Glow Girl

Glow Girl

by Melissa Magsaysay

How Actress Britney Young is Breaking Down Stereotypes in Hollywood

Considering the gym shorts, hand me down t-shirts and ponchos Britney Young’s character, the wrestler Carmen aka Machu Picchu, wears on the Emmy nominated Netflix show Glow, it may not be obvious that off screen, the actress is an emerging fashion plate with many glamorous red carpets in the (not so distant) future.

It’s evident during a photo shoot in Beverly Hills in August where the actress is perusing the rack of clothing situated inside one of the bedrooms of a sprawling Beverly Hills Mid Century Modern home. She ogles over each piece, game to try everything, particularly a blue and white floral print blouse and skirt by the designer, Adam Lippes.

“I love print, I love color. I feel I'm very classic and love a 50's or 60's silhouette.”

“I love print, I love color. I feel I'm very classic and love a 50's or 60's silhouette.” Says Young, who grew up in Alaska wearing jeans and sweatshirts because that’s what was comfortable and available. “I always tag what I’m wearing on my social media, because a couple years ago I was that girl saying, "Oh, you're my size? Where did you get that?" I always tag to make sure that everybody knows. Everything I wear is accessible to everyone”.

Comfort is still key for her, but now with her star rapidly rising, the actress is entertaining the idea of more designer pieces as a part of her wardrobe rotation.

“All of the different options that are out there are so amazing and it’s a little bit overwhelming to now at 30, to think, “I have to find my style.”” Says Young. “I really love basically anything Mindy Kaling wears. I think she and I have similar taste, because she's got that classic silhouette and she has the bright colors and the prints. Anything she wears, I'm always like, "Yes."”

Like Kaling, Young also represents the crop of curvier film and television actresses surging to the top of entertainment and reflecting what most women look like and identify with. It’s powerful representation and something that she plans to keep pushing for, because even as television gets more diverse with characters, there is clearly still a long way to go before it’s the norm.

“I think that one of the sad things about the world right now is that there's not that many plus sized characters or people in music and TV, yet the world is full of them.”

“I don't think we're there yet.” Says Young about more diverse bodies being a standard in Hollywood. “I kind of feel, unfortunately, that we're in this moment where you can be a plus size person on TV as long as you have a flat stomach, as long as you have no stretch marks, as long as you have an hourglass shape. I think we are now putting pressures on what it means to be plus size instead of being like, “I'm a plus size person. This is what my body looks like.”

Young says that as far as roles go, prior to Glow, it was mostly stereotypical, plus size roles like the bully, the prison guard, the prisoner. “It was these aggressive, menacing characters. Now since Glow, I'm really looking to try to find roles that if they're looking for a plus sized person or a bigger actress, it's not a negative character, you know? Just let me play like a sweet, nice person. I think that one of the sad things about the world right now is that there's not that many plus sized characters or people in music and TV, yet the world is full of them."

Her dream role is to play the first plus size superhero, a character named Faith Herbert (aka Zephyr) from a comic book that is currently in development as a movie by Sony Pictures.

“I'm a huge reader and had Tweeted out, asking people if they had any suggestions of positive plus sized characters in books and a bunch of people told me Faith.” Says Young. “I looked it up and have read a bunch of the copies and it's such a good story. And now Sony pictures is gonna make a live action. So I'm just like, I would love to play this role and I feel like after being able to do what I do on Glow, it now seems more attainable. I think I've proven enough that I, personally, could physically carry the role of a superhero.”

It’s certainly not a stretch, because when it comes to acting, fashion and fighting for more diversity and positivity in our current world, Young is proving it can all be done with grace, humor and confidence.

Top Photo: Young wears the ML Monique Lhuillier White Lace Dress
Photos: Annie Shak
Hair and Makeup: Erin LeBre

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