Actress Michele Selene Ang Dishes on Inclusivity in Media and The BodCon 2022

Actress, writer and artist Michele Selene Ang is best known for playing Courtney Crimsen on Netflix'13 Reasons WhyAs a Chinese American born in Indonesia, she's also an outspoken advocate for Asian American representation in the media.

And later this month, Michele will also be one of the fabulous panelists at The BodCon 2022, a virtual conference about body confidence and self-acceptance, being held this year on Feb. 27. The event, running from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., will also feature speakers including Bri Scalesse, Clara Dao, Alexandra Stewart, Lisa Schoenberger and more, with Michele appearing on the Hollywood & Body Diversity panel. We had the opportunity to chat with Selene about the event, her body journey and growing representation in the entertainment industry, and here's what she had to say.

Sweety High: Can you tell us about your own body journey? What unfair expectations do you think were thrust upon you, and how did you deal with and/or defy them?

Michele Selene Ang: My relationship with my body is an ongoing journey! I still struggle with body image issues, but I find that limiting my time on social media helps a ton. I also try to focus on physical health as opposed to physical perfection—being grateful every day that I have a healthy body and mind.

Michele Selene Ang Dave Thomas Brown headshot

(Photo credit: Dave Thomas Brown)

 

SH: Have you seen the entertainment industry changing at all over recent years regarding inclusivity and body image?

MSA: Yes, although there is always room for improvement. I think the industry is more aware of the need for more diverse faces and bodies, artists from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. However, I think there should be more effort to bring those artists to the forefront.

 

SH: Are there any other big changes that you'd like to see next?

MSA: I'd like to see more people of color in positions of power—more POC executives, producers, directors. I want pay equity and pay equality. The entertainment industry has so much power and influence, so I think it is also responsible for leading by example and helping other industries reach a more equitable state.

 

SH: What have you found to be some of the most exciting moments in recent history regarding these changes?

MSA: Chloe Zhao taking home her Oscars for Nomadland was pretty thrilling. Jessica Chastain negotiated equal pay for Octavia Spencer in regards to a movie they did together. I think more people feel empowered to speak out when something unjust happens, and that's always exciting.

 

SH: How excited are you to be invited to be involved with The BodCon 2022? What perspective do you hope to bring to the table?

MSA: I'm honored to be a part of The BodCon 2022! I hope to learn a lot from other people's perspectives. I am a Chinese American woman who grew up in the Bay Area, so I hope to bring my unique experiences and viewpoints to the conversation.

 

SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

MSA: I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's story! Thank you for having me.

 

Love The BodCon's message? Click HERE to read our interview with Aysha Harun, one of the speakers at least year's The BodCon TALKS: Beauty & Body Confidence.