Is Netflix Poised To Usher In A New Period Of Physique Positivity Into Hollywood?


During the last twenty years, Hollywood has held on to films like Hairspray, Tall Woman, Treasured, Dumplin, and Final Vacation, symbolizing their adherence to physique positivity. Nonetheless, these films are few and much between. The Careers of actresses like Gabourey Sidibe, who delivered a show-stopping efficiency within the film Treasured, and Insurgent Wilson, who stole hearts via her performances in Pitch Excellent and Bridesmaids, typify Hollywood’s habit to at least one dominant physique sort.

Whereas Sidibe’s function in Treasured earned her an Oscar nomination and a whole lot of work in tv, She has struggled to seek out roles in movie that aren’t stereotyped to her physique sort. Insurgent Wilson has additionally publicly admitted to being denied romantic heroine roles due to her measurement.


Katya Karlova describes this conundrum; “It is not essentially about what occurs on the display screen, it is the impression it’s having on society. Folks search for themselves in films; they’re searching for validation via illustration. For a very long time, I hid my physique; I did not have fun it and did not find it irresistible. It took a whole lot of braveness to begin modeling and discover the achievement I now really feel once I pose earlier than a digicam. Whether or not we prefer it or not, we’re affected by what we see; society is engineered by footage. It’s simply the best way we’re wired.”

Karlova is a mannequin and speaker. She is at present the VP of Expertise Acquisition at an LA-based advertising and marketing firm. The UCLA graduate and Younger Alumnus of the Yr award winner is a fierce advocate for physique positivity and intercourse positivity and believes that ladies might be each attractive and stylish on the similar time with out having to succumb to what she refers to as “ossified societal stereotypes.”


Karlova has walked the tightrope between working a high-end company job and constructing a sensational modeling model, two profession paths that most individuals think about incompatible. Katya attributes a whole lot of psychological well being points amongst ladies to a society the place ladies do not be at liberty and are compelled to really feel aware about their our bodies.

Thunder Power; Is Netflix Making A Assertion?

It is not typically that we get to see two plus-sized feminine superheroes. Within the film Thunder Power, Octavia Spenser teamed up with Melissa McCarthy to ship a powerful efficiency, breaking the frequent superhero stereotype.

Within the Netflix hit sequence Orange Is The New Black, Netflix additionally masterminded one other body-positive second. The sequence has been extensively applauded for its casting of so many ladies with totally different physique sorts. Nonetheless, as anticipated, not everybody has acquired these films properly.


“It takes constant child steps to interrupt out of a mildew,” Korlova explains, “I ignored my psychological well being for thus lengthy that it started affecting my bodily well being. Sooner or later, I used to be having panic assaults and getting sick on a regular basis.”

“By a whole lot of remedy and self-care, I discovered the braveness to like my physique once more, to strive on issues that I first felt uncomfortable sporting, and step by step turn out to be happy with how I look. It’s okay for folks to be uncomfortable at first; that’s most likely why a few of these films don’t get the reception they deserve initially. Nonetheless, if we preserve taking these child steps, we finally arrive at a spot of therapeutic. There are means too many ladies hurting on the market, and Hollywood is chargeable for fostering communal therapeutic by selling extra physique sorts on display screen.”


Prioritizing Psychological Well being

Karlova has needed to show the total spectrum of femininity; each a company skilled and stereotypically female lingerie mannequin. She needed to push herself to the apex of her company profession as nearly an escapism from her inner struggles, but it surely was in modeling that she discovered her calling.

“You possibly can obtain all you need, however till you discover that factor that you simply actually love doing, your psychological well being struggles will all the time get in the best way of your happiness,” Karlova explains.

“I’ve achieved an excellent deal in my company profession, but it surely was modeling that actually made me completely happy. Typically ladies are means too agreeable and simply influenced. Ladies should not depend upon Hollywood’s illustration to seek out happiness; they need to discover that inside themselves. They should know that they are often anybody they wish to be. The primary time I ever posed in lingerie, it felt awkward, however with time, I checked out these footage and thought, ‘Wow! am I actually that lovely?’ I realized to like myself afresh when I discovered the braveness to close out the noise and pursue the issues I really like.”

Whereas Karlova advocates for girls to seek out their energy inside themselves, it is usually clear that Hollywood does owe ladies in society an obligation to present them extra illustration.


In response to a examine printed in The Guardian, ladies are 40% extra more likely to have psychological well being points than males. The examine highlighted exterior environmental elements as one of many main causes of psychological well being points amongst ladies. In response to the examine, psychological well being points have an effect on ladies’s self-worth or vanity, and girls have a tendency to start viewing themselves extra negatively. Most psychological well being professionals consider that psychological well being points needs to be fought from inside and with out. Meaning educating and reshaping the societal causes of psychological well being points.

In response to Karlova, “Having a dream and actively pursuing it gave me a lot life and therapeutic. As a speaker, I see myself talking on prestigious levels and delivering TED talks. As a mannequin, I see myself posing for magazines like Playboy, Maxim, and Sports activities Illustrated. These are a few of the goals that propel me, and as my model grows, I’m slowly seeing them turn out to be realities. It’s nearly inconceivable to dream whereas wallowing in self-pity and nervousness.”

“Nonetheless, when the work is finished inside, we additionally want the surroundings to replicate that very same vitality. Because of this I spend time advocating for extra physique positivity and intercourse positivity; that is the place age-old establishments like Hollywood are available in.” She added.


Netflix has beforehand been criticized for not being easy relating to some points inside marginalized communities. Nonetheless, we can not flip a blind eye to the corporate’s work in the direction of advancing equality. Films like Thunderforce and the TV sequence Orange is The New Black might need acquired blended opinions, however they’ve actually made an announcement. Now Netflix solely has to proceed on that path as we hope for a courageous new world the place ladies are usually not outlined by their waistline.


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