Aidy Bryant, dressed as Sarah Huckabee Sanders and singing Demi Lovato, said it best on Saturday Night Live last weekend when she crooned, "What's wrong with being confident?"
The 30-year-old comedian has plenty to be proud of right now. She recently got engaged to Connor O'Malley, she's best friends with Kate McKinnon, and she's responsible for some of the funniest sketches on SNL, including "(Do It On) My Twin Bed." But she wasn't always this happy. In an interview with The Cut, Bryant opened up about how her body insecurities used to hinder her life.
"I was spending so much energy on something that really, no matter what I did, wasn't changing," she said of her dieting habits. "And I truly got to a breaking point. I was like, 'How much longer can I do this? Can I do this for the rest of my life?'"
She continued: "I finally was like, 'What if I put all of that energy into just trying to like myself and focus on the things I actually want to do as opposed to this thing that's like a made-up concept?' And I'm not kidding, my entire life changed after that."
Now, she's hoping to inspire other women to accept themselves for who they are so that they, too, can do what is best for their lives.
"I didn't try to get on SNL to be a body-positivity activist, but apparently just being there makes you one. It's this weird kind of thing where you're like, 'I guess I kind of am.' It's literally just not what I came here to do," she said. "It sounds so corny now, but representation does fucking matter."
Of course, representation isn't just limited to putting people on TV; women also need to find their sizes reflected while they're shopping. Bryant confirmed to The Cut that she's going to do her part in making that happen by slowly rolling out her own clothing line.
"I feel like there's almost two zones of plus-sized clothing," she said. "It's either full sweatpants and huge T-shirts and elastic waist jeans, or it's hyper-trendy with a shoulder, a bow, a button, a print, a zipper. It's almost like, 'These girls have never had style, we're going to throw it ALL at them.' And I so often am longing for something that's a little easier, cooler. Stuff you can wear every damn day to run errands and go to meetings, that isn't a full party dress but isn't, like, sweats. Flattering but still comfortable."
Here is a fact: The majority of women in the United States are about a size 16. It's ridiculous that retailers aren't providing more options; and not just any options, but practical ones like Bryant suggests. What I'm saying is nothing new. In fact, we at Refinery29 spend a lot of time talking about impractical body standards and how these expectations are as much a mental health hazard as they are a physical one.
Sizeism, frankly, is a bullshit notion with a serious toxic impact. Having women like Bryant speak out against unfair practices and standards isn't just a refreshing act, it's also political. Until things change, it's up to all of us to join women to support one another so everyone can channel their inner Aidy Bryant/Sarah Huckabee Sanders/Demi Lovato and sing "Confident."