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Troian Bellisario Is About To Terrify You

Radar
Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, Styled by Marissa Smith

talking ‘PLL’ + her new film ‘Martyrs’

Whether it's the plight of a television star or simply the reality of someone who excels at a particular task, it's an extraordinary feat to separate one's self from others' boxed-in visions and expectations. But for Troian Bellisario, whose public identity has become somewhat synonymous with her character Spencer Hastings, it seems high time that her other projects stand alongside the fascinating, confusing phenomena that is Pretty Little Liars.

In the past five years that Freeform—formerly known as ABC Family—originally aired the young adult adaptation, Bellisario has quietly dipped her feet into indie cinema, starring in more than 10 short films, a Sundance hit (C.O.G.), and the military rape-centered web series Lauren. Last month, she released her most interesting project to date, a remake of the sadistic French film Martyrs. While the film has all the makings of a typical horror film—blood, gore, slashings, and the occult—it's easily one of the most chilling films released in recent years. Because when you play a teenager who has been continuously stalked by a murderous, manipulative shadow character named "A" for half a decade, your idea of terror is bound to become a bit altered. 

We caught up with Bellisario to talk about the film, her venture into screenwriting, and the strange, perverted space that is the Internet. 

Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, Styled by Marissa Smith

For the entirety of Pretty Little Liars, you were playing a high schooler who had to deal with a lot of different issues that typical teens go through—aside, of course, from also dealing with a sociopath...
The insane issues that hopefully a typical teen doesn’t have to go through.

Exactly. Was it a challenge to ever have to relive those moments and to go through fallouts with friends and other issues all over again?
Yeah, I think it challenged me more because when I first started filming [Pretty Little Liars], that wasn’t that far away from me. I remembered what it was like to have to answer to your parents and I still felt very strongly if my dad would call me—it was like, 'Oh, I’m in trouble.' And then over the course of playing Spencer for six years, you get so far away from these feelings. There’d be a little voice in the back of my head going 'Alright, I’m done.' So, yeah, it became more difficult for me over the years. And yet there was also something about it that kept me from that mind frame. I don't know quite how to describe it. I believe everything happens for a reason. I just got to make a film [Feed] that I wrote and acted in. The older I got, the more I was like, 'I'd never get to play this role.' And then when I got to play it, I was grateful that I went to my high school to catch that version of myself alive. It was there and it was accessible. Whereas I feel like a lot of people never have it. Like take Jennifer Lawrence's general course— she's usually playing older [characters] and exercising that part of her. I've been exercising a younger side of myself for six years in my career. So, yeah, it's been equally challenging and also useful, but I'm ready to let it go.

Now that everyone’s five years older, what kind of everyday issues can we expect the girls to be going through?
Balancing work with love and… It’s difficult to answer that question in regards to our show because we kicked off [the new season] with these girls, five years later, having a normal life. So I’m super excited to get into Spencer being in Washington and trying to climb her way up the political ladder. Then last night with the season premiere, it’s like, 'Oh crap, somebody’s dead and you can’t leave town again,' so it’s a little bit like what we've always played. These girls want to have the normal problems and yet they can’t deal with the normal problems—they don’t have time to deal with them because their circumstances are so fantastical.

Right. And can you tell me about the movie that you wrote?
Oh, Feed. Well, we’re just editing now. We wrapped in December. Tom Felton and Ben Winchell are in it with me. It’s my first feature film that I wrote and it was directed by my best friend and collaborator of ten years [Tommy Bertelsen], so it was a dream come true to work with him. It’s really not about me, but it’s sort of semiautobiographical and about some of my experiences in high school. I hope I’ll be proud of it. I’m supposed to see a screening of it this Saturday. Yeah, so, we’re gonna edit it and then hopefully do a festival circuit, and then we’ll see about distribution probably sometime in the fall of the new year.

H&M, Striped Jersey Top, $34.99, view at H&MLevi's, 710 Super Skinny Jeans, $54.50, view at Levi's.

Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, Styled by Marissa Smith

Talking about your new film Martyrs, what drew you to the film in the first place?
The script. As an actor, I want to explore lots of different genres, and horror, for me, was always pretty problematic because I felt like, in order for me to be in a horror film, it was going to be me showing my boobs or having sex. There’s so much sexualization of women in horror films. When I read Martyrs, there was no sexualization of women—in fact, it was not even about men and women at all; it was just about these two strong females and their love for each other. It was also about something that really scared me, which is people torturing for religion. I think it’s wonderful to make and go see horror films that are supernatural or have things that I’ve never experienced, like being possessed by a demon. The thing that I really liked about Martyrs is that, even though it’s an exaggeration, it’s almost hyperbolic in some way. It is based on some really truly horrific things that happen all over the world. I was also drawn to the character of Lucy. In most horror films you begin innocently and then by the end it’s like, 'Ah-ha and the serial killer!' And with Lucy, it sort of begins with you thinking, 'This crazy bitch, she’s the fault of everything.' And in the end, she has to redeem herself.

The film does have a lot of elements of these really iconic horror films, especially with sacrifices and religious cults and, as you mentioned before, it’s kind of terrifying because this does happen sometimes in some places. But what do you think is intrinsically different about this film?
There are a lot of horror films that have very strong female voices, but I don’t see a lot of horror films that are centered around female friendship. There’s always the final girl who’s the bitchin’ one that gets away, but she’s usually perceived by a man. And in this film it really is about these two women doing everything they can to not only to save other younger women, but also to save each other. And the main villain is also a female—and there are several men around who are doing her bidding—but what was so interesting, to me, is that it was kind of a bizarre world in which only females are going to occupy the central characters. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that in another horror film. I mean, maybe The Descent, which was just badass. We should have more of them.

I agree. It’s nice how there’s been so much talk about women in Hollywood and how we have to make sure these kinds of roles are being created, whether women have to create them themselves or not. You can see that the public is really interested in that and it’s nice for young women to see their voices represented.
Yeah. That’s why I wrote my own film. Both of my parents are writers and they taught me, 'If you wanna be an actor, never wait around for somebody to give you a role.' I love stories written by men, and some of my favorite writers are men, but I’m also finding more and more women, like Lena Dunham and Lake Bell, who are coming forward and creating their own stories and content that’s fascinating. I love it. It’s a great time. 

Zadig & Voltaire, Tank Top, view at Zadig & VoltaireLevi's, 501 Jeans, $64.50, view at Levi's.

Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, Styled by Marissa Smith

Are you a big fan of horror films as a whole?
It’s really funny; I grew up on horror films. My mom likes to tell me that Bambi was the first film I saw, but my aunt is like, 'No, it was Aliens.' And my aunt, kind of raised me on scary movies, and she told me that, 'It’s like going on a roller coaster—if you scream, you’ll have more fun.' That’s the whole point of going into a scary movie: You want to get scared, you want to clench every muscle in your body until the jump happens. It’s like a ride. So I was kind of raised with that mentality, and then, as I got older, I started really getting into psychological horror films—the classics like The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Exorcist—that were really about the things that terrify us internally. Every parent is terrified of their child and with Rosemary’s Baby, every pregnant woman is really secretly terrified that that thing inside of her is actually the evil of all the world. So I became fascinated with these films and I started to stray away from just the jump-scare-and-gore [ones]. This is why I found Martyrs so interesting—it has all of these elements, like Saw or something, that are a little bit more sheer fun and gore, but it's rooted in and mostly takes place within a psychological landscape. That is the type of horror that I lean towards.

There are so many different horror films where you get scared and then you laugh afterward and think “Why was I scared by that?” This film isn’t so much that—it’s terrifying in the fact that people can actually be thinking in this mindset and be doing these horrible things.
Playing Lucy made me realize that we are not very far from those executions of ancient Rome. It made me think about the cruelty that is still going on all over the world. There are still beheadings, there are still stonings, there are still these ancient, brutal ways that we are killing each other and that, to me, is a terrifying reality of our present time. I mean, yes, this is just a horror film, and as an audience member you watch it and then you get to leave at the end of it, but these kinds of things are really still happening. That was a reality that was difficult for me to let go of after shooting this film.

Did you watch the original French movie?
I didn’t want to because it was very, very different and I also know that my character dies midway through, so I just didn’t want it to affect me. Also, in everything that I read about the film—and I read a lot about it—it talked about how those two actresses really were so incredible and unforgettable in those roles. Then, after I made Martyrs, I was like, 'I really don’t need to watch anything like this for a while.' I had my fill of blood and gore for a little bit, so I just never got around to watching it, but I want to one day. Everybody says it’s absolutely incredible. 

I would imagine the set was a lot different from the other sets that you’ve been on. Did you learn anything from being in a different environment?
I learned to be patient. I learned that fake blood is the worst substance on earth; I was covered in it every day. It dries in three seconds so before every take they have to come and just spray you down with bottles of cold water and put more blood on you. You stick to everything, your clothes stick to you, your hair sticks to your clothes and then it breaks off. Because we shoot Pretty Little Liars for nine months out of the year, I had to shoot Martyrs at the same time. For a full month, I had no days off. There was one night where we were out really late and we were shooting this crazy scene where I was stabbing somebody like you do, and I was covered in blood. We wrapped at 4am and I got in the car and I went straight to Pretty Little Liars. I took a shower, they did my hair all glamorous and then we filmed a scene at a blood bank. It was all four of us and I was looking at Lucy [Hale] and I had to make a joke with her about a cookie for my line and I was just like, 'I’m so grateful that I’m not very cold, wet, and covered in fake blood right now, and that my job is to look very lovely and make a joke about a cookie.' Normally I might have been really frustrated by that and been like, 'This is all I’m doing today?!' It gave me a really great appreciation for both sets. 

Was there much interaction with the other actresses on the set of Martyrs?
It’s difficult to do something that’s very emotionally extroverted when you’re surrounded by a crew that has to uncomfortably hold a mic over you as you sob your guts out or stab somebody. Once they yell cut, I feel compelled to immediately turn around and make a joke just so that they feel a little bit more comfortable. I’m trying to get out of that and just allow myself to have my process and be quiet. It was a really nice set because Bailey Noble who plays Anna was really amazing. We were both always on the same wavelength: When she needed to joke around, I was in the same place so we could joke around and have fun, and when she needed to be quiet, we were both just kind of finding ourselves and being okay being very quiet and letting the situation be what it was.

H&M, Striped Jersey Top, $34.99, view at H&M.

Photographed by Beth Garrabrant, Styled by Marissa Smith

Did you have many female role models growing up? Were there any film, TV, or even literary characters that you found yourself drawn to?
Wow, yes, so many. There was an Alloy book series—which is so funny because I’m now on an Alloy TV show—called Fearless. It was about this vigilante girl that was trained to be a spy by her father. She was a total genius! She was this little blond thing who lived in New York City, liked to go to the parks at night, and pretend to be completely helpless, and then kind of secretly teach anyone who would listen. The whole book series was based on her inability to feel fear. So I grew up devouring these books about this girl who couldn’t feel fear and who also, for that reason, couldn’t relate to society. And then, growing up, there were so many actresses that really captivated me. I was, and still am, a huge fan of Angelina Jolie; she’s just the most incredible human being. Cate Blanchett is really my role model, I would say, just because she balances family life, runs a theatre company with her husband, and does film and stage—she does everything. So that to me is kind of what I look up to as my ultimate 'goal.' I just love anybody who plays a complicated woman.

What advice do you have for girls who are growing up and trying to find themselves?
I would say be patient with yourself. I grew up on the tail end—I was in high school and junior high when everybody was really starting to go out on the Internet, in a very social way, on LiveJournal, DeadJournal, Myspace, and Friendster. I remember getting to college and setting up my first Facebook account. I think that the dangerous thing in this time, especially with young women, is the Internet. It is so much a part of our lives, and we also use it to represent ourselves in a way that’s mostly false. I’ve been having so many conversations recently about Instagram. I love Instagram, but I also know that everybody that I follow, their feeds are not a reflection of their lives. I know that the person who’s killing it every day and looks amazing, spends 15 minutes taking pictures of themselves, editing with filters, and tagging things. I know because as a public persona, I do that, too.

When I post a gorgeous picture of myself where I tag a dress, it’s because I had to because they sent it to me for free. Or I wanted to raise funds for a wildlife campaign so I wanted to take a good picture. But I may have also been crying in my car earlier because I was frustrated because I didn’t get an audition that I wanted and because I’m in a fight with my fiancé, or something like that. I’ll see a comment underneath that picture where people say, 'You’re so flawless. Your life is perfect.' We’re putting out these expectations of ourselves to always be perfect, to always be beautiful, or to be doing something interesting, or be somewhere awesome, and most days I’m really boring and on the couch and I feel terrible about myself, and I’m like, 'Oh my god, what am I doing with my life?' I think that what’s dangerous—we’re getting more and more into a false representation of ourselves and I feel that if I were younger, that would seem more real to me.


When you’re young, you shouldn’t have a job that you’re going to have in ten years, you shouldn’t be dating the person that you’re going to marry, and you shouldn’t have even grown in your nose yet. And yet we have all these expectations of where we should be because of people like the Kardashians and all of these people that are prosthetically perfect for no good reason. The piece of advice I would give is to put down your phone every once in a while and see what happens. See what you see when you look out a window or what thoughts you think if you’re not constantly engaging in a back-and-forth dialogue with people that are only reachable through social media. 

Wildfox, Crystal Dress, view at WildfoxCostume National, Suede Boots, view at Costume National.

Illustration by Vivie Behrens

Liberation can come from completion, but then, we are always becoming something new

They say the full moon is about completion. About looking back at the intentions you crowned the new moon with and seeing where those intentions led you. The new moon in Gemini was the pebble that began this cycle, and the full moon in Sagittarius is her echo, the ring getting larger in the water. The new moon in Gemini asked us what we wanted to change about our habits, what we wanted to do with our hands, and our hunger for newness. The new moon in Gemini was interested in the way shifting ideas can give us the freedom to think differently and, in thinking differently, become new people. The full moon in Sagittarius reminds us that we are never not becoming new.

Both Gemini and Sagittarius are mutable signs, they exist in relation to the other and they know how to speak each other's language. But, while Gemini relishes the endless capacity of air (of thought), Sagittarius uses the energy of fire to transform thought into action. Everything Sagittarius touches can't help but change. How can this be completion? The wheel is always spinning, reader. Sagittarius marks the completion of the fire trine. Here, fire is generous and social. It means to gather and teach, to illuminate. Sagittarius lives in the sector of the zodiac chart related to education, philosophy, and the awareness of others—their beliefs and their right to freedom. Because of this, our June Sagittarius full moon is both a completion moon and a moon that reminds us that all endings create space for beginning. The more you leave behind, the more you find. There is no dead end in the universe.

If you are a seeker like me (perhaps you have lots of planets in Sagittarius in your natal chart), you have already come across Jessica Dore's Twitter account. Every day, Dore posts a tarot card and her interpretation of it. It is a gift to many of her readers. Yesterday, she shared The World with us, reminding her readers: "the moments of beauty, belonging & elation that you've experienced up to this point in your life… would still only amount to the tiniest sliver of what this world has to offer in terms of sweetness & pleasure."

I thought about this card and her words all day. The World is, numerically, the last card in the Major Arcana journey—the last card if you don't think about the Fool, who is numbered at 0 and so is the beginning and the end. The World is, therefore, a completion card too, a big echo of a full moon.

This morning, holding the sweet and expansive nature of The World, thinking on Sagittarius people and their love of travel, of reckoning with the edge of an atlas and questioning the map-makers, I pulled the nine of swords from my own Tarot deck. The other side of knowledge is to overwhelm and shut down. Gemini, ruled by Mercury, holds information in her hands. She understands duality in all things. Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, yearns for the expansion of mind and the illumination of power. The philosopher and the moralist, a Sagittarius at her best can teach anyone to break open a prison. A Sagittarius at her worst can justify any cage. Don't forget that Jupiter was the king of the gods. His lightning bolt was a weapon. Sometimes, we are too exposed to each other. We imagine we know others through the stories we create about one another. We imagine we know the future because we refuse to be humble about how vulnerable we are to the universe's ever-shifting outcomes. We refuse abundance by convincing ourselves that the cage of identity we build for ourselves is our only possibility.

For the next two days, as the Sun lingers in Gemini and we feel the effects of the moon's fullness in Sagittarius, reflect on the ways you have used knowledge. When has your knowledge been a tool of empowerment for yourself and others? When have you shared the beauty of the world and the joy of radical ideas/ways of living? When have you used knowledge to understand and relieve your own suffering and the suffering of others? And, too, when have you used knowledge as permission for self-delusion? When you have expanded so far into your idea of the world and your own work in it that you forgot how to be accountable to your daily life, your body, your friends, and the people you love? You know when Janis Joplin sings "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"? That's only one kind of freedom, and it's the kind that Sagittarius thinks it knows very well. Freedom can be about nothing, if nothing is what you want. Then welcome to the monastery, friend. Freedom can also be another word for everything you revel in not knowing. Freedom can be about having everything because you are part of everything, even if you can't see the relation, even if you can't imagine yet how what you want also wants you.

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Photo courtesy of HBO.

Kat is making me relive my fat-teen trauma

When people say that HBO's new Zendaya-led teen drama, Euphoria, is triggering, believe them. In the pilot alone we're introduced to Rue (Zendaya) and her drug addiction issues via a graphic depiction of the overdose that sent her to rehab. Then, there's the disturbing rough sex scene featuring Jules (Hunter Schafer), a teenage trans girl who has just moved into town, and a middle-aged man she met on Grindr. Oh, and don't forget the unchecked, toxic masculinity of uber-jock Nate (Jacob Elordi); or the body obsession of his sometimes-girlfriend, Maddy (Alexa Demie). For me though, the ultimate trigger came via Barbie Ferreira's character Kat's experience, as she dealt with and internalized a vicious form of fatphobia.

Kat—almost alone amongst her friends—seems self-assured and dismissive of the idea that any high school drama should be taken too seriously. "You just need to catch a dick and forget about your troubles," Kat tells Maddy, following the latter's recent breakup with Nate. But internally, Kate craves male attention, and resents the fact that she's the only virgin she knows; she hints at this when she tells Maddy that she'd "settle for, like, four Corona Lights and some non-rapey affection," from a guy—any guy.

Kat's bravado leads her into a compromising situation at a high school party; she winds up in a room alone with three boys, where she talks a big game about how she's a "savage" who watches porn and has slept with more people than any of them can count. None of this is true, but Kat is determined to become "a woman of questionable morals."

The scene shows the fine line between being an empowered young woman deciding what to do with her body, on her terms, and being a teenager who thinks she's in control but doesn't fully understand the power dynamics at play. Because, yes, Kat is trying to make an intentional decision about her sexuality and how to use it, but she's doing so with a group of boys who don't value or respect her. This reality is made clear when one of them says to her, "You know what they say, right? Fat girls give the best head."

At those familiar words, I melted into my couch and said a silent prayer of gratitude that I wasn't watching Euphoria in the company of anyone else. Onscreen, Kat, too, shrinks ever so slightly into herself, all while trying to keep a poker face about the whole thing. We don't see exactly what happens in the room, but, later, she seems happy when she shares the news with her friends that she's lost her virginity; even though she then lays down, awake, scrolling through the guy's Instagram, seeming altogether less than happy.

Kat's isn't the most violent or necessarily the saddest story line in the episode. But it showed the ways that issues like consent, toxic masculinity, substance abuse, and body image—all of which are difficult to deal with no matter what your size—are further magnified when experienced through the additional trauma of fatphobia. This is something with which I've personally dealt, and so I felt my past experiences rise up inside me when I watched how Kat couldn't build her own sexual identity without being constantly aware of the ways her body exists outside the parameters of acceptable desirability.

My childhood and adolescence are defined by my experiences as a fat girl; it was a time that often felt like a hazy battlefield, when I could hardly navigate which feelings and thoughts were my own, and which ones were the result of outside forces. My body hardly ever felt like mine, and it took years to develop the autonomy that Kat is grasping at as a teenager. Kat, like so many other fat women, has a total lack of support from her peers when it comes to body image and acceptance, and there's a devastating absence of affirmation about her own worth and the importance of her pleasure. Because of fatphobia, Kat is going to be swimming against a strong, but invisible current as she navigates the already fraught social politics of high school. It's one thing to grasp this truth on an intellectual level, but letting those principles guide your decision-making is truly difficult—even for an adult, let alone for a teenager.

Euphoria airs Sunday nights at 10pm, on HBO.

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Courtesy of RLJE Films

White-knuckle your way through wedding season with Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid

Maya Erskine might have first come to our attention in PEN15, the hilarious show she co-created and stars in with Anna Konkle, in which they play 13-year-olds in the year 2000, but in the just-released Plus One, Erskine is all grown up and engaging in a very familiar adult activity: white-knuckling her way through wedding season.

Written and directed by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer—who just so happen to be Erskine's former NYU classmates—Plus One stars Erskine and Jack Quaid as Alice and Ben, two longtime friends who decide to attend a summer of weddings together, and avoid any of the awkwardness that can come with finding the right plus-one. This is especially important for Alice, who is coming off a bad breakup. Of course, as the laws of rom-coms dictate, nothing stays totally platonic. Beyond that, though, Plus One doesn't fall into predictable rom-com tropes, and instead hilariously explores what it's like to spiral into a quarter-life crisis, all while dressed in optional black-tie. Which, we've all been there, right?

"We kind of use the script as its own therapy," Chan told me recently, when I spoke with him, Rhymer, Erskine, and Quaid, about the film. "We were watching friends who have been broken up for a long time get back together at weddings; we were watching people get really sad and get drunk and start crying... they were breeding grounds for lots of emotions coming to the surface."

Courtesy of RLJE Films

And those emotions have the perfect outlet at weddings in the form of toasts and other assorted speeches. Plus One makes good use of that platform by making the wedding speech the hilarious eye of the storm at each of its weddings. These toasts were delivered in the form of scene-stealing cameos—also friends from NYU, of course.

"Almost all of those speeches are based on a real speech Andrew and I have seen," Chan said. "We'd go to a wedding and [we'd think], Yep, that's going in there."

Rhymer adds that they used these speeches as metonyms for the weddings, which made sense time- and budget-wise: "Being an indie film, we obviously produced 12 weddings, but did so kind of cleverly, showing you the rooms or the side rooms where they're rehearsing. We weren't seeing 12 full-blown receptions in all their glory... that would have been, like, millions of dollars."

But perhaps what's most refreshing about Plus One is that it destroys the image of weddings—and, by extension, relationships, and women, in general—as having to be fantasies, as having to be perfect. Because nothing is perfect, and that's what makes life interesting. Erskine, for one, likes being able to show the weirder sides of life, whether as a 13-year-old girl washing a thong with hand soap or a millennial woman who doesn't know what comes next. "There's something really liberating and freeing to show and bear the ugliest parts of yourself—or what society may deem as the ugliest, weirdest parts of yourself—that no one wants to see," she said. "I'm also an over-sharer. So I am drawn to roles that expose more than is typical, and everyone is weird in one way or another."

"I think," Erskine laughed, "it's because I myself am a wacky trash goblin." As it turns out, that's exactly what rom-coms have been missing, until now.

Plus One is in select theaters and available to stream via Amazon now.

PLUS ONE Official Trailer www.youtube.com

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Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

That's one way to solve a wardrobe malfunction

Cardi B twerked so hard during a performance that she ripped her outfit and had to rock a bathrobe for the majority of her set.

At Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennesee, as Cardi got a little too down and into it, a seam split on her bedazzled body-con jumpsuit only moments into her set. Not one to be set back by a wardrobe malfunction, Cardi B rocked a nude strapless bra with a bathrobe on top, making for a Serious Fashion Moment.

"This wasn't just part of the show," Twitter user Lena Blietz pointed out. "No one performs in a nude, strapless bra by choice." I have to agree there. A strapless bra is the bane of my existence on a slow day, I can't imagine what it's like to have to dance in one on stage.


Honestly, watching Cardi perform in this getup made me a stan for life. Despite it not being as flashy as her jumpsuit, Cardi made the bathrobe work, throwing the shoulders down for drama as she paced the stage during each song.

Bonnaroo attendees couldn't help but agree that a bathrobe and nothing else is a mood we all felt in the very, very hot and sweaty crowd. If she had one in my size to share, I would have gladly changed in a heartbeat.

But, despite loving this comfy solution to a big problem, I'd like to take a moment to appreciate the beauty that was the original jumpsuit. RIP.

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Photo courtesy of Summersalt

And launched an inclusive summer campaign showcasing 30 different models

Just in time for swim season, sustainable swimwear brand Summersalt launched an inclusive summer campaign, called Every Body is a Beach Body, and significantly expanded its size range.

The brand's sizes now go up to 24 and 2X—quite a jump from its previous availability, which went up to a size 14. Co-founders Reshma Chamberlin and Lori Coulter told NYLON that the size expansion was a must because "we know that there are countless women out there who are missing out on the joy of summer because they don't have the right suit." They noted that they have plans to expand the brand's sizing even more: "We're excited to continue to add more sizes and be even more inclusive."

For the summer campaign, each suit was fitted on 30 professional and non-professional models ranging in body type to ensure it would look great on as many bodies as possible. "We wanted the models for this campaign to be just as diverse and unique as our customers, and we're proud to show models of different sizes, races, gender identities, and physical abilities," said Chamberlin and Coulter. "We want our customers to see themselves in our models, and know that their body is a beach body, exactly as it is right now."

The new collection includes bright new colorways and styles to rock at the beach or the pool. There are bikinis, one-pieces, and even a swim tunic and leggings for modest fashion wearers.

Check out the campaign and some of the new styles, below, and shop the new collection now at Summersalt.

Photo courtesy of Summersalt

Photo courtesy of Summersalt

Photo courtesy of Summersalt

Photo courtesy of Summersalt

Photo courtesy of Summersalt

Photo courtesy of Summersalt

Photo courtesy of Summersalt

Photo courtesy of Summersalt