Aidy Bryant Says Her Life Changed When She Stopped Trying to Lose Weight
"I stopped letting it be an all-day, everyday thing that defined everything that I did."
Aidy Bryant might be one of the most confident and body-positive celebrities in Hollywood, but it's taken her a long time to get there. The Saturday Night Live star recently opened up about how she struggled with body image as a teen and was constantly putting pressure on herself to lose weight.
"I was spending so much energy on something that really, no matter what I did, wasn't changing," Bryant told The Cut. "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?'"
"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 I did that," she says.
"Within two years, I was hired by Second City; two years later I was hired by SNL," she continued. "I stopped letting it be an all-day, everyday thing that defined everything that I did. And it worked."
It didn't take long for Bryant to become a fan-favorite on SNL, but there are still times she feels like she's excluded because of her size. In the same interview with The Cut, she recalled an incident when the whole SNL squad got together for a photoshoot and she was the only one who had to wear her own clothes because she was a size 18.
"It was just humiliating," Bryant says. "The other girls had racks of clothes to choose from and were wearing these thousand-dollar dresses, and I had two sacks or like one matronly mother-of-the-bride dress. Those were the first times where I was like, Something is different here and this isn't fair. This is a f***ed-up situation, and it's purely because of my body. Not because I'm less funny-it's my body. It's the only reason that I'm treated differently right now. And it lit a f***ing fire in me."
It was that fire that motivated Bryant to start working on a clothing line for women who are between a size 12 and 24. She said she feels a "moral obligation" to make dressing up an empowering and fun experience for women of all different body types. "It sounds so corny now, but representation does f***ing matter."
Bryant isn't the only one to encourage size inclusivity in fashion, which is important considering the average woman in America wears a size 16. Nike and Target recently launched their plus-size activewear and swimsuit lines-and Ashley Graham's SwimsuitsForAll collection made waves last year along with Zendaya's new body-inclusive clothing line and Lauren Conrad's new plus-size collection.
It also helps that designers like Tim Gunn have blasted the fashion industry for treating plus-size women as "complicated," and showcases like the New York Fashion Week runways are slowly starting to represent women of different sizes.
We hope Bryant's candor inspires even more influential women to follow suit.