On My Radar: Stephanie Beatriz Says Why Having Feminist Friends Is Super Important

Clone of On My Radar: Stephanie Beatriz Says Why Having Feminist Friends Is Super Important
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Get inside the mind of Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Stephanie Beatriz as she gives you an exclusive look into the show, her (hilarious) thoughts on pop culture, her (serious) appreciation for Dolly Parton and basically anything else that enters her radar.

This past Sunday, FOX aired this year’s Halloween episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine. (I don’t know if you watched or not but if not what are you doing with your Sunday night!? We are hilarious, BTW). Halloween costumes were a part of the show (duh), and my character Rosa Diaz had to don a very form fitting, plastic “leather” catsuit. When I had my costume fitting for that episode, I'll be honest in saying my heart sank a little. I absolutely loathe all those prepackaged in-a-bag "sexy" costumes on Halloween. Look, I get wanting to look cute, and I get wanting to look sexy, but personally I wouldn’t choose to wear a sexy nurse or cat outfit for Halloween (no hate, you do you, BUT COME ON GUYS THOSE THINGS ARE GROSS).

Wearing the costume on set was... straight up weird. I got to wear a robe while walking around between takes, but during shooting everything was OUT. Believe me when I say there was a very thin layer of pleather between me and the world that day.

Here's where my friends come in. There are lots of dudes on set, and they work in all different capacities. Some dudes are cameramen, some are assistant directors. Some are stand ins, and some work in wardrobe. All were getting an eyeful on that shooting day. The best reactions to the costume were from what I'm gonna call my Feminist Dude Friends, or FDF's.

Let me set the scene for you a little. First of all, the catsuit made me HYPER AWARE of my body, and hyper aware of anyone in proximity of said body.  My body issues/ food issues immediately reared their ugly heads and my mind started a long, silent monologue to me every little thing I'd eaten in the past 48 hours. FUN! Mostly, I just feel WEIRD; if you haven’t had your entire body enclosed in tight cheap pleather for over 5 hours you are missing nothing! I knew the costume was a part of my job, but it’s hella strange to know that the people you work with everyday are never again going to have to ask themselves “I wonder what Stephanie’s butt ACTUALLY looks like?”

So I get to set , and immediately see Andy Samberg, who plays detective Jake Peralta on Brooklyn Nine Nine. Andy starts talking to me about the weekend, about the scene, just normal shooting-the-shit stuff. As soon as we start filming, he is utterly respectful and says not a damn thing about the costume. We joke that the set we are shooting on, a parked bus on a sound stage, is boiling hot. Andre Braugher, who plays Captain Ray Holt, joins in on our convo and then we three start laughing about something: I can't remember what. What I do remember is how those two men made me feel. I felt utterly respected I their presence. I felt like an equal.

It dawned on me that I am super lucky. FDF's don't exists for everyone, and that's a damn shame. It feels so epically good to know that the dude standing across from you respects you and wants you to know he does. And he'll show it too! An FDF don’t mess around — he’ll make sure you KNOW how much he thinks of you as an equal. He’ll compliment you on what you say, not just how you look. He'll listen to your ideas and thoughts, he won't just brush you off like you don't have anything important to voice. He won't stare at your boobs even if they are RIGHT IN HIS FACE. Instead, he'll stare at your face as he jokes with you about anything other than your boobs.

Women deserve to have those type of FDF's. It's hard enough to face a world that is constantly measuring your desirability without hearing those measurements come from the men in your life. I'm so utterly grateful for men like Andy and Andre. They always make me feel like an equal, and that's what feminism is all about.

"Feminism; the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."

Simply put, FDF's treat you like you should be treated; as an equal. Even if you're wearing a ridiculous pleather catsuit. 

Read more of Stephanie's thoughts by reading her other On My Radar entries here.