When the “Shrill” script known as for actress Katie Wee to name the present’s star Aidy Bryant a “fats bitch,” she didn’t know if she may take the gig.
“My first thought was that there was completely no means I may 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 injury.”
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 informed she didn’t have the “physique for ballet,” by an teacher. The cruel criticism led to her weighing herself a number of instances 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 might 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 inside 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 be a health teacher on the celeb-fave studio Rise Nation, additionally spoke to navigating the affect of the health trade and its beliefs of “wholesome.”
“I can’t let you know what number of instances 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–ok you, you fats bitch,’ to ‘I used to be simply making an attempt 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 damage individuals damage individuals,” she stated. “I noticed a good looking joyful one who was not skinny, and I known as her a ‘fats bitch,’ however someplace inside Tanya’s mind or mine there was additionally a deep jealousy for this lady 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 12 months, Wee stated that she’s taken a special strategy 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 suppose they should drop some weight,” she stated. “I attempt to remind them that they’re fantastic simply as they’re, no matter their weight or health degree.”
“Shrill” has been renewed for a second season.