Sammy Nickalls
November 19, 2015 9:58 am

Samira Wiley is all for keeping it real. The Orange Is The New Black Star, who plays Poussey Washington in the show, recently was profiled by Mimi, and let’s just say that it’s made us fall in love with her more than ever. Samira spoke about body image, and her views on Photoshop — as well as Hollywood relying on the digital editing program far, far too often.

“I was at a photo shoot and one of the people who was helping me try on different clothes—I had an outfit on—and she goes, ‘Oh don’t worry, so-and-so is a whiz with Photoshop,'” Samira told Mimi. “She was referencing some part of my body and I couldn’t believe it!”

She wasn’t just offended personally; she was worried for girls and women all over the world who are constantly fed these “ideal” body standards. “It just made me more aware of Hollywood—Oh my God, how are these girls supposed to love themselves?” she told Mimi. “How are they supposed to feel any pride or feel like they can even achieve anything that is put in front of them?”

It took Samira a while to realize that, although OITNB has been praised for its diversity, that’s certainly not the norm in Hollywood:

In terms of her own appearance, Samira has been keeping it natural for years, cutting her hair short right before she went to Juilliard. “. . . the choice to cut all my hair off was really symbolic for me,” she explained to Mimi. “It felt like I was making the choice to have a new beginning. It’s the same really for a lot of African-American girls at that age—you see a trend of them going back to their natural hair—that was definitely what I was chasing at that time. And I didn’t really go back [to long hair] because it felt so good.”

When it comes to makeup, she rarely wears it, allowing it to be a special fun treat for her. “To be honest, whenever I go to shoots or I’m on set, it really makes makeup special and allows me to have so much more fun with it—I don’t wear it on an everyday basis, because I like my skin to breathe,” she told the magazine. 

Samira is always trying to be a role model for young women, both in terms of body acceptance and in terms of her sexuality. “I think that what comes along with my visibility is a responsibility, and I don’t take that lightly,” she explained. “I want to make sure that any young person or anyone really who is looking up to me—who sees a glimpse of who I am as a person—that they see no shame, that they see pride, and that I’m truly unabashed about the person that I am.”

Thanks, Samira, for keeping it real and always serving as a fabulous idol for women and girls to look up to, time and time again. Read the full interview with Mimi here.

(Image via Netflix.)

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