Ruth Righi and Ava Kolker Tell Us All About the Latest Body Positivity Episode of Disney's Sydney to the Max
We've been fans of Sydney to the Max ever since its debut on Disney Channel, and for good reason!
The third season has to be our favorite so far—mostly because of the topics and themes the show touches on. Premiering tonight (Oct. 22) at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW is the latest episode, "Honey, You Shrunk the Fit." This episode dives into self-esteem and body positivity, and we're here for it.
We were lucky enough to chat with Ruth Righi (who plays Sydney) and Ava Kolker (who plays Olive) all about tonight's episode of Sydney to the Max. Look below for our full interview with the two actresses and to find out how they manage the pressures of social media in real life.
Sweety High: Tell us about this episode!
Ruth Righi: In the present day of this episode, Sydney performs at her dad's bike shop and is approached by a super popular clothing company that wants her to be one of their brand ambassadors. Sydney is super super excited to be a Britney Nashville girl until she receives the clothes in the mail and none of them really fit right. The "one size fits all" clothes that this company creates makes her really doubt herself and question whether she is the problem, or the clothes are. It is with the help and support of Olive and Syd's family that she realizes she has gone too far with trying to make herself look different which really grounds and comforts her. Learning that her body is not the problem, ultimately leads her to devise a kind of master plan to speak her mind for not only herself but for any other girls that may have felt limited or self-conscious by a clothing brand.
Ava Kolker: This episode talks about how you should love your body and feel confident and not conform to other people's or brands' ideas of a beautiful body.
SH: Why is this episode so important?
RR: This episode conveys a really relevant and relatable message about how unrealistic standards of body image can hurt someone's self-esteem. It is important for people to see how powerful and beautiful having confidence in yourself, as well as comfortability in your own skin, can be.
AK: It's so important because, in today's world of social media, it's so easy to compare yourself to others and start putting yourself down, and feeling inadequate when sometimes fashion focuses on a certain body type. This episode teaches you that everyone is beautiful the way they are.
SH: What do you hope the audience will take away from this episode?
RR: I hope that anyone watching will understand that their bodies are not something they should ever feel they have to change to fit in with someone else's standards. I want everyone to feel empowered by their own beauty. I hope they can learn to love the things about themselves that make them unique.
AK: I hope they realize that they should embrace their body just the way it is, and you shouldn't have to feel pressure to change your body or yourself for anyone, or anything. Everybody's body is different and beautiful in its own way, so learn to love yours, and you will be so much happier.
SH: How do you manage the pressures of social media in real life?
RR: I try to surround myself with people and places that make me feel empowered rather than unsure of myself. I rely on my family a lot to support me when I need it and really try to regulate the amount of time I am on social media.
AK: I have found the fun and positive parts of social media and I have learned to ignore the hate and negativity. I've learned to love myself and be confident in my own skin even when it's so easy to nitpick at pictures and not like a certain part of me. It's a daily struggle, but I am getting better at it, and I try to resist the urge to edit my pictures to fit my idea of how I could look better.
SH: When doing brand partnerships in real life, what do you look for in a company?
RR: Whenever I am looking at different brands, even just shopping around, I try my best to educate myself on the company. I think that overall, inclusivity and acceptance are very important values to me.
AK: I look for companies that have a positive message, and companies that have similar core values as I do (such as cruelty-free) and that offer products that I would use and truly love and feel congruent in endorsing.
SH: What would you tell young people dealing with body image issues?
RR: I would simply tell them that I know it is easy to focus on things we might consider flaws and try to hide them, but you are so much more beautiful than you know. I'd also remind them that clothes are supposed to fit us, we are not supposed to fit them. Wear what makes you confident and powerful.
AK: I would tell them I know what you're going through, and to look for supportive people around you to uplift you, and confidence doesn't happen overnight, so don't be too hard on yourself. It's a process, but adopt habits that make you feel good about yourself such as maybe yoga or fitness, and when you take care of yourself, your self-love will follow.
SH: Is there anything else we can look forward to this season?
RR: There is so much to look forward to this season with new characters and teachable moments for everyone. Finding your place in the world is a constant process and we all make mistakes along the way, but I can guarantee that a lot of those issues are talked about in this season. It's a good one!
AK: Yes, there will be new amazing cast members who will bring many positive, fun storylines and new adventures to the show.
If you love Sydney to the Max look HERE to learn about Ruth and Ava's co-star Jackson Dollinger, who plays Max.