I have watched the first four episodes of Shrill – and I only have two episodes left – and I do not want it to end! It’s like when I order vanilla bean cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I make it last three days because I love it that much. I want to savor it. And, it’s an $8 piece of cheesecake! (Plus tax.) I want to SAVOR Shrill like a decadent and luxurious piece of $8 cheesecake.
I am 51 years old and I want to scream at the top of my lungs:
“SHRILL, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE!!!
I am kind excitable. Can you tell?
I also want to scream from the top of my lungs Aidy’s characters tag line “I have a FAT ASS and BIG TITTIES, so I make the rules.” I am even turning that into a t-shirt for the rad fatties in my community! That and “Aidy for President 2020)
If you have been living under a rock, “Shrill” is a made-for-Hulu t.v. show based on the book by author and activist, Lindy West. In my community filled with beautiful and smart fat humans, this has been on our respective calendars for months.
It is so rare to watch a t.v. show or movie with fat characters who are NOT obsessing about being on a diet and trying to change their bodies to meet our society’s very narrow ideal for what a human body should look like. (This is a fantastic definition of this ridiculous ideal from the wikipedia.)
“The feminine beauty ideal is “the socially constructed notion that physical attractiveness is one of women’s most important assets, and something all women should strive to achieve and maintain”. Feminine beauty ideals are rooted in heteronormative beliefs, and heavily influence women of all sexual orientations. The feminine beauty ideal, which also includes female body shape, varies from culture to culture.Pressure to conform to a certain definition of “beautiful” can have psychological effects, such as depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem, starting from an adolescent age and continuing into adulthood.”
There are so many facets of this show that almost made my fat head explode. (In a good way. Did I mention I am excitable?)
Here are some of the highlights for me: (I had to outline or this would be a 10,000 word article.) There are some of the things that I found the most relatable.
Someone telling the main character she looks like Rosie O’Donnell. OMG. Not all fat women look alike!
An actual CONCERN TROLL who without asking permission started talking to her about how she can help her find her inner skinny girl. (The character is a personal trainer who approaches her in a coffee shop.) The personal trainer run in completely reminded me of dating while fat. While you are talking to a guy, it’s all “you’re so hot” and “I love your body.” The moment you say “No Thanks” you get the “You Fat Cunt” when you turn them down.
She wears a bra during sex and won’t take it off when asked by her booty call.
Her booty call will not wear a condom. OH HELL NO! In my mind, there is NO dick that good. Your personal health is SO much more important than any loser who says he will only “raw dog” you. BYE!
Her booty call only has one fucking pillow. MAN BOY!
Her booty call makes her go out the back door so he does not have to explain his “love life” to his brother and roommate. UGGG. ( I wrote this article Do Not Settle Curvy Girl) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/do-not-settle-curvy-girls_n_4715263
They talk about the Morning After / Plan B Pill – did you know that the Morning After Pill’s efficacy rate goes WAY down when you are over 170lbs? Now you do.
Whey Aidy’s character “Annie” tells her roommate that she did not want her booty call to stop liking her if she made him wear a condom. FUCK THAT NOISE. Your personal health is so much more important that some rando dick. I am serious when I say this. YOU HAVE A VAGINA. YOU MAKE THE RULES! See also, NEVER SETTLE CURVY GIRL ARTICLE HERE
They spend time NORMALIZING abortion. Hello. No one wants to have a g.d. abortion. Damn. I never want to have an abortion. (And, I am 51, so it’s pretty unlikely.) But, DO NOT mess with my right to have one if I want to. And, btw, we all LOVE someone who has had an abortion. FOR REAL. The statistics bear out. You may not know about their abortion, but someone in your family or close circle has had one and that is O.K. , None of Your Business and Republicans – stay away from my uterus.
When “Annie” gets fed up, she says something so poignant that it will bring tears to your eyes. She says to her booty call “I shouldn’t have to trap you into treating me like a human.” DAMN STRAIGHT!
“Annie” runs into the concern troll / personal trainer again and the trainer says to her “you owe it to yourself.” You know what. She does not OWE IT TO HERSELF and in fact, she owes it to NO ONE to become thin. We do not have to be thin to be worthy of dignity or respect. We do NOT have to become thin to make you happy. We do not have to become thin to love ourselves or expect others to love us. The whole point is that we need you to get on board with this. STOP making fun of fat people. Stop letting your friends or family hate on fat humans. Stop expecting all of us to fall in line and get on your damn diets or your exercise plans. We got this. And, btw, shame NEVER leads to weight loss. (And, some of us love exercise that brings us joyful movement. Please do not say to us in a patronizing tone: “good for you.” M.Y.O.B. for once.
Please be an ally and make it your business when you see someone being dismissive to us. Back us up when we reach out to Kaiser via Twitter and let them know that for the 100th time they did not have a large person cuff to take our blood pressure at the doctor’s office. When you see us boarding your flight, smile at us and invite us to share your row. It’s pretty easy to NOT be a RUDE ASSHOLE. We need all of you to help us. Fat Right are Human Rights. And, this show goes a long ways to help you see what our struggle is like. If your whole goal in life is to NOT BE FAT like it’s the worst thing in the world, you definitely need to watch Shrill.
Lastly, the POOL PARTY with 50 gorgeous fat women was the things that dreams are made of! FAT DREAMS!
This show is done so well. I honestly laughed out loud several times. Cringed. Got teary eyed. Straight Up Cried. Laughed some more. All the feelings. All in such a beautiful tone. LOVE LOVELOVE
Rolling Stone Wrote this about Shrill and Dietland. (Fuck that show Insatiable.) https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-features/plus-size-women-on-tv-dietland-shrill-insatiable-805335/?
Slate wrote this about Shrill https://slate.com/culture/2019/03/shrill-review-hulu-lindy-west.html?
Teen Vogue wrote this about Shrill https://www.teenvogue.com/story/aidy-bryant-shrill-hulu?
Photo Credit : Shrill / HULU