Keira Knightley believes women are told by society that “the way they look is more important than what they have to say”.

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley

The 35-year-old actress listed modelling and sex work as the only two career paths where a “woman can earn more than a man”, as she said the occupations favour physical appearance over intelligence, and therefore reinforce gender stereotypes.

Speaking about her upcoming beauty pageant film ‘Misbehaviour’, she said: “I read the script and I naturally totally agreed with the second-wave feminists [protesting] and yet I’ve made most of my money as a model [for Chanel]. I go on red carpets where you’re given marks out of 10 and you have cameras up and down your body. I think that’s the complexity of being a woman in the modern age.

“Still the No. 1 career in the world - the only one - where a woman can earn more than a man is modelling. Or prostitution. And that says everything it needs to say to young women.

“[It’s a big indicator] of the world we still live in, [it tells women] the way you look is more important than what you have to say or what you think.”

However, Keira - who has Edie, five and Delilah, 13 months, with husband James Righton - appreciates her career as an actress, as she is able to tell “two sides” of stories such as the one told in ‘Misbehaviour’.

She added to Stellar magazine: “It says this is f****** horrible, I’m totally against this and this objectification is awful, and yet it will give me opportunity. I suddenly become visible in a world where I’m invisible, and that has merit and that has value, and I could have a better life afterwards. It’s what we’re all still grappling with.”

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