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Style / May 2018
Brittany Burke

Nathalie Emmanuel Is All About Owning What Makes You Unique

Actress Nathalie Emmanuel may get most recognized for being on the big screen in popular blockbusters, or playing a badass on your favorite Sunday night TV show, and if you ask her, that’s the way she likes it.

“When I’m choosing the parts I play and the job I’m doing, I’ve really found my confidence and my voice and understanding the kind of woman I am and I want to be,” she says. “I want the parts I play to reflect women we recognize—not just as an object to be desired, but also in their abilities, femininity and strength.” 

Emmanuel is the latest woman to join the Reebok family to empower and encourage people to strive to be their best, physically mentally, and socially, every day.

To Emmanuel, the strength she portrays on screen is honed in real life—both physically and mentally, and it’s a commitment she’s continuing to make every day: to improve, strengthen and feel empowered.

“I’m seeing so much more pride in people embracing their cultures, their hair, their body shape,” she says.

“I’m really happy and proud to see that. For me, that’s always been the biggest obstacle, and it’s still something I’m working toward, but I’m so relieved and happy to see people start owning who they are.” 

Part of that ownership, of course, is physical. “After I exercise, I feel energized, empowered and proud that I made it to the gym.”

But there’s also a big mental game, and it’s something Emmanuel is proud of honing over the years.

“My greatest strength is perseverance,” she says. "I'm not afraid of hard work, or rolling up my sleeves and powering through until I get to where I would like to be or where I need to be." I’m not afraid of hard work, or rolling up my sleeves and powering through until I get where I would like to be or where I need to be.

Emmanuel is also unafraid to embrace the things about her that could be considered challenging, choosing instead to honor the ways that she’s different, and use them to her advantage. “I’m a sensitive soul, and a lot of people equate that to weakness,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive. I embrace it, and honor it and make sure I try to take care of that side of me,” she says.

She also knows what she wants from her future and isn’t shying away from speaking that into existence.

“I want to be a part of changing the stories that are told,” she says. “Whether that’s as an actor, or making my own films, giving people a platform to tell their stories and explore human beings. We’re amazing and so complex, and I want to see that—I want to learn something.” 

We’re learning plenty from Emmanuel already, but she’s just getting started.

And if there’s one thing she wants others to take away from her, it’s support.

“My superpower is trying to always be proactive and positive and always encourage the people around me to be the same.”

How are you challenging yourself to #bemorehuman? Tell us @Reebok!

Style / May 2018
Brittany Burke