Women Who Inspire Us: Aidy Bryant

Aidy Bryant during an interview
Behind The Velvet Rope TV [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Even before she addressed the issue of emergency contraception for higher-BMI women in her new Hulu comedy Shrill, Aidy Bryant was a woman to admire.

An actress and comedian, Bryant got her start as a guest player on Saturday Night Live in 2012. The following year she became a regular member of the cast, and has been nominated for several Emmy’s over the years.

We’re inspired by Bryant because of her courage. On Shrill, many of her own personal experiences and anxieties surrounding her body image and appearance are on display. As a teenager, she struggled with low self-esteem and self-hatred. 

It was performing improv that gave Bryant an important confidence boost. As she said to a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, “I always felt really good doing improv, and I think that is part of why I was like, I’m going to do this all the time — because I feel good doing this and there’s an immediate positive reaction from an audience that’s telling you: You’re good.”

Part of her goal in her work at Saturday Night Live and on Shrill is to take some of the power out of words like “fat” that are used to insult and shame people, especially women. Many of the sketches she’s created with colleague Kate McKinnon use humor to do just that.

Aidy Bryant’s talent, humor, and hard-won sense of self all inspire us – and we can’t wait to see what she does next!