Every single character on HBO’s Insecure is a joy to watch, but none quite as much, for me, as Tiffany DuBois. As one article put it, Tiffany “is the friend with more of her proverbial ‘shit’ together, and thinks that the petty drama that her friends deal with on a daily basis is a little beneath her. She’s annoying and pretentious, but she keeps her crew well-rounded.” She’s also obviously very funny thanks to comedian Amanda Seales, who plays her.
I was looking forward to meeting Amanda because I’m always curious about how the world’s busiest women dress—and Amanda is definitely busy. In addition to shooting Insecure, the 38-year-old regularly performs stand-up, is the host of NBC’s Bring the Funny, has a weekly podcast, leverages her almost one million Instagram followers to educate on causes she feels strongly about, and lectures across college campuses. Now, Amanda can add author to her list of jobs. Released in October, her book of essays and life advice Small Doses: Potent Truths for Everyday Use had just been released.
For our episode, Amanda wanted to talk about what she wore when she first got on stage as a comic—silver and black sequined leggings and a plain top—and how that’s become her uniform while performing. The conversation around dressing as a female comedian is endlessly compelling to me—and Amanda said that when she was starting out, her goal was to avoid wearing anything she felt would start a conversation about the way she looked instead of her jokes. “I decided, you know what, I’m going to make the thing I wear leggings that are fun,” she said. “The theory being I want to be able to still show my shape because I like my shape and I feel like it’s a part of my version of femininity, but yet not wear something that I feel is going to be more of a conversation about aesthetics.”
The leggings she wears—often with elaborate prints like classic rap albums and ninjas riding unicorns—have become a signature, and Amanda said people regularly ask about where she gets them. “But they don’t know that this really just started as me trying to find a way to find a middle ground. I don’t know any guys that, before they go on stage, are thinking about, ‘Do I wear the suit? Do I wear the zip-up hoodie? This polo collar might send the wrong idea.'”
When I asked Amanda where she gets her leggings, she was savvy: “I’m not going to say the site because they don’t pay me any money to say it.”
Amanda and I also talked about fast fashion—she came in wearing a great acid green turtleneck from https://www.zara.com/us/ and a puffy wrap coat from ASOS—but about luxury purchases, too, including the neon pair of YSL stilettos she brought with her to our recording, the Rolex she bought herself and admits she probably doesn’t really need, and the first pair of Gucci shoes she bought herself when she realized she had income that could be considered disposable. We also discussed her mother’s cooking, having impressive vocabularies, and the concept of real friends in today’s debatably authentic Instagram age.
Enjoy the episode!