“Orange Is the New Black” star Dascha Polanco claps back about sizeism and we’re here for it
You may remember Dascha Polanco from her memorable role on Orange is the New Black, where she plays Dayanara Diaz, the moody artist who tragically had to give up her baby. Or you might catch up with her on Instagram, where she has nearly 2 million followers. Both should make her a prime candidate for endorsements and campaigns.
In Hollywood, these deals are mutually beneficial—they provide the star with clothing and attention from magazines, while the brands are given exposure. Dascha herself has said that she loves fashion, telling Vogue, “Fashion in my real life is more important to me than fashion in my acting life; it’s expressive, it’s creative, there’s so much to do with it.”
But, despite her fame and talent, she finds it difficult to get access to designer goods, as luxury brands often do not work with people whose bodies are bigger than sample sizes.
This blatant sizeism sends out the message that thin bodies are inherently worth more than others, that they deserve attention and fame, while all other bodies are less important. Saturday Night Live actress and Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones recently faced a similar issue, when no designers were willing to dress her for the premiere of Ghostbusters.
And yet, despite the discrimination Dascha faces, she’s still able to look consistently amazing on the red carpet.
She says, “I try to work with up-and-coming designers who will make things for me and who will collaborate with me. People who love my curves and embrace them as much as I do…Even though I’m a size 8 or 10, I still can look as great as someone who’s a size 0.”
Of course, this is not to say that Dascha is without her frustrations. She says she reminds herself to be confident every day, and that she tells herself and her fans that outfits are like armor.
And, she’s even planning on designing her own clothing line that provides options for more body types.
Dascha’s fearlessness, poise, and wisdom are so inspiring. Don’t even get us started on the genius of her outfits.