Anyone helping to change the way we feel about beauty – particularly plus-sized beauty – is a Real Beauty in our book, and Nikki Blonsky is certainly no exception. We first met the star (you likely know her best as Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray) at the OneStopPlus fashion show (the first plus-sized runway show to show during Fashion Week) this past September and we were instantly impressed. With her Huge (literally) billboard in Times Square (bathing suit clad, no less), we knew this was a girl whose confidence we coveted, whose message we subscribed to and whose presence we wanted to be in. And while Huge, with its plus-sized cast, was canceled shortly thereafter, Nikki is nevertheless on to big things. Currently starring on Broadway in Love, Loss, and What I Wore and with an upcoming role in Waiting For Forever (staring Rachel Bilson), Nikki is no doubt a Real Beauty.
We sat down with Nikki Blonsky and asked her to weigh in on Real Beauty
What do you think makes someone beautiful?
I define beauty as how you feel about yourself when you wake up in the morning. You know, how you feel about your personality – I think personality is truly what drives someone with their beauty – it defines beauty. We have to remember that as we get older, beauty fades but personality stays and that’s the one thing you have to remember – your looks will go away but people will remember you for your personality.
How do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
Well, I feel very blessed that in my life I’ve had various roles that have come into my life – and changed my life with regard to my body image– but I think it’s what I’ve done after with them that helps the most. Speaking with kids about being plus-sized and it being okay and, you know, I just think that in my industry, if I were a size zero, I’d just be competing against all the other size zeros. But there are a lot less size 18s or size 16s, like myself, so I’m really not competing against a lot more girls. So, in my field, I’m kinda happy!
If you could give your younger self advice about beauty, what would it be?
I always say I don’t have any regrets, so I think I always listen to my mom…but I would always just say that I would probably tell myself to listen to my mom a little bit more because she was right about everything. She always says “mothers are always right” and I always said, “mom, no you’re wrong” and I’m going to be 22 and you know what, she’s 100% right.
What is your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
Right now I’m really, really loving St. Ives. I just came across it because my mom bought it because she’s doing the whole “I’m getting wrinkles junk” – and I’m like “no you’re not” – and she bought this St. Ives lotion. And now I use it every day and it’s made my skin unbelievably firm and beautiful. So, I’m just a big fan of St. Ives right now.