Is This Really Us?

Are you watching NBC’s This Is Us? I’ve heard that it’s heartwarming and lovely. I’ve heard it makes you cry. (I love a make-you-cry show… I watched ER for 15 years, people!)

NBC
NBC

I can’t watch This Is Us, though, and it all comes down to Chrissy Metz’s character, Kate. When I saw the trailer, I had a sinking feeling that her character’s arc would be all about her size, and from what I’ve heard, I was right. I’d love to say that it’s a win for fat people to have a fat female character in a major role on television, but if she doesn’t have a plot line that isn’t about her weight, then… is that really a win? Not to me.

Maybe her character’s singular focus isn’t something you noticed, or thought about. I wouldn’t be surprised. After all, the media (and Hollywood) reminds us on a daily basis that fat bodies are unacceptable—unless that body is attempting to shrink itself. So why wouldn’t someone Kate’s size be actively trying to get smaller? That makes sense. It makes her worthy. (In their eyes, not mine!)

I saw a few minutes of the show by accident one week. It was a scene with Kate and her male suitor, having dinner. He wanted dessert, she “couldn’t” have any; the desperation in her face as she watched him eat was honestly offensive to watch.

NBC
Not the desperation face; just a picture of Metz. (NBC)

And now we have this interview, where Metz talks about her contractually-obligated weight loss. Honestly, while I’m disappointed, I’m not surprised. I would have been surprised if Metz’s character had simply existed in her fat body, if she had had a life outside of being upset by and/or trying to manipulate her size. Can you imagine how shocking that would be, if she was just another person on the show, with thoughts and feelings and experiences that were not weight-focused?

Okay, your turn. Am I completely off base? Is Kate more than meets the eye? Is she a well-rounded character? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

  • Lauren

    I agree that her story line is the weakest part of the show. I truly hate that they portray Kate and her boyfriend as gluttons, binge eaters. Unfortunately, this reinforces the misperception most people have about people who are fat.