Shrill And SNL's Aidy Bryant Explains Why She's Comfortable Calling Herself Fat

Aidy Bryant leaning against a doorway in a brown sweater on Shrill.

There is no shared viewpoint or singular perspective on the word fat within the fat community. That’s one of the first things you learn as an overweight kid when interacting with other overweight kids. Some prefer plus-size or heavy or prefer to never address their size at all. Some happily call themselves and others fat as if it’s a descriptor without any baggage attached. But of course there is a lot of baggage attached to it for many people, and like the rest of us, Saturday Night Live star Aidy Bryant has her own perspective on the word.

The actress has been busy over the past month between Saturday Night Live and the release of the third season of Shrill. As part of the promo for the Hulu favorite, Aidy Bryant talked to iNews about the show and how she was drawn to it because it doesn’t treat weight as the problem to overcome. As part of the conversation, she discussed her own feelings on the word fat and how she’s now comfortable using it. Here’s a portion of her quote...

To me it’s a descriptor and using it takes some of the power away from it. I spent so much of my life hiding from the word or trying to camouflage my entire being from being called fat. It depends on the intention of the person; it can be used in a hurtful way, and I’ve experienced that for sure. But it doesn’t penetrate me in the same way that it used to. I don’t feel ashamed.

It sounds like Aidy Bryant is in a really good place of self-acceptance, which is wonderful. Weight is a thing, but it’s not the most important thing. We’re all way more than just a number on a scale, but sometimes it doesn't feel that way, especially because weight can be tied to self-image, especially in Hollywood. Coming to terms with what we weigh and how we look is always the first step toward being less bothered by comments other people make, whether malicious and ill-intentioned or just thrown out casually.

Hollywood has really started to look in the mirror over the last decade and question the types of characters being put on screen. This has led to an increase in racial and gender diversity both in front of and behind the camera. Moving forward, it should also lead to diversity in what types of roles plus size people are playing. Bryant is passionate about this issue, as well and talked about it during her interview. You can check out a portion of her quote below…

The television and film industry has to look at its casting and think about diversity in lots of different ways, including ability, sexual orientation and all these things. It takes barely any effort, but it means so much. I think people are starting to wake up to that, but the status quo stands often.

Seeing people who look like you accomplishing things you want to accomplish is incredibly important. Some people are able to grow up with that and see it in their personal lives, but for other people who aren’t so lucky, entertainment can be a way to tap into that sense of possibilities too. Overweight people are often not portrayed in the best light on screen, and while it’s important to have characters that do deal with fat issues and encounter the struggles of carrying extra weight, it’s also important to show characters that are just living their lives like everyone else.

If you haven’t checked out Shrill yet on Hulu, you should do that immediately. It’s relatable. It’s funny, and it’s a great reminder of how likeable and talented Aidy Bryant is. You can also catch her on SNL, though at this point, it's unclear for how much longer.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.