Binge and Repeat: ‘Shrill’ promotes body acceptance

SNL’s Aidy Bryant stars in Hulu’s new series, “Shrill,” based on the book by Lindy West. The show follows Bryant’s character, Annie, a full-figured woman who learns to accept that she is allowed to take up space in the world.

Aidy Bryant stars in Hulu’s ‘Shrill.’ — Photo by Allyson Riggs

At the beginning of the series Annie accepts criticism about her body from strangers with a defeatist attitude and gratefully accepts any romantic affection she can get from Ryan, her sometimes boyfriend who treats her like dirt, but as she grows more confident at work and about her body, she decides she’s not taking it anymore.

After speaking with a few strippers during a work assignment, Annie decides to completely change her story’s angle and it becomes a hit with readers. With the newly earned career confidence, Annie tells off Ryan and informs him that she’s not going to stay with him and accept his subpar treatment of her anymore.

This series is not for everyone. And, frankly that’s OK. This show focuses on the internal issues that larger women, specifically, face. Not everyone is going to feel invested in a series about a fat woman loving her body without a dramatic physical transformation, but it certainly does hit home for women who have tried an endless cycle of diets and workout programs in an effort to be smaller.

However, that’s not to say that Annie is perfect, like all well-written characters she has flaws and makes mistakes. During her internal transformation she becomes rather selfish and fails to consider how her actions impact her loved ones. The show isn’t perfect either; some jokes fall flat and there are a few cringe-inducing scenes, but it’s refreshingly body-positive.

“Shrill” has six episodes available on Hulu. The show is rated TV-MA. Audiences might also enjoy “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” a comedy written by fellow SNL alum Tina Fey about a woman exploring the world after being locked in an underground bunker as a teen.

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