Britney Young in Netflix’s “GLOW” Image via Erica Parise/Netflix
4. Carmen “Machu Picchu” Wade
Carmen “Machu Picchu” Wade is a 25 year-old woman who has been eclipsed by her older brothers and her family’s fame in the wrestling world for her entire life. She goes for GLOW because she wants to wrestle, and Sam’s show seems like the only opportunity for her to do so. Her father, Goliath Jackson, is a world-renowned wrestler whose fame earns Carmen instant respect with the men working on GLOW.
Machu Picchu is developed to be a play on Carmen’s size in the ring. She is one of the biggest women on the show and she is unafraid to use her size to her advantage. Carmen is totally unapologetic about what she wants and what she is willing to do to have it, even invoking painful memories when she fights with her dad about her right to wrestle because she is an adult. The metaphor that she is an unbreakable citadel works really, really well, even if the character is — again — steeped in stereotypes.
Britney Young is a revelation as Carmen. She rapidly became one of my favorite characters and stayed that way as I watched GLOW. Young fleshes Carmen out as a woman who is mostly uninterested in acting and only wants to wrestle the way all of the men in her family have been allowed to do. She combats sexism and sizeism and works hard to be impressive on her own merit rather than resting solely on the reputation of her dad. Carmen is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what else Young has worked on in her career.