Hulu's 'Shrill': Aidy Bryant's Annie shows us how to own our bodies

Annie is not your polarized big girl, nor is she struggling with body dysmorphia or totally aloof about her appearance. So what exactly is she?


                            Hulu's 'Shrill': Aidy Bryant's Annie shows us how to own our bodies

With Aidy Bryant venturing off to serialized TV shows, Hulu's upcoming series called 'Shrill' stars her as the lead. But while the premise of the show might seem like every other tale about a plus sized woman struggling to fit in in a city ruled by fashion and appearances, 'Shrill' — releasing on Friday, March 15 — stands apart in its own way purely through a very personalised storytelling, and most importantly because its main character Annie is unlike any other you have seen on TV.

To start off, Annie (played by Bryant) is not your polarized big girl on TV. She's not the stereotypical insecure person who wants to reach a certain size, struggling with body dysmorphia. Neither is she your aloof big girl who has never really cared about looking a particular size.

Annie is her own person, trying to gain as many bylines at work as possible, dealing with an a**hole boss and an even more annoying manchild of a boyfriend, while being pointed out continuously that she isn't the way she should look. That is her struggle — she is neither in denial nor full of self-loathing. Annie knows she is fat and is dealing with herself while everybody and their mother — especially her own — point out that she should look weight.

 

Be it her boss Gabe (John Cameron Mitchell) at the Portland Alternative Weekly, or her commitment-phobe boyfriend Ryan (Luka Jones), Annie has her plate full with unsolicited attitude from men who aren't helping her case. 


 
 
 
 
 
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True, we all have insufferable bosses and inadequate boyfriends, but what makes Annie's life tougher is coping with her overly critical mom (Julia Sweeney) who just cannot stop being judgmental about Annie's figure. 

But none of those are Annie's priorities; not even her unnecessarily snobbish boss. So you would automatically think that Annie has it all sorted because secretly she is working on her self, yet that's not that case at all. Annie isn't someone who is on a diet or even trying to lose weight. Sure, she has her healthy eating attempts but that's more from an external input trying to tell her how she looks. In short, working on her appearance wouldn't even be on her list of to-do things, or an occasional concern gnawing away at her insides, was it not for the constant reminder from people around her.


 
 
 
 
 
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The internal conflict Annie suffers from is not because she isn't fine with the way she looks; it's more about a third party effect in her mind which gets brilliantly portrayed in the form of an end-of-the-day rant after a really long day. "It’s a f**king mind prison, you know, that every f**king woman everywhere has been programmed to believe," Annie remarks in the rant, adding: "And I’ve wasted so much time and money and energy, for what? I’m fat. I’m f**king fat. Hello, I’m fat."

In its own way, what 'Shrill' does is bring out how others' scrutiny can create appearance issues in one's mind without them being inherently bothered about it from the start. Annie is a fat girl, but she isn't your regular fat girl on TV who's only seen with salad boxes and gym clothes. Annie is just tired of being told to do those exact things when all she wants is to show how comfortable she is in her own skin. 


 
 
 
 
 
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a lil first look at SHRILL on @hulu all episodes on MARCH 15 💗🌱

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