Opinion | Pop Culture

I Saw Myself in ‘This Is Us’

The popular new dramedy puts viewers in the messy middle.
I Saw Myself in ‘This Is Us’
Image: NBC Universal

When I watched previews for NBC’s new drama This is Us over the summer, it was immediately apparent that I would be able to see myself, or at least a version of me, in this story line. Actress Chrissy Metz plays one of the show’s leads, and the initial clips showed her teetering on the bathroom scale, crying and arguing about her body, and resisting the birthday cake in the fridge.

Metz’s body type looks more like mine than anyone I’d seen on screen before. She wasn’t just overweight compared to typical Hollywood sizes—she was big enough to probably have trouble finding clothes even at a place like Lane Bryant. This kind of representation was enough to get excited about; however, I wonder, “Does the fat character have to be obsessed with losing weight?”

We see Metz’s character—Kate Pearson—at different stages through her life, and scene by scene, my initial criticism started to loosen. Even at eight, Kate’s already navigating ...

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