One of the things actress Danielle Brooks enjoys most about her role on Orange Is The New Black is the fact that the show’s cast includes such a diverse range of women. That’s why she’s excited to be involved in Refinery29’s new campaign, The 67% Project, which is a call for more representation of plus-size women in mainstream media. For the project, Refinery29 has teamed up with Getty Images for The 67% Collection—a gorgeous series of stock images that just so happens to feature plus-size women.
The project’s name reflects the fact that 67 percent of women in America are considered plus-size, often considered to mean they wear a dress size 14 and up (though, we all know dress sizes don’t mean much). Despite the fact that the majority of America’s women are plus-size, plus-size women make up an estimated 2 percent of the bodies seen in the media.
Why that matters? Because women deserve to see people who look like them.
Danielle Brooks, age 27, agrees. The actress has won over our hearts with her portrayal of Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson, one of many inmates on OITNB’s lovable cast, and also slayed on Broadway in The Color Purple. She’s the guest creative director of The 67% Project, and representation of plus-size women is something she takes very seriously.
“I have been plus-size since I was in high school and started developing like any other girl,” Brooks told SELF. “It’s always been heartbreaking growing up…to not see myself. And now I am that girl I wanted to see, and I can’t wait to see what it does for the next generation of women that are coming up.”
Brooks also says that shows like Orange Is The New Black reinforce just how important it is to share the stories and experiences of diverse women. After years of playing the “sassy black friend” or the “sidekick,” she says that being part of the OITNB cast was a huge breath of fresh air.
“I was not the only plus-size woman, the only person of color, not the only one with natural hair, not the only dark-skinned woman. Jenji [Kohan] created a show that is all inclusive. Age, size, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs—that’s the world that we live it. That’s part of what I want to continue doing.”
SELF – Culture