Gritty acting promotes brains over body

Hannah Widener

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As the sun finally approaches my tiny state of New Hampshire and the temperature is slowly starting to creep above 70 degrees, something horrible is coming: swimsuit season. I found out the hard way about a week ago, when I decided on a whim that I would try to tan my butt.

Relaxing on my deck, cheeks toasting, I heard a car coming down my mile long driveway. In a panic I tried to clasp my bathing suit top, but there was no time, so I decided to grab what I could and run. It was too late; the truck had already rounded the corner and most definitely saw me at my front door with my butt out. To make matters worse, when they were knocking on our front door, I hid in my bathroom in shame. Needless to say, I think they knew I was home, considering my towel and my phone were still lying on our front deck.

After I got over the oil man seeing my crescent moon, I sat back down on the couch and felt that role of fat come over my bathing suit bottoms. This was the first time in a long time my pants hadn’t been there to tuck it all back in. I’m not sure if guys do this, but girls will understand exactly what I’m speaking of. This got me thinking, “what kind of world do we live in, where we feel the need to tuck and conceal everything?”

Then I remembered some of my favorite characters on the show “Orange Is the New Black.” None of them are ever complaining about their weight or asking if their jumpsuit makes them look fat. Saturday, these women of all shapes and sizes will return to Netflix and will wow viewers once again. You won’t see any of them working out in the gym or trying to get a tan out in the barbwire enclosed courtyard. Most of them are just trying to stay out of solitary confinement and make it through the day.

Unlike the girls featured on “Pretty Little Liars” with their perfect hair, fashionable clothes and beautifully done makeup, the women of “OITNB” are as grungy as it gets. They are a part of a new breed of actors and actresses who are willing to be on camera stripped down to the basics. The kind of characters featured on shows like “Shameless” and “The Walking Dead” who are willing exchange a makeup artist for some dirt and a little grime.

No longer is the age of good looking faces that will bring in millions of viewers based off appearance alone. This is the age of gritty acting, where if the storylines are not compelling, then it doesn’t matter how the cast looks. People won’t tune in. Period. The audience doesn’t just want to see Don Draper seducing another woman at the office on “Mad Men.” They want to see real people, people who look like them. People you could just as easily see at the grocery store and then see on screen the next day.

I believe “OITNB” will help women realize that what they say and how they act matters more than how they look. That their favorite body part should be their brains, not their buns.

See also: “‘Orange is the new black’ gains popularity with Netflix