Taylor Schilling on maintaining her image: ‘That became a bit of a prison’


I am so excited to write this post, you guys. I didn’t know about this campaign and if you didn’t either, I hope you can support it in some way. Taylor Schilling, who plays Piper on Orange is the New Black, is partnering with Burt Bees to try to bolster the declining honey bee population. I won’t dwell on the bee crisis but if you are unfamiliar with it, please take a moment when you can to educate yourself and find the really easy ways you can help (like planting some bee-friendly pants in your yard.) The campaign is called Bring Back the Bees and for every purchase of each limited-edition lip-balm, Burt’s Bees will plant 5,000 bee friendly wildflowers.

To help promote her part in the campaign, Taylor was interviewed by New York Magazine’s The Cut on her personal approach to wellness and balance. I like Taylor a lot but her interviews are tough to report on because she plays her cards close to the vest. Whereas I completely identify on a personal level, her comments can come across a bit generic. I did like her answers on trying to be honest about who you are.

On eating: For breakfast, it changes. I usually have two eggs and some oatmeal and berries. I have that every single morning. It’s different when I’m out. I went through the phase when I ate a muffin in the morning. It was pretty basic. I would just go to Starbucks and pick out a muffin — blueberry or bran. I don’t know what was going on but it really worked for a time. It’s over now. It was fun while it lasted.

How has wellness changed for me: I think I used to be a lot more rigid. Internally, I felt that I had to do things to hype up my external package and appearance. That became a bit of a prison. As I’ve learned that who I am, my experience with the world, my story, and my life, have nothing to do with what I look like, everything eased up a little bit. I care about taking care of myself. But I also care about expressing myself honestly. When I spent a lot of energy trying to manipulate my outside, there wasn’t a lot of energy left over.

How I sweat: I really like it. I like moving, exercising, and working out. It’s a part of my routine. I do a lot of different stuff. I have a trainer in L.A. and New York who I really like. I also like to bike and take spin classes and do yoga.

My wellness struggle: Wellness is something I’m still exploring. I know what I value. I value storytelling. I value authenticity. Those are things I connect to as an audience member. Those things have everything to do with living honestly, and being vulnerable and raw. It has to do with not manipulating and curating a self to please someone else or to meet the status quo, and to be true to your authentic self.

My wellness advice: Bring honesty to the table. Being your true self requires a lot of guts and courage, that’s what I look up to in fellow actors. Trying to maintain an image actually hinders the pursuit of that goal. If you’re trying to fit into a certain mold and also trying to be this honest human, they’re mutually exclusive, they x each other out. It’s baffling. The two parts are so unrelated. Life is difficult and not a glossy magazine. I’m more curious about that end of the spectrum.

[From The Cut]

Taylor is 32 and her celebrity status changed completely after she appeared on Orange is the New Black. I get the impression from this interview that she is in a period of rediscovery both personally and professionally, which would make perfect sense. She elaborated on wellness being an “inside job” by saying that she likes to carve out time for both going out with friends and trying new things and also finding moments to retreat. “Finding a balance there is what makes me feel capable.” As for Taylor insisting on honesty to maintain wellness, maybe I’m projecting but I think she is talking to herself more than anything. I don’t like to admit it but I try to curate a persona for the outside world as well. Mine is less about physical appearance and more about bricking off parts of my life/personality I don’t want people to see. It is exhausting. But I like Taylor’s point about feeling capable. I would rather feel capable than exhausted. I think I’m in need of a fast run followed by powering down a muffin and then – maybe – letting my hair down for just a minute. Image be damned.




Photo credit: Fame/Flynet Photos

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10 Responses to “Taylor Schilling on maintaining her image: ‘That became a bit of a prison’”

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  1. Anon says:

    Wow, I had no idea she’s only 32!

    • Originaltessa says:

      Piper, the character she plays on OitNB was like 33 when the show started about 4 years ago. Casting agents think she reads older too. She doesn’t look old by any stretch, she just has a mature look. She’ll probably look exactly like this until she’s 40, and she’ll look fabulous.

  2. zan says:

    She’s beautiful and I like her in OITNB, she seems pretty relax.

  3. jess1632 says:

    I thought she was older than 32. I know it has nothing to do w this article but that was the biggest surprise and takeaway for me outta this whole read. I thought somewhere along the lines of 36-38 not early 30s. All her talk about wellness sounds great but also v LA.

  4. Rhiley says:

    She seems like a really cool person and she gets involved with some very worthwhile charity work that is a little off the radar of most celebrities. I dig it. I hope she can find success after Orange. I watched the first couple of seasons but haven’t watched the third or fourth. It just got kind of…. stupid? I guess. And by the end of the second season, she really didn’t seem to be the star anymore.

  5. Kasey says:

    She sure looks stunning in that burgundy dress. That dress is gorgeous and it suits her.

  6. Jana says:

    Maybe I’m just in a bad mood or something, but this Celebrity Blog Site is getting less and less relevant. I used to look forward to it every morning for an update and good laugh, but I now find myself checking it every few days or so. Very few updates and laughs to be found.

    Really, there must be better stories to blog about???

  7. Nicole says:

    It’s nice that Burt’s Bees is finally doing something to help the bee population. Their parent company, Bayer, is one of the worst culprits: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2016/01/epa-finds-major-pesticide-toxic-bees.

    I’ve been boycotting Burt’s and Bayer for a while now. Not sure if 5,000 wildflowers per each “limited edition” lip balm is quite enough.

    Also – ef the haters. I still love this blog and the wide range of commentary!!! Have been reading for 9 years!?