If you’re a devotee of Shonda Rhime’s Scandal, you’ve probably noticed that Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), first lady and wife of philandering president Fitz Grant, always seems to have a gorgeous glow—despite continuously being in pretty miserable circumstances. That unflappable glow may be thanks to Bellamy Young’s vegan diet.
As Young told YouBeauty, her desire to become vegan some 28 years ago was inspired by a sort of optical illusion: “It came to me in a very strange way. I was at college, it was sophomore year, and I got the baked breast of chicken, and they sort of plated it weird. As I lowered it down to my tray, it looked exactly like my mom’s little furry yippy dog when she’d roll over and want you to rub her tummy. That was it for me.”
Young’s ethical decision turned out to have major health and beauty benefits, too: “For me it was the answer to a myriad of things that weren’t working in my life. I had terrible cystic acne, no energy at all, I didn’t always digest food perfectly.” As it turns out, ditching dairy can work wonders for those with chronic acne (it even helped Natalie Portman!).
The actress also keeps her beauty routine fairly simple and is a huge fan of sweet almond oil: “You know what is simple and multi-functional for me, personally, is sweet almond oil. My hair works so hard, and if I can sleep overnight with some of that in my hair it helps so much.” (Almond oil is rich in vitamin E and provides deep moisturization to both hair and skin.)
Also, like most dumplings, Young enjoys a good bath and some essential oils: “In terms of nourishing my body or taking a nice bath, I put a little sweet almond oil and maybe some—any kind of aromatherapy, a little essential oils–that I want to put in.” Feeling inspired to get cozy in the tub? Here’s how to take the best bath of your life.
Young acknowledges that talking about veganism isn’t always easy: “I think veganism has a branding issue, but other than that, it’s a great way to live. I know a lot of people now like to go with ‘plant-based diet’ instead. I guess that makes it a little bit more palatable.” Either way, the actress says, veganism is a beautiful choice for anyone.
Still debating whether or not to go vegan? I’ll leave you with this lovely sentiment Young shared while filming for PETA:
“That small voice in your head and in your heart that makes you curious about being vegan is something you should listen to because that’s the sound of your conscience making you be compassionate.”
Have you gone vegan? What were your reasons for embracing a plant-based lifestyle?
Related: 3 Reasons Kate Mara is Passionate about Veganism
Why Some People Stop Being Vegan
Here’s What Supermodel & Activist Angela Lindvall Says Will Heal The Planet
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Photo: Wikimedia Commons, PETA