Amandla Stenberg bodies the conversation on women’s boobs


Faith Wallace

Critic’s reviews are starting to fall off with public opinion. Now the conversation begins on whether critics are necessary.

Faith Wallace, Style and Culture Writer

Bodies Bodies Bodies, the Gen-Z horror film, came out Aug. 5, and despite being in theaters the controversy Amandla Stenberg has gotten themselves into goes outside the cinema. 

Lena Wilson, a journalist for the New York Times, posted a  review on Bodies Bodies Bodies on Aug. 4. In the review, Wilson describes the movie “as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage and Charli XCX’s latest single.” 

Stenberg, who plays the character Sophie in the movie, responded privately to Wilson, saying, “your review is great, maybe if you got your eyes off my tits you could have watched the movie.”  

Wilson then went to Twitter and TikTok accusing Stenberg of being homophobic and using their social power over her. 

“I’m posting [a response] because I don’t want this person who has more social power than me to think that it is okay to do something like this,” Wilson said. 

Wilson’s accusation of Stenberg being homophobic is weird because Stenberg came out as gay in 2018. Her comment regarding cleavage may have been more valid if there were any overtly sexual scenes shown in the movie. Instead, there was some kissing along with a pool scene in which the actors and actresses immediately cover-up. 

Wilson’s review focuses on physical appearance, not only with Stenberg but also with the remainder of the cast. Wilson refers to the cast as “young” and “hot” despite it not being relevant to the movie. 

The whole tone of the review is negative and off-putting. The review does not focus on the appeal of the movie being a horror-related Gen-Z film or what goes on in the movie.

It is almost as if she was attending a different film.

The review is a reminder that people would rather read that a movie is doing worse than good. The reviews for Bodies Bodies Bodies are mostly positive, yet people seem to be looking for any reason to not watch it. This is present in Wilson’s review. The worst, Wilson claims, is that the film is “not special.” Although, Wilson does give it the credit of being well acted as well as “visually appealing.” 

It is weird that Wilson is so angered by Stenberg’s comment. But by sharing the DM she put herself in a position to be critiqued. She then painted Stenberg as the aggressor without any context on social media. 

Critics talking about women’s bodies as a critique of the film is not anything new. The latest example is film critic Dennis Harvey’s Variety article on Promising Young Women

In Harvey’s review, readers got the impression that Harvey was saying that Carey Mulligan wasn’t attractive enough for the role of Cassie. Mulligan responded to the article by saying that she felt concerned a big publication could comment on her attractiveness and be seen as a valid criticism of the movie. Variety apologized for the article. However, the National Society of Film Critics denounced the apology saying it was undermining Dennis as a critic. 

Wilson has now deleted social media, but Stenberg has since made light of the situation.

 “Thanks to anyone who has gone to see our 95-minute advertisement for cleavage,” Stenberg said.