Maddie Ziegler on the important representation in her new film ‘Fitting In’

Kory Mello/Obscured Pictures

Maddie Ziegler is a teenager unexpectedly diagnosed with MRKH syndrome in Molly McGlynn’s coming-of-age film Fitting In.

Ziegler told ABC Audio she was honored to play Lindy, a character who brings representation about the lesser-known reproductive condition to the screen.

“It’s surreal. I feel so lucky to be a part of it,” Ziegler said. “I think [people with MRKH] were just so happy to have representation finally, and for this to be brought to the forefront of the conversations. And I’m very lucky to be a face for that.”

Those with MRKH syndrome have an underdeveloped vagina and uterus. McGlynn’s semi-autobiographical film tackles hard questions like: What is sex? What is gender? If she can’t bleed, be penetrated or carry a baby, what else makes a woman?

Emily Hampshire also stars in the film as Lindy’s mother, Rita. She had not heard of MRKH before reading the script.

“I didn’t know about MRKH before this,” Hampshire said. “To bring something to light that no one has spoken about is just an honor in a way that you can make something less taboo and just easier out there in the world.”

Ziegler pointed out that the condition itself, despite only affecting those with reproductive organs, is named after four cisgender men.

“MRKH in itself is literally named after the four male doctors who created it,” Ziegler said. “It’s wild that that’s even the reality of the situation. But to see so many powerful people and women sharing their stories [because of the film] is really cool.”

And, while Fitting In asks more questions than it answers, Ziegler says it’s true to life.

“I think it’s really beautiful that you don’t need to have an answer all the time,” Ziegler said. “You can just live in the moment.” 

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