Netflix's new series GLOW is a show about characters challenging expectations. And not just society's expectations of them as women, but also their expectations of themselves.
Outside the ring, we see as main characters Ruth Wilder and Debbie Egan challenge their own ideas of what they should do with their lives. Ruth always assumed she needed to be a serious actress. Turns out, not so much.
And when we first meet Debbie, it's clear she always thought her life was leading up to motherhood and marriage.
Betty Gilpin, who plays Debbie, tells The Hollywood Reporter her character was convinced once that happened for her, "the credits would be rolling" on her life. However, as fans of the show have seen, Debbie's first step into the wrestling ring immediately changes her perspective.
But GLOW hasn't just changed lives on camera; like Debbie, Gilpin reveals the show challenged her perspective of who she should be. And she says training to be a wrestler has totally changed the way she interacts with the world.
I merge on the highway more confidently. I sent back my dessert because they brought me vanilla instead of chocolate — and in the past, I would have apologized through eating my vanilla.
This sort of "apologizing for existing" behavior is one most women do reflexively. It's great to see Gilpin throwing that off. She reveals standing up for herself isn't the only way her perspective has changed.
After we wrapped, I started working with a trainer and she asked me what my goals were and I said, 'I want to jump higher. I want to be able to kick higher. I want to protect my ankles. I want to be able to fix this thing clicking in my knee that's always been happening.' I listed 20 things. She said, 'You're the first client to not list anything involving the way you look.' Previously, as actresses, we're trained to think that exercising is like a sexy car accident class where Kesha is blasting and a girl is screaming at you about pie. I'm just not going to do that anymore.
Egan is excited to keep training and hopes there will be a GLOW Season 2, saying she can't wait to get back in the ring. The original show aired for four seasons -- let's hope the Netflix show does too.