Australian actress, writer, and producer Rebel Wilson is breaking out this season with an all-new American TV show, Super Fun Night. The international spotlight has been following her over the past year or so, beginning with her roles in the films Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, and it seems that Wilson is here to stay. What makes her so different from other young women we see on our TVs and on the big screens across the country? She's a great role model.
She’s unashamed about her size.
Rebel Wilson is fat. There, it’s been said. Everyone breathe out.
Assuming that writing that would have been as awkward for you as it was for me, I've been wondering why are we so ashamed of saying that word? I don’t think there’s a person in the world, including Wilson herself, who’d disagree with the statement that she’s fat.
But being fat is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to change through torturous months and years of 'lifestyle changes' (or a more disturbing array of diet options — photosynthesis? Seriously?). Sometimes, people are just fat. Wilson is healthy, after all, and she has a successful career, a great personality, and tremendous amounts of self-confidence.
That’s the first major thing that makes her an amazing role model for young people. She says that ultimately innocuous F-word with pride and recognition, and she owns it. She doesn’t let her size own her.
She works hard to get what she wants.
When she was young, Wilson was on the track to go into law and politics; she attended a formal boarding school and was accepted into a law program. Shortly before starting college, she decided that she wanted to be an actress, and so pursued both an acting degree and a law degree
While she was still in law school, she wrote a play that became very successful and went on to perform on Australian television. The decision to move to America, and away from a successful career in Australia, was a hard one, Wilson says, but in the end she made the move and it has brought her great international success. This sort of bravery and perseverance is another thing that makes Wilson shine, even among stars.
She is positive and enthusiastic throughout everything she does.
Wilson’s attitude is by far the most amazing thing about her. In a world where famous women are pressed upon to be coy and beautiful, but not too outgoing; stick thin but accepting of other body types, Wilson flouts almost every one of these outdated standards through the sheer positivity with which she conducts herself. Even after filming a take for Super Fun Night that caused her serious harm through a prop malfunction, Wilson was ready to risk another take — the one that eventually made it to the final cut of the episode.
This is something young people can truly take to heart: that even when the going is tough, a smile and a positive outlook on life can truly be enough to sow the seeds for success.
I truly believe that many female celebrities in today’s world genuinely make good examples of themselves, under scrutiny: but until now, there’s been only one type of good female role model. In our ever-changing world, Rebel Wilson represents an important step: someone who is radically different from others in her line of work, both physically and mentally, but who still succeeds. It’s no longer a question of conforming to an ideal or standard, or even of bucking an old standard. It's a question of a standard beginning to widen and change before it can truly accept.