Chrissy Metz On The Powerful Body-Positivity Message In This Is Us

NBC's hit show, This Is Us, is full of tearjerker moments, but one of its most heartbreaking scenes so far involves an 8-year-old Kate discovering what it means to be ashamed of her body. Chrissy Metz, who plays the adult version of Kate, recently revealed that she knows the realities of that pain all too well.

In an interview with People magazine on Wednesday, Metz recalled struggling with her weight as a child and eventually going to Weight Watchers at 11 years old.

“I remember being at Weight Watchers at, like, 11 years old and my mom just trying to figure it out for me,” the actress said. “It’s one of those things where it’s heartbreaking because, as a parent, you want your child to have the best life possible and you want them to be protected and in this little bubble where everybody finds them to be beautiful and perfect and their lives to be amazing. But that’s not always the case.”

Metz, who said that her size “was always something I was cognizant of," even as a child, told People that she was bullied for her looks for most of her life, leading her to develop an unhealthy relationship with food.

“I would not eat,” she said. “And then of course I would get so hungry I would binge, and it was difficult because my parents were like, ‘I don’t understand, if you’re not really eating, why are you gaining weight?’ I would be at...my good friend's house and her mom would literally make us a tray of brownies and split it down the middle, and we would go to town.”

But when she turned 30, she said, "I had this epiphany that my life is my own and my choices are my own." Now, she told People, she's glad to be on a show that allows her body-positive message to have an impact on so many viewers and fans.

“I just feel really grateful that I can pursue my dreams and also reach people in ways that I never expected," Metz said. And as she told us during an interview last month, "I've had women and men reach out to me already like, 'Wow, I actually can see myself on television, and we're not just being made fun of continually.'"

Indeed, her character, Kate, has proven to be one of the most relatable, affecting characters on television — something that we owe to Metz's touching portrayal. Playing Kate may have changed Metz's life, but her performance is also changing the face of network television. Hopefully, This Is Us has opened the door for more thoughtful body diversity in the media to come.
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