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EXCLUSIVE! Britney Young on body positivity and how GLOW is tackling Hollywood stereotypes

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GLOW

GLOW on Netflix is about to become your new obsession.

With an inspiring and diverse crop of women, plenty of brilliant 1980s outfits – and hair – and an amazing true story behind it, it’s no surprise the show is already getting rave reviews.

LAGoss.com caught up with Britney Young, who plays Carmen Wade, to chat about body positivity and how GLOW is breaking the mould.

“We want to celebrate women of all shapes, all sizes, all colours,” Britney told us. “It’s a goal of ours to show people from all walks of life and make everyone feel included. I think that’s something we need to do a better job of in Hollywood, and I’m glad to be on a show that is doing that.”

And as for what drew her to this character, she explained, “I’m a plus-sized girl and as honoured as I have been to have all the parts that I’ve gotten, I’ve unfortunately been a little bit pigeon-holed into playing mean girls, or bullies, or really intimidating people.

“And that’s not my personality in real life at all. What really drew me to Carmen was specifically the words ‘a gentle giant’ – that’s what the character description was – and I really wanted to finally play a character who was sweet, kind and full of life. I was really drawn to that.”

Rising star: LAGoss.com chatted to Britney Young, who stars in GLOW on Netflix | Bobby Quillard

Even better was the fact that Britney was told to wear “gym clothes and no makeup” to the audition – which meant she was “quickly in”.

Inspired by the 1980s show of the same name, GLOW (short for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) follows a group of women who sign up for a televised wrestling show, with many of them hoping it will be their ticket to success in show business.

With Orange is the New Black’s Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann as executive producers and starring Mad Men’s Alison Brie, the show is full of brilliant women both behind the camera and in front of it – and Britney loves the way it’s tackling the male-centric world of wrestling.

I think the thing that’s fantastic about Orange Is the New Black and then our show is that we meet these women in a place that is predominantly male-driven. So it’s kind of fun to bring up these almost fish out of water kind of stories,” she told us.

“They wanted to tell this story about these women, and it naturally became something about supporting and encouraging women and putting them in the forefront, because female wrestling at the time in the ’80s was considered like a sideshow.

“But GLOW brought female wrestling into this bigger arena to show, ‘Hey, these women are strong and powerful, and they can do anything that the men can do.’ That’s something that I love about this show. This is really what happened and what these women had to go through in order to live out their dreams, and it’s a natural segue into all of these different topics.”

Out now: The series, also starring Alison Brie, is inspired by the famous 1980s series | Netflix

Britney hopes fans watching the show will be inspired to follow their dreams and realise that “we can help each other while still helping ourselves”, and as a plus-sized actress she is well aware of the influence she has on any young girls who may be watching.

“When I grew up there was no one that looked like me in movies or TV,” she told us. “And even if there was a plus-sized girl or a mixed girl or a black girl, they’re pigeonholed into these roles.

“Movies and TV really influenced me growing up, and I purposefully made it a point in my life to say, ‘No. I’m going to be confident, I’m going to be kind, I’m going to be nice. I’m not going to be like how these women are portrayed in these films.’”

As her star continues to rise, Britney hopes to be more involved with organisations that bring body positivity “to the forefront”.

“Size should not dictate talent, it should not dictate passion, it should not dictate conviction. It should be something that can be used to your advantage and should be celebrated,” she told us. “So hopefully I can make a little bit of a positive movement on that, it would be awesome.

“But really another thing that has been so inspiration to me has been this group of GLOW girls. These 14 women are just so inspiring to me and they’re all very confident in themselves, and I think that in turn that made me even more confident in who I am.”

Inspiring: The actress is all about body positivity and wants to be a good role model for young girls | Bobby Quillard

The group hang out on the weekends and have a WhatsApp group they chat on daily, after becoming “very close” during their weeks of stunt and wrestling training, in which they had to learn how to do all of the moves themselves.

A hundred percent it’s us. Which I think is fantastic because the original GLOW girls didn’t have stunt doubles, so why should we?” Britney said. “I think that that was the best bonding experience we had.

“The entertainment industry really does pit women against each other. It’s always a competition. It’s never an encouraging, supportive place. But when we walked into that training ring, we were all on the same level.”

With all the excitement surrounding GLOW’s release and the positive reviews that just keep rolling in, it seems a second season is inevitable – but Britney is still grateful to have been a part of the series even if that doesn’t happen.

“This really was such a life-changing experience, and we became such a close group,” she told us. “And this is the best crew I’ve ever worked with. I hope we come back for a season two, but if we don’t, it was the best experience of my life. I’m so proud and so excited of what we made.”

The first season of GLOW is available to stream on Netflix now.