Sammy Nickalls
Updated Aug 20, 2015 @ 12:34 pm
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We’ve been all about StyleLikeU‘s amazing, eye-opening documentary project “I Am What’s Underneath” ever since last year, when well-known style bloggers Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum started their Kickstarter to fund the project. Aiming to “[empower] people worldwide to accept and express their true selves,” interviewees discussing tough yet immensely important topics such as eating disorders, sexuality, and self-acceptance as they strip down and bare it all — literally and figuratively.

Joining the ranks of photographer Petra Collins, fashion designer and model Georgia Pratt, and Bustle editor Marie Southard Ospina, Orange Is The New Black star Lea DeLaria stars in the project’s latest video, and we absolutely love it. Lea, who plays Carrie “Big Boo” Black in the Netflix hit series, opens up for 11 minutes about her sexuality, her body image, and coming out to her family.

“My entire life has been trying to put a positive spin on what it means to be butch,” Lea, 57, explains. “Media has always portrayed us as fat and stupid. . . Part of being butch is the dress, is the look. People had to recognize what you were the second you walked in that bar.”

It was a hard road to come to terms with her sexuality, Lea says in the video. “I hated myself for not being normal. . . I was cowering in the closet, terrified that someone would know my dirty little secret.” She came out to her parents when she was 28, even though she was an openly gay stand-up comic for years before. Her father had “no idea” that she was gay. “Like none,” she said. “And let me just say to that: look at me. LOOK AT ME.”

Lea also had a lot to say about body image and being proud of the body you’re in. “I am a proud fat woman, period,” Lea explains. “We live in a fat-ist society that expects, especially of women, certain things, especially around their weight and it’s bulls**t. I would say I read Fat as a Feminist Issue; halfway through, I got bored and ate it.” YAAAS.

We agree, Lea, and we love you, too. Thank you SO much for opening up about these issues that are so, so important to girls and women all over the world.

Check out the full video below. It’s a bit NSFW, but in the best, most empowering way.

(Image via Youtube)

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