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Chrissy Metz

Say goodbye to that warm fuzzy feeling that you may have experienced when you got to see plus-size actress Chrissy Metz on screen for the first time in “This Is Us.” Turns out that the series that has been praised for its diverse cast actually has Metz under contract to lose weight.

That’s right: this woman is legally bound to change her body for her job.

In nearly any other line of work this would be against the law. But somehow, the entertainment industry manages to dodge and manipulate the law according their whims. When you are an actor, it’s not uncommon to change your hair, grow a beard, train for a certain skill that the character is written to possess, or sculpt one’s body.

However, for a TV character, gross weight loss a much different story. Television isn’t just filmed over the course of a few months and then done. The goal of a television show is to keep it going for years.

Related: Lena Dunham: Quit Co-Opting the Struggle of Actual Plus-Sized Women for Your Pity Party

The actress spoke to TVLine about her character Kate and the trajectory of the story.

“In our contract, it did state that [losing weight] would be a part of it, to lose the weight in the trajectory of the character as she comes to find herself. That was a win-win for me. Because it’s one thing to try to do it on your own, but as human beings, it’s an ego thing, but we’re more likely to do something for someone else.”

This Is Us wants to get a pat on the back for being inclusive, but its directors want to change the character radically. Not only that, but they want to once again reinforce the idea that fat people cannot be happy and will only achieve happiness if they completely change their bodies.

When people see these stories perpetuated, they are told that this is the only way they can exist: in a life filled with shame whose success teeters upon their bodies and not the person within them.

It’s one thing for a person to want to lose the weight — you do you, Chrissy, and we hope you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. It’s a completely different situation when a job in a tremendously scarce industry presents itself and says “You can have (and keep) this job if and only if you agree to change your body in a tremendous way.”

Between their manipulation of the actress and the tired old toxic storyline, this show has proven itself to be another destructive tool of Hollywood, a wolf in progressive sheep’s clothing.

Hey, This Is Us? This is bullshit.

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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