An Open Letter to NBC : "This is Us"

Dear NBC,

    Your new show This is Us is getting me all teary eyed multiple times an episode and it's only been two week, good on ya! I have been missing Parenthood and I know this show will quench my thirst.

However, I wanted to chat about the character Kate. (For those reading this who don't know the show yet, Kate is a "plus size" main character on this amazing network drama, which is a huge step forward for leading ladies everywhere). 

At first glance she looks like a tremendous move forward for body positivity and the anti-diet movement. She shows that every actress does not need to be a size six, can be gorgeous and can be successful all at the same time. She's funny, charismatic and a pleasure to watch so thank you to Chrissy Metz for making this character come alive. 


I am so happy that this diverse cast is on the small screen, there is no question about that.

Kate kicks off her journey by rummaging through her fridge where post-it notes are stuck to everything saying things like, "There are 200 calories in one tablespoon", "Don't eat the cake before the party". She is writing these notes to herself shaming the fact that she wants to eat.

I am so torn because on the one hand Kate is visible, she's here on our TV (yay) but on the other hand her story and identity so far are based around being fat and wanting to lose weight.

If you're in Canada you can watch the clip here >> WATCH THE CLIP

NBC, you highlight Kate's "decision to lose the weight" as a turning point, like this is her triumphant moment; that THIS is what will change her life. I hate to break it to you but it won't. Weight loss is never the answer but you have played right into the dieting industry's hands by saying that it is brave and life changing to decide to lose weight. A key failing of this is that a person can't really 'decide to lose weight'. We can decide to love our bodies, take care of our bodies and move our bodies but we cannot decide that our fat cells are going to shrink; it just isn't physically possible.

Sweet, sweet NBC, my wish for you is that you'll stand up to the dieting culture we live in and give Kate an epic life; one full of energy, happiness, success and love without her ever needing to lose a pound. Show her falling in love with herself and becoming the kick-ass powerhouse we all know she can be. Let her be her and let us see her doing what we should all do for ourselves. 

Please, NBC, help me and all the other amazing self love activists out there by showing a fat woman on TV getting hers without ever needing to change who she is. Be at the forefront of the body positivity movement, you are at a tipping point. There are so many directions you can take this. Please take the path less travelled, we need to make this trail more visible so the mainstream population can easily follow us down it.

Love always,

Jenna Free