'Good Trouble' star Emma Hunton on body-positivity in the influencer era and how Davia finally set her free
Hunton explains the paradox that is her character Davia — who runs a body-positive Instagram account but doesn't shy away from secretly photoshopping her flaws
In an age where social media personalities with a few thousand followers tend to direct and dictate how we should live our lives and make the world a better place, it's hard to not be in constant awe of them. And contrary to what their picture-perfect Instagrams and hilarious Tweets may paint, sometimes it's hard to live your life under the constant scrutiny of people who only know you by your social media moniker.
A prime example of that is 'Good Trouble's Davia, played by the gorgeous Emma Hunton. The character runs a body-positive Instagram account but doesn't shy away from secretly photoshopping her flaws. So why this paradox? Hunton helps solve the mystery exclusively with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).
Davia Moss is the social media influencer from the Freeform spin-off of 'The Fosters'. The outspoken school teacher who runs a highly successful Instagram account on body-positivity happens to live in the same apartment building that Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) Foster live in — the Coterie. However, Davia's character has come under negative light — not for her slightly pretentious Instagram mantra, but mostly because of her relationships with other characters and the levels she is ready to go to for her personal gain.
Being raised by a bully mother who always made her feel inferior for her weight justifies certain things she has done in the past. But that was season one, and season two explores why Davia is the way she is.
"I absolutely think (for the first time) we see Davia caring about someone else more than herself," revealed the 26-year-old Hunton who was made a series regular this season. "It forces her to grow up and start finding her footing in the adult world."
Side-by-side, Davia's friendship with Dennis (Josh Pence) also becomes a major highlight of her arc this season, and Hunton couldn't be more thankful of that. "I think her newfound friendship with Dennis brings out a softer side to Davia, and I’m having the best time finding those beautiful, complicated moments that help comprise who she is."
As enthralling as the journey of playing Davia has been, Hunton also notes that portraying the role did not come without challenges. "My first day on set was when I had to blow dry my hair naked in the mirror in the very first episode," Hunton recalls. "Even though I wasn’t actually nude, I only had pasties and underwear on. I barely knew the cast let alone the crew (who are all wonderful, brilliant, talented, caring people) and I had a slight panic attack in the trailer which could have easily shut me down."
Luckily, Hunton seemingly channels the same positivity mantra from her character in her real life too. "I asked myself why I felt this way," she says, addressing the issue, continuing: "and I realized it was because I never got to see anyone like me growing up, and I had to feel uncomfortable now so someone watching me wouldn’t feel uncomfortable later."
The show 'Good Trouble' has been critically acclaimed for its inclusivity and diversity and the nuanced portrayal of niche characters that we hardly see on screen — something that Hunton credits for making her feel empowered playing the role of Davia.
"It felt so empowering: Sure I had seen fat girls on TV, but never where they weren’t used as a device to mock their own bodies or for someone else to poke fun at. It's rare to see a curvy girl glorified as attractive or even sexually active. We're the punchline to everyone's joke. I'm so drawn to her refusal to accept this as truth, at least in the way I was made to feel it was supposed to be my truth. I feel freer since I've met Davia. I hope she gives other people the bravery to feel free too."
Davia's journey on the show is an exploration too relatable. A big girl who wants to spread love and positivity for all the big girls out there, while battling with self-acceptance is not something alien to most of us. But Hunton gives the show's writers their due credit for making the journey a wonderful joyride where people of all kinds feel seen and heard.
"I think we’re all lucky to be on a show where the writers care enough to acknowledge that being an adult means accepting that you're always learning and growing. So our characters are always learning and growing. Davia's mother, in my opinion, helps us get into David's mind a little bit. We understand more than ever why she has such a hard exterior. It's her battle armor."
But no discussion on Davia's stay at The Coterie would be complete without addressing her feelings for the same Dennis who is helping her grow and evolve in all the right ways and Hunton is all for it. "Romantic or not, I love Davia and Dennis' relationship. They both found someone who gets them and wants to be there for them. They really do need each other. But they have a lot of self-care to work on should it ever get to a romantic place, and I think they both know that and respect that enough to give it the time to get there."
'Good Trouble' airs on Tuesday at 9 pm only on Freeform.