Scarlett Johansson comic role
Scarlett Johansson

From Jennifer Aniston and Emily Blunt to Megan Fox and countless more, female stars have gone through it all with the list never coming to a halt. We can add one more name to that unfortunate list, Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson opens up about being objectified in her career

It’s no surprise that in a world that is embellished with nothing but patriarchal and sexist values, women get treated unjustly in ways more than one. From unfair treatment to being reduced to a mere object, they’ve faced all such adversities. And although this has been a tale as old as time, it certainly doesn’t make one feel any less desolate.

Scarlett Johansson, a renowned actress, opened up about the plights she had faced in the early years of her acting career, and how she had been “hypersexualized” since a terribly young age.

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johanson talked about the struggles women had to face in Hollywood

In the latest episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, The Avengers actress got real about the rather ugly struggles that followed the sweet spotlight.

“I kind of became objectified and pigeonholed in this way where I felt like I wasn’t getting offers for work for things that I wanted to do,” she remarked.

The Don Jon actress admitted how she’d started to feel that people might think of her as 40 years old instead. “It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something that I was fighting against,” she admitted.

Scarlett Johansson felt “pigeonholed” after her role in Lost in Translation

Scarlett Johansson gained quite a lot of recognition after playing Charlotte, alongside Bill Murray’s character Bob Harris, in the 2003 film, Lost in Translation.

Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation

However, fame doesn’t amount to everything, especially if it’s at the cost of one’s dignity. And that’s exactly why Johansson felt that her career had been done for before she even had the chance to begin. “I think everybody thought I was older and that I’d been acting for a long time, I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing,” she recalled.

Labeled as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Times Magazine, Johansson had been just 17 years old when she’d played the role of a woman five years older than her.

“So it was scary at that time,” she noted. “In a weird way, I was like, ‘Is this it?’ I attributed a lot of that to the fact that people thought I was much, much older than I was.” 

The Black Widow actress thinks things have started to change for the better

Even after enduring such difficult times wherein one’s self-respect is in jeopardy, Johansson still looked at the brighter side of things. Leave it to women to find the silver lining in even the worst-case scenarios.

The mother of two explained how she was grateful for the change that was slowly simmering in the film industry with regard to women and their roles in movies.

“Now, I see younger actors that are in their 20s. It feels like they’re allowed to be all these different things,” she acknowledged. “It’s another time, too. We’re even allowed to really pigeonhole other actors anymore, thankfully, right?” 

But even though the world is evolving and the Rough Night actress observed how people had become “much more dynamic.” She also mentioned how this was nowhere near the end, for there is so much more ground to cover with regard to making Hollywood safer and less of a nightmare for women.

The American actress observed how there is always room for growth

The #MeToo movement had definitely been a powerful initiative to keep the men in power in check so that they wouldn’t be able to beguile young actresses and take advantage of them. But a lot more effort has yet to be invested.

Johansson addressed the downside of living in patriarchy and how certain values with regard to it have been embedded into the lives of women. “It’s so baked into our culture and society. It’s hard for me to imagine that ever being not an element,” she stated.

However, Johansson also remained hopeful about it all. She described the value of progress and the importance of giving people the time and space to change. “It takes two steps forward and two steps back, and then it gets better and then it gets worse. It’s not finite,” she concluded.

And she couldn’t have been more right, because change, albeit difficult, is never impossible.


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