Keira Knightley on Why She Decided to Pose Topless

Pam WrightLife

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Keira Knightley says that her decision to pose topless in a recent photo shoot was to protest against "unrealistic expectations that are placed on women, especially those in the public eye."

The British actress was photographed for Interview magazine in August by famed photographer Patrick Demarcherlier.

In an interview with The Times of London, Knightley explained her reasons for taking her top off for the shoot.

“I’ve had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it’s paparazzi photographers or for film posters," she said.

"That [shoot] was one of the ones where I said: ‘OK, I’m fine doing the topless shot so long as you don’t make them any bigger or retouch.’ Because it does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are,” explained Knightley, who was angry several years ago when her bosom was digitally enlarged for the poster of King Arthur.

Knightley has posed nude or semi-nude in the past. In 2006, she posed naked for the cover of Vanity Fair with Scarlett Johansson. Fashion designer Tom Ford was also included in the photo fully-clothed. Knightley said the threesome wanted to emphasis conflicting demands on men and women's sexuality.

“I think women’s bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame,” she told The Times. “It’s much easier to take a picture of somebody without a shape; it simply is. Whereas actually you need tremendous skill to be able get a woman’s shape and make it look like it does in life, which is always beautiful. But our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape."

Knightley also addressed the difficulty women face as they age.

“It’s really desperate, the image we have of women, and when women became invisible or when you hear someone say, ‘She’s let herself go,’ whatever the f— that means. What — because she’s got grey hair? I do think it’s something that needs to be addressed,” she said.

Pam Wright