30 Under 30: Sharon Rooney

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Image of Sharon Rooney

Not gonna lie, we could write a whole blog series on how great Sharon Rooney is. And another on how great My Mad Fat Diary is. If you haven’t seen it, and if you don’t know who Sharon Rooney is, then you need to set yourself down and sort that right now.

Image of Sharon Rooney27 year-old Sharon, from Glasgow, is an absolute sensation as My Mad Fat Diary’s title character, Rae Earl. She will make you feel all of the things no matter what size you are or were.

It’s a role that is rather a rare one in the world of women on television, in so far as Rae is an extremely relatable character in so many ways. Sharon told The Guardian last year that that’s what drew her to the role.

‘Ultimately, it’s the story of a girl, a girl with huge, big problems but the story of a girl. And it was the first time I had seen a story like that where I could play the lead. I didn’t have to change. I could do it as I was.’

But we don’t just love Sharon because she racked up awards and nominations playing a badass plus sized teenager who masturbates and talks about sex and desire and mental illness in a way that just makes sense. Sharon is also an incredibly inspiring woman in her own right.

Image of Sharon RooneyAfter MMFD (the official abbreviation for those in the know) wrapped up last year, Sharon had lined up an enviable schedule of programme and film roles to follow.  She’s starred in the hilarious sitcom Mountain Goats as Jules, has appeared in a mini-series about a stag do (called, appropriately, Stag) and in Peter Mullan’s Hector. She also had a cameo in Sherlock’s The Empty Hearse, totally stealing the show from Martin Freeman’s moustache (in our opinion).

Things are even busier this year: she’s got lead roles in both Two Doors Down (alongside Doon Mackichan – love it) and the ITV drama Brief Encounters, which is inspired by Ann Summers and looks set to be filled with vibrators and dildos aplenty, so naturally we can’t wait.

Sharon has already been pretty open about her thoughts on portraying women’s sexual desires realistically on television: she told The Independent that she was thrilled to portray a young woman masturbating for the first time on television.

‘That’s that awful time when you’re that age and you start discovering your body and you’re like: “what do you do, and what things do I like?” It’s an important time and everybody does it. Anyone who says they don’t is lying. So I think it’s great.’

An absolutely massive HELL YES from us!

Sharon is an inspiration when it comes to body positivity, too. As someone who is openly comfortable in her own skin, and she told The Herald Scotland earlier this week that she has little time for getting bogged down in an ‘if I were different’ mindset.

‘You would still have bills to pay. You would still have problems. I don’t think it helps when everyone is so judgmental with each other. Just chill out and leave other people alone.’

For helping to ditch the stigma around mental illness, for providing an amazing role model for teenagers, for spready body positivity around like woah, and for generally being the type of person we want to be best friends with (seriously, can we be friends?), we are totally fangirling over you, Sharon!

Sharon Rooney as Rae Earl in My Mad Fat Diary

Sharon Rooney as Rae Earl in My Mad Fat Diary

Look for Sharon on ITV next month in Brief Encounters, and in Steve Coogan’s fantasy comedy Zapped! later this year. You can also keep up with Sharon on her Twitter at @SharonRooney (she’s a Twitter queen, by the way).

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