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Elizabeth Banks: Sex-shaming is a disservice to young people

Elizabeth Banks is gorgeous, successful and talented — but she hasn’t always seen herself that way. The Hunger Games actress spoke with New You magazine about finding her beauty and her sexuality.

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“I didn’t quite believe I was pretty for a long time. I never thought about it,” she explained, adding that her beauty is thanks to her family. “I’m very genetically blessed, I cannot deny it, but I work hard at keeping myself together. Yes, I have nice cheekbones and skinny legs but I can’t take any credit for it.”

Although Banks has played all kind of characters — from a CNBC reporter to a doctor to an oversexed bookstore worker — she believes women should gain power from their sexuality, not shame.

“It’s a huge disservice to young people to put shame into the equation,” she explained. “That’s what bothers me the most about it and why I speak so openly about sex. I promote safe sex, always, and abstinence until you are madly in love. But at the same time I have no desire to shame any young person about what’s going on in their life or about general sexuality or their bodies.”

The actress, who is the mother of two children, may be most well-known now (at least to young adults) as the lovable Capitol guide to Katniss and Peeta in the Hunger Games. Mockingjay — Part 1 will be out later this year and Banks said back in 2012 she always knew the role should be hers.

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“I wanted to play Effie. I think she’s an incredibly complicated, interesting character,” she said. “She’s someone who’s wildly optimistic in the face of horrible circumstances and I love that dichotomy.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 is out Nov. 21, but the first full trailer is out now.

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