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Chrissy Metz Is Contractually Obligated To Lose Weight For This Is Us

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Photo: Brian To/REX/Shutterstock
It looks like the powers that be at This Is Us aren’t the body-positive advocates we’d hoped for. Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate in the series, revealed to TVLine that weight loss is on the horizon for her as dictated by her contract with the show.

Chrissy, who identifies with her character and her struggles with body image, told TVL “In our contract, it did state that [losing weight] would be a part of it, to lose the weight in the trajectory of the character as she comes to find herself. That was a win-win for me. Because it’s one thing to try to do it on your own, but as human beings, it’s an ego thing, but we’re more likely to do something for someone else.”

If Kate wants to lose weight, and is grateful for the extra incentive to get it done, great for her! But that doesn’t mean we can’t side-eye the show's creators. Being an actor means that you often put your body at the mercy of a script or plot line. You might have to dye your hair, grow a beard, undergo training to learn a new sport, or sculpt your muscles in certain ways. And it’s not always pretty. But it's made immensely more complicated and shady when we’re asking someone to embark on a personal weight-loss journey that already comes with its own set of ups and downs. To require Metz to undertake this as a condition of her job seems a bit ridiculous, especially from a show that has been heralded for its nuanced portrayal of fat people.

What’s most disappointing about this news is that This Is Us has obviously subscribed to the problematic notion that fat people only ever achieve true happiness once they’ve lost weight. Yawn. I’m sure they’re going to write the post-weight-loss script in a way that shows Kate realising that slimmer doesn’t equal a perfect life. That’s a relevant, but played out storyline. It’s a trope that is more often than not used in an attempt to pacify fat people dealing with the very real ramifications of fat-shaming.

If This Is Us really wanted to break the mould, the show's creators would let Kate finally stop obsessing and hating her body. Letting a fat person be fat is always more radical.

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