In the new web series Shrill, Annie Easton (played by Aidy Bryant) is on a journey to explore self-acceptance and through that, find her voice. While the show has some key issues and plot holes, I respect that it can be a process that takes committed effort to build up internal self-acceptance; giving oneself the freedom to try new things and discover personal realizations.
Annie is what I would term ‘Baby Phat’ as she begins to dip her toes into body positivity and the womanhood of her 30s and 40s. Grown Ass Women are not born overnight, OK?
Shrill shares a truth that many fat girls discover as they become grown-ass women: Life goes on whether you’re fat or not. This is it, our one life to live. As we approach middle age it becomes more clear for most of us that we will always be overweight in some regard. Maybe we lose 15 pounds on the latest fad diet, maybe we gain it back 6 months later. One thing is for sure, after a certain point being overweight is just part of who we are. It’s part of our identity, it just is. And it won’t stop us from living and enjoying life. We will still swim and hike, strut in fashion shows, start our own businesses or choose to raise a family, etc. I have never believed the stereotypes that fat women are failing in some way, automatically poor or ignorant for ‘not taking care of themselves.’ Most likely because I’ve been fat for most of my life, and getting grown has still been fun, exciting and active for me.
Of course we want to be as healthy as anyone else, but we also recognize using the term ‘healthy’ in conversation can be code for suggesting a woman should want to become more attractive. Only guess what? A fat person can still be stylish, intelligent, and take care of themselves. In a world where people can be overweight for hundreds of reasons that are their own private business, fat-shaming is total bullshit.
My favorite scene in the series occurs during the third episode *SPOILERS* When the main character Annie in all her awkwardness is having trouble navigating whether she has the right of way to cross a street. While going through a range of indecision about when to disrupt car traffic, a stylish plus-size woman in an all red outfit, brushes past her and crosses the street without hesitation. This plus size ‘woman in red’ is confident, feminine and most importantly claiming her personal space. The woman’s energy is magnetic enough that it compels Annie to follow her for a couple blocks. Annie looks on in awe at how this woman carries herself, and as she peers on from a distance we can see she is wondering how she can get to that level of solid womanhood. The series allows us to follow Annie through that exploration, which I found pretty fun to witness. Glowing up is hard work.
I hope every woman gets to this point of realization. Life doesn’t start when you’re suddenly slim. We are all living right now, and deserve every bit of satisfaction and success as anyone else. ##
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So… I’m in @voguemagazine PRINT. I didn’t realize till my mama gave me a copy😩 Now… I need to digest why this is crazy.. I’m a FAT BLACK WOMAN. Now, I know it seems lately things are diversified and all that, but the reality of growing up not seeing yourself anywhere and making a vow to be that girl seen EVERYWHERE is flooring me. There are literal “statistics” (google it) claiming that black women are the ‘least desirable’ demographic 😒 WELL THIS SAYS 🗣FUCK UR STATISTICS BITCH. Stand up. Be seen. Be beautiful. It’s a new day!!!