Anya Taylor-Joy faces fan backlash over tight corset’s ‘unrealistic beauty standards’

How Taylor-Joy appeared on the red carpet and as she looked getting ready
Anya Taylor-Joy attends the Dune: Part Two New York Premiere at Lincoln Center, left, and the actress's earlier Instagram post showing her getting dressed - John Nacion/Getty Images

The actress Anya Taylor-Joy is facing an angry backlash after posing in a tight corset, with fans accusing her of setting unrealistic and damaging beauty standards.

The 27-year-old star of The Queen’s Gambit posted a photograph online of herself in the ultra tight corset which she wore under her Maison Margiela gown for the New York premiere of the science-fiction epic Dune: Part Two.

The black and white photograph of her posing in the corset, bound tightly in at the waist, with her arms covering her breasts, was posted to her 10.2 million followers.

Several of them took immediate objection to the image, claiming it could damage children and young women’s view of their own bodies by normalising starvation.

One of Ms Taylor-Joy’s online followers said: “You are going to kill people with this sort of beauty promotion. Please, please stop. That photo of your teeny, tiny, unrealistic waist is going to hurt children who don’t have the maturity to understand how unrealistic beauty standards are.”

Controversy around corsets

A fan said: “What a terrible, terrible thing to do to yourself or share with others, as an influencer.”

Another added: “Can we not normalise starvation? Thinness isn’t chic.”

However some of the actresses’ fans defended her as having “the right to wear anything she likes”.

Some followers said the image recalled the tight fitting corsets worn by many women from the 1500s to the First World War which emphasised the hourglass figure, but constricted their movements and even led to fainting.

Window display of Scandale corsets and suspenders
A window display showing the one-time popularity of corsets in women 's fashion - Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The corset fell out of favour as women began entering the workplace in greater numbers; campaigning for the vote and other basic civic freedoms and gaining greater autonomy over their own bodies.

Ms Taylor-Joy has won a legion of fans and admirers since appearing on screen in Netflix drama The Queen’s Gambit, The Miniaturist and Peaky Blinders.

In the caption to the photograph she posted on Instagram, Ms Taylor-Joy says: “Merci Maison Margiela + Denis Villeneuve [director of Dune] for making dreams come true.”

Past struggles with her appearance

In November 2022 she revealed she had been repeatedly bullied over her appearance when she was growing up in London, where she moved with her parents from Buenos Aires.

Ms Taylor-Joy said at the time: “I was very, very lucky with my parents because when I was bullied for my looks, my mom always said, ‘You look at the inside of somebody, you look at the inside of somebody’

“You don’t look at class, you don’t look at anything like that. You don’t look at what they do for a job. It’s just: ‘Do you like that person’s heart?’”

She had earlier told W magazine that at one stage she stopped looking in mirrors because of online comments making fun of her appearance.

“I was never aware that my eyes were far apart and then someone tagged me in a picture with a fish and they were like, ‘This is you ’cause your eyes are like here.’ And I was really upset about it and I didn’t enjoy it and I kind of stopped looking in mirrors for a very long time,” she said.

Ms Taylor-Joy has been approached for comment.