Ode to Shrill
Ode to being able to see myself in a TV show, finally.
In one scene, with the personal trainer grabbing Annie’s wrist,
I’m reminded of the time I’ve also been fed a line similar to,
“There’s a skinny person in there waiting to get out!”
What I was told was, “There’s a person in there who wants to start living!”
No, there’s a person right the fuck here,
and I am living!
It’s worth noting that the same person who told me this
later heard about my story of date rape
and implied that rape didn’t happen to big girls.
And tell me, what does someone that heartless know about living?
We curvy women are living,
but we are tired of living in a world that ostracizes us.
Let me tell you how much I’m living.
I’m living to the fullest every time I chase my daughter at the park,
because my body can have fun, yes it can.
And, as my daughter hugs me and says I feel like a pillow,
Every plushy microfiber particle of me is living.
I’m living in my art, pouring passion out on pages.
I’m fat, but I’m sure as hell living.
There’s also a moving scene in Shrill
in which my pretty fucking face flat out ugly cried.
It was the fat babe pool party,
with all the body-positive women dancing in their swimsuits,
in their curves and their belly rolls and their breasts and their fat.
Their beautiful fat was glowing,
and they were happy and they were connected as women.
And I cried because I want that.
I want that for me. I want that for my daughter.
I want to live in a world where all women are accepted for who we are
and a world where women are more loving of each other.
And that scene, that scene was everything.
I’m sure most viewers just saw an ordinary millennial movie party,
but for us, all the fat babes out there watching,
we saw an in-motion painting that stirred hope.
We finally saw ourselves.
We saw representation.
We saw something that had never been painted that way before.
We need more shows, more films, more writing,
more poems, more art about this.
Thank you, Shrill. Thank you, Lindy West.
Thank you Aidy Bryant.
I’ll end this with a quote from the Lindy West article
that started it all.
“I reject the notion that thinness is the goal,
that thin equals better,
that I am an unfinished thing
and that my life can really start when I lose weight,
that then I will be a real person
and have finally succeeded as a woman.
I am not going to waste another second of my life.”
(cheers and applause)
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
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