Let's face it: So many of the women characters on TV conform to the same similarly slim body type. Some characters are more obvious than others when it comes to their pursuit of maintaining the "ideal body" — like Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, who religiously measures her body parts to make sure her proportions haven't been altered by forces of age and childbirth. In most shows, though, thinness is just the unstated status quo for women's bodies.
So when Niecy Nash explains what she most likes about playing her character, nail salon owner Desna Simms, on the show Claws, we can't help but give her a literal round of applause. Nash spoke with Refinery29's Arianna Davis and Emily Curl during tonight's coverage of the SAG Awards red carpet.
"I love that I'm a woman on television who's not a size 2. I eat on television for real," Nash said, laughing. "She’s a full woman.”
This isn't the first time Nash has publicly spoken out about her relationship to her body. In April 2017, Nash posted a series of mirror selfies of herself in a bathing suit. At first, she wrote, she was fixated on her so-called imperfections. Then, she took a kinder perspective. "I changed my conversation with myself: These hips caught two husbands (and a few boos), my thighs touch but I gained weight having good food with great people. I see my c-section scar peeking out (thank you @thekatvond for putting a tattoo over it) but it's a reminder that I brought 3 beautiful children into the world. "I allowed my stretch marks to whisper 'you are a grown ass women who has survived a few thangs & STRETCHED in ways you never thought you could,'" Nash wrote in a caption.
Nash's red carpet revelation fit in well with the rest of Refinery29's red carpet coverage. Body positivity was a theme that ran throughout all the interviews. Jolene Purdy, who plays Piper Chapman's cellmate Stephanie Hapakuka on Orange is the New Black, stated the importance of seeing characters who look like her on screen. In fact, Purdy said Stephanie was the first character just like her she'd ever auditined for. Purdy brought up another good point. While OITNB showcases a wide array of body types, that same diversity certainly hasn't become the norm on TV. It's a step in the right direction.
And having women like Nash unapologetically embrace their own bodies is a leap in the right direction, too.
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