When the “Shrill” script referred to as for actress Katie Wee to name the present’s star Aidy Bryant a “fats bitch,” she didn’t know if she might take the gig.
“My first thought was that there was completely no approach I might say these phrases to anybody, and I couldn’t go on this audition,” Wee wrote in a first-person essay for HuffPost, printed on Friday. “I assumed my plethora of points round weight and physique picture would render me too encumbered to play somebody who appeared so free in her skill to dole out harm.”
Within the essay entitled, “What I Realized From Taking part in A Brutal Fats-Shamer On TV,” Wee reveals that she suffered from anorexia and obsessive consuming habits as a younger teen and in addition in her 20s after she was instructed she didn’t have the “physique for ballet,” by an teacher. The cruel criticism led to her weighing herself a number of occasions a day and low vanity.
So when it got here time to play a coach dubbed “Toned Tonya” in a scene the place Bryant’s character contemplated taking a flyer for a exercise class, Wee drew parallels to her personal life.
“Whereas I’d by no means name another person a fats bitch, I had been calling myself one most of my life,” she stated. “Sadly, fat-shaming self-talk has been an enormous a part of my very own interior dialogue.”
Reciting the cruel line, within the audition course of and on the present’s desk learn, didn’t come naturally, however Wee recalled Bryant and the sequence’ solid being supportive and telling her to “go for it,” in her supply.
Wee, who can also be a health teacher on the celeb-fave studio Rise Nation, additionally spoke to navigating the affect of the health business and its beliefs of “wholesome.”
“I can’t inform you what number of occasions I’ve heard somebody wail, ‘I’m so FAT,’ with a glance of distress and hopelessness,” she stated. “I’ve stated this too and am not proud.”
Whereas filming her harsh line which was modified from “F–okay you, you fats bitch,’ to ‘I used to be simply attempting that will help you, you fats bitch,’ as Bryant’s character dismisses her not-so-nice recommendation, it resulted in a lightbulb second for Wee.
“It was clear to me on this second that harm individuals harm individuals,” she stated. “I noticed a lovely comfortable one who was not skinny, and I referred to as her a ‘fats bitch,’ however someplace inside Tanya’s mind or mine there was additionally a deep jealousy for this girl who appeared to have accepted herself and rejected a perception we held up so excessive that being skinny was crucial.”
Since filming the sequence that premiered final yr, Wee stated that she’s taken a distinct method to instructing health.
“I’m additionally extra cautious with the authority I beforehand didn’t even know I yielded; I’m conscious of my responses when shoppers inform me they assume they should shed some pounds,” she stated. “I attempt to remind them that they’re great simply as they’re, no matter their weight or health degree.”
“Shrill” has been renewed for a second season.