“All of these young girls who are just looking at these magazines … their perception is that this is reality and it’s not.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” and “OITNB” star Samira Wiley in a recent chat got candid about body image and how unwanted comments can have a lasting impact on a person.
The 34-year-old actress, gearing up to debut her documentary, The Gratitude Project, in June 2022 at the Tribeca Film Festival, explaining further said:
“I feel like this was really asking the question of what does it look like to be grateful, not just [by] using your words. And I was really interested in that,” she explained. “It seemed to be really in line with the lessons that I feel I’ve learned throughout my life, and to be able to learn from all the people that we’re going to be featuring in the documentary as well … I’m just all about learning about that and about spreading this idea to anyone that it can touch.”
According to her, body acceptance for her actually began 10 years after being diagnosed with diabetes at just 12 years old and her weight reached less than 100 pounds, this was the wake-up calm she needed – it was time to seek help.
“I was in denial and I didn’t really take care of myself,” Wiley says. “And then I just got the idea that I now only got one [body]. and I feel like it’s done so much for me, and I want to be able to take care of it as well.”
The Gratitude Project will feature real-life stories from people who have embraced body gratitude to improve their lives. She hopes the lessons will in the long run impact her daughter.
“When I think about the documentary that we are going to make, that One A Day is spearheading,” Wiley says. “I think about her being able to see something like that one day and her knowing that I was involved in it, and her knowing that it’s something that is important to me. It’s also a different narrative than the one that may be abound when she’s conscious to that kind of thing.”
During a People Magazine interview on Wednesday, Samira Wiley opened up about how she was once body-shamed during a photoshoot.
“I remember this one so vividly because [I] feel like I have a healthy body image, and I was on the shoot and one of the outfits they put me in, was something that showed a bit of midriff,” she recalled. “And honestly, I thought it was fine. But someone on the set was like, ‘Oh, don’t worry. We can fix that in post.’”
Although at the time she said she had no body image issues, the effects of the statement made that day have been long-lasting.
According to Wiley, the interaction didn’t “really put me in a horrible mood,” adding: “But this is what I have to deal with?”
“I can’t imagine what all of these young girls who are just looking at these magazines, and their perception is that this is reality and it’s not,” she told People.