Bryce Dallas Howard Warns Against 'Danger Of Being Silent' About Weight Gain & 'Postpartum Denial'

May 16, 2022 by apost team

Bryce Dallas Howard is no stranger to Hollywood. The 41-year-old comes from a long line of entertainers. According to Biography, Howard's grandparents, Rance and Jean Speegle Howard, were actors. Her father, Ron Howard, starred in his first movie when he was 18 months old. He became a Hollywood staple for his roles in 'Happy Days' and 'The Andy Griffith Show' and as the director of 'A Beautiful Mind' and 'Apollo 13.' Born into a family of entertainers, Howards gravitated to the stage at a young age. As a child, Howard appeared in several of her father's films. In 1995, she, alongside her mother, starred in 'Apollo 13.' But Howard's big break didn't come until years later. 

During her time at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied drama, Howard acted in several Broadway productions. Her portrayal of Rosalind in "As You Like It" caught the attention of famed Hollywood director, M. Night Shyamalan. Shyamalan cast Howard as Ivy Elizabeth Walker in his film, "The Village." The pair worked together again in 2006 when Howard played a naiad in Lady in the Water. After that, Howard received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Rosalind in Kenneth Branagh's "As You Like It." Since then, Howard has starred in "Spider-Man 3," "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" and the "Jurassic World." Throughout her career, Howard has used her platform to highlight societal effects on women and women's issues.

The Golden Globe-nominated actress opened up about her own struggles with weight loss, postpartum and societal's views of women. 

Bryce Dallas Howard (2005), (Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic/Getty images)

Bryce Dallas Howard battled with weight loss and postpartum depression after welcoming her first child, Theo, with her husband, Seth Gabel, in 2007. The "Twilight" star opened up about her struggles in Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop blog.

"Before Theo was born, I had been in good humor about my 80-pound weight gain, but I was now mortified by it," She wrote. "I felt I was failing at breast-feeding. My house was a mess. I believed I was a terrible dog owner. I was certain I was an awful actress; I dreaded a film I was scheduled to shoot only a few weeks after the birth because I could barely focus enough to read the script. And worst of all, I definitely felt I was a rotten mother—not a bad one, a rotten one. Because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear."

It took "The Help" actress months to get out of her depressive state. Howard didn't recognize her emotional state as depression until reading Brooke Shields' book "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression."

"I didn't realize that what I was experiencing was postpartum depression; I called it 'postpartum denial,'" Howard told Today.

Howard chose to share her experience with postpartum depression and shed light on the issue.  

"I cringed when I watched my interview on television because of my inability to share authentically what I was going through, what so many women go through." she wrote. "I fear more often than not, for this reason alone, we choose silence. And the danger of being silent means only that others will suffer in silence and may never be able to feel whole because of it."

Bryce Dallas Howard (2019), (John Phillips/Getty Images)

Howard's portrayal of Laci Pound in Black Mirror's episode, "Nosedive," takes a sci-fi spin on social media and society's perception of women. 

In "Nosedive," Howard plays Laci Pound, who lives in a world that has embraced technology. In this tech-savvy world, people are rated based on their daily interactions. Their ratings affect everyone's socioeconomic status. Howard's character is desperate to raise her ratings to buy her dream house. She decides to use her friend's wedding as a chance to increase her ratings which results in a series of misfortune, starting with her inability to fit into a size four dress.

To effectively portrayal the role, the SAG nominated actress gained 30 pounds. 

"It was really important for me to show that this insecurity that she feels in the world is because she's not comfortable in her own skin," she told The Wrap. "She's not accepting herself for who she is. I wanted it be about image, and about how people want to control what other people think about them by trying to control themselves in ways that are harmful."

In her interview with Marie Claire, Howard explained how her character shows the effects living in a social-media-driven society has on one's self-worth. She relates this to our current society and how a specific body type is seen as more attractive than others.

"In the culture we live in, there's this pervasive, shared agreement that there's a certain body type to admire," Howard told the magazine, "and it isn't actually based on anything real or substantive ... it's a truly superficial thing, and there's a cost to that."

Howard believes this episode asks, "'What are the ways we oppress our authentic selves?' and that's a true form of oppression for women."

Bryce Dallas Howard (2020), (John Shearer/Getty Images)

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