Oct. 7, 2021

Calling Every Body: the Radical Romance of Shrill/This Way Up/Dietland

Calling Every Body: the Radical Romance of Shrill/This Way Up/Dietland

These funny, sharp TV shows written by women knock fat- and mental illness shaming on its behind, and tell stories of hard-won self-acceptance instead. It's about embracing our deepest desires and the person we are, not who They say we should be. It's about romancing yourself. CW: mentions of body shaming, anti-fat bias, mental illness, and briefly, abortion, weight loss and suicide ideation.


I paraphrased the gorgeous Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day.

The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance fights the discrimination that one third of the world experiences on a daily basis.

TV Shows

Shrill is one of the most joyous TV shows about anti-fat bias and body acceptance that I've ever seen. It's fun but also smart and thoughtful, and much of that is due to the charming performance of Aidy Bryant as Annie. The show is produced by Elizabeth Banks and Lorne Michaels, so funny rules, but always with that trademark light touch and satirical bite.

How do I count the many ways I love This Way Up? From its overall tone to the hilarious writing and often poignant performance of Aisling Bea as Aine, just trying to recover from a nervous breakdown while keeping her sense of humor intact, it's such a funny but insightful journey down the messy road to self acceptance.

Dietland pulls zero punches in its depiction of fat shaming and the difficulty in accepting yourself in a critical, mean and often abusive male-dominated world. Their solution might not be the most realistic, but it's certainly satisfying.

The Bold Type is a glossy modern take on holding onto your self-esteem and self-worth while operating within the Global Female Dissatisfaction Industrial Complex.


In the acerbically funny memoir Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman sticking up for yourself means amusing yourself at the same time. Lindy West covers how to keep your sanity while "coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible -- like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you."

Dietland is a crazy ride, a feminist subversive fantasy that "guarantees you won't look at a pair of stilettos or a bathroom scale the same way again."

Muffin Top by Avery Flynn is one of the sexiest, most fat-positive romances I've ever read. Marie Lipscomb's Vixens Rock series features gorgeous curvy heroines and big, burly (and hot) heroes.