Popularly known as Kelli from the hit series Insecure, Natasha Rothwell has a lot to say about working in the movie industry. In a world that judges appearance before skill, it can sometimes be difficult to fit in and explore opportunities. For Rothwell, it was her size and skin colour. In her expose with Glamour Magazine, Natasha talked about diversity and body positivity, describing what is known as slim privilege and not getting roles first for being black and then for being plus size.
Although, like many other facets of the entertainment industry, there has been a paradigm shift over the last couple of years with the inclusion of plus sizes to the fashion and beauty sectors but the movie industry still seems to be taking baby steps to its full diversity.
‘I’m a Plus-Size, Fat-Loving, Body-Positive Feminist, and I Look for Roles That Celebrate That’
Rothwell had always known she wanted to spend her life writing, telling, and performing stories and one of the many reasons she was excited about her role in the popular HBO series Insecure is because it helped her break boundaries and norms.
“Early on in my career, I would just listen to it and tell myself no. There are enough people in the world who want to tell you not to do something, especially if you’re a woman and especially if you’re a woman of color”.
Here’s a bit of what she shared.
“In an industry that looks a certain way and values a certain aesthetic, you can face resistance that doesn’t necessarily live in the audition room. It just sort of lives in how you navigate the industry. There’s no specific story where someone looked at me and said, “No! Too black, too fat.” No one’s had the gall to say that to my face, but you learn about what casting directors tastes are. It’s not a secret that the media that’s out there to consume tends to look a certain way. It’s up to me to consciously go into rooms and shift the paradigm and challenge expectations by being creative with the material that I’m given and finding a real grounded way to present audition material or writing samples, as it were”.
Currently, Natasha is stepping into a new role for her movie Love, Simon were she plays Ms. Albright, a teacher who helps guide her students through some of their biggest personal problems as they struggle with high school, finding their identity and sexuality.