Aidy Bryant’s career has exploded thanks in no small part to her appearance on Saturday Night Live. The star first appeared on the sketch comedy series in 2012 and recently departed alongside some other long-running alums. Her work there helped pave the way for small parts in TV shows like Girls and Portlandia. In 2019, she co-created and starred in Shrill, and that has proven to be a true turning point for the actor’s career outside of SNL.
Now an Emmy-nominated star with a bright future in entertainment, Bryant has opened up about the fact that it wasn’t always easy being a plus-size star in such a visible role. In fact, she was often devastated by the realities of plus-size fashion options and what it meant for her fans — who didn’t have a wardrobe team of their own.
Aidy Bryant felt limited by plus-size clothing
The paltry selections of plus-size fashion have long been a thorn in the side of both entertainers and everyday people who just want to look their best. Celebrities like Ashley Graham have taken up the cause of getting more clothing options available for larger bodies.
Lizzo has built an entire brand on body-positive self-love and used it to launch a reality TV show that’s all about giving women who have traditionally been excluded from entertainment the chance to show that they’re capable and talented.
That advocacy was not nearly as present back in 2012 when Bryant first appeared on SNL. Speaking with Vogue, Bryant explained, “When I got hired at the show, I had never been on camera and had never been styled or dressed, like, by anyone other than myself.”
She was used to not being able to find looks that fit her style in her size and often “did a lot of thrifting and a lot of cobbling together things” in order to make it work. Having a costume department willing to go the extra mile to ensure she had clothes that fit was a game changer.
‘SNL’ costumers got creative for Aidy Bryant’s on-stage looks
Once Bryant was cast on SNL, she had the talents and efforts of the show’s costume department at her disposal, and their work really changed her perspective. She explained:
” … the wardrobe department really showed me the huge power in having clothes that fit you comfortably. It blew my mind. They would do these fantastical things like buy two Marc Jacobs size 12s, and then combine them by creating a panel in the side so that all of a sudden I got to wear a fashion dress, but in a way that fit my body comfortably. I couldn’t believe how luxurious that was and to have them fit it to my every curve. It was life altering, literally.”Vogue
The downside, however, was that she had to give fans the heartbreaking news that the same look was not available to them. These custom-made designs boosted Bryant’s confidence and comfort but also made it glaringly obvious that the options available for the general public were subpar.
Designers have gotten better at providing more plus-size options
Thanks in part to work from plus-size celebrities and the general visibility of the issue, things have gotten better in recent years. As The Economist reports, this decision makes sense from a financial and an ethical standpoint. In America, 67% of women are “plus-size” (defined as size 14 or above), and brands are missing out on major sales if they refuse to cater to these needs.
As for Bryant, fans are anxious to see where she goes next. She’s recently been a regular as the voice of Emmy Fairfax on Netflix’s Human Resources, but now that her time on SNL has wrapped up, she’ll likely have more flexibility in her schedule for other live-action roles.