NBC's new hit show This Is Us has been praised for crafting complex characters that the audience instantly empathizes with. But many viewers are frustrated by one character, Kate, who only seems to be defined by her size and her desperation to lose weight.
To be fair, we're only two episodes in, so there's a good chance Kate will become a more well-rounded character by the end of the first season. For now, everything is focused on her weight struggles, which only feels like a baby step of progress from the overdone trope of the funny fat friend we see on most network shows.
But Chrissy Metz, the actress who plays Kate, makes a good point in a recent interview with Refinery29: At a time when the body-positive movement emphasizes loving the way you look, it's still totally normal to want to lose a few pounds:
I truly believe that if you don’t accept yourself or where you're at, you can't get to the place where you want to be, or become the person you feel you're supposed to be. I go back and forth. I’m like, "Yeah, I'm cool, it's fine!'"And then, "Ugh."
I'm not ever gonna be a tiny girl, but I have an idea of a size that I would like to be. I've always had this idea in my mind, but at the same time, I'm not beating up myself. I'm not saying, "I wish I was this, I wish I was that," because it's counterproductive. Some women and some men feel comfortable being plus-size, or some people feel more athletic, etc. Whatever makes you feel good, that’s what I think you should pursue. I'm kind of in both worlds. Part of me wants to change, and part of me is like, "No, I'm good."
And while we hope that's not the only way we connect with her character, it's an important message to share.