Cameron Diaz on the misogynistic realities of fame: ‘It was the normal thing to do to laugh and be able to get through unscathed’

After announcing her retirement from Hollywood in 2018, Cameron Diaz has shared her experience of navigating the misogynistic trials of the film industry.

Speaking to Michelle Visage in her debut podcast Rule Breakers, the 49-year-old admitted that the ’90s and early ‘00s had “heavy, heavy misogyny,” with exploitation being “laid on the entire industry.”

Reminiscing with Michelle about their unconscious involvement, Cameron agreed it was normal to laugh it off. “It was the normal thing to do to laugh and just be able to get through unscathed,” she said.

“Be the one who participated enough to make everybody feel taken care of but not to be a victim in that position,” she said. “To know how to navigate the whole thing because it was happening all day […] It’s a very different thing now, I think.”

Cameron added, “I certainly didn’t do as much as could be done now because of the awareness of everybody with #MeToo.

Cameron said she tried to choose films like Shrek and Charlie’s Angels for their focus on girl power and empowerment – something she believed wasn’t being done at the time.

Later in the podcast, she confessed that “Fame is infantaslising”, saying she felt constantly coddled by people who insisted on doing everything for her. “It very much takes away from your own sense of autonomy and ability to take care of yourself,” she said.

After years of objectification and spending “several hours” in front of a mirror before going on set, Cameron said: “​​it’s hard not to look at yourself and judge yourself against other markers of beauty.” 

Opening up about the effects of these beauty markers, she said: “I am absolutely a victim to all of the societal objectification and exploitations that women are subjected to…I have bought into all of them myself at certain times.”

With eight years away from the camera, Cameron said: “[Now] I do nothing, I literally never wash my face.” Despite owning “a billion products,” she rarely ever uses them and instead puts her energy into being able to run around with her daughter. 

“I’m just in a different phase of life,” she said, “The last thing I think about on a daily basis – maybe not at all during the day, is what I look like.”

In her approach to turning 50, Cameron has learnt the only need in life is her family. “It’s the most valuable thing I have,” she admitted, “We know that no matter what, we can just be a family anywhere, and we’re fine. We don’t need any of the things that we have, other than each other.”

Since her official retirement four years ago, Cameron Diaz welcomed her first child with partner Benji Madden and launched her own wine company Avaline.