‘Shrill’ review: A Poolside Revolution

If you haven’t started binge watching Hulu’s newest show Shrill then you are missing out. Starring Emmy nominated Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie Easton “a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body,” the show humorously puts a spotlight on the ups and downs of navigating a world in a body over size 12/14. In an era of “body positivity,” that still gears toward a particular pear-shaped plus-size body type, it was mindblowing and tear-jerking to watch the premiere’s season’s fourth episode “Pool”.

Annie recounts her experiences wearing (or rather not wearing) swimwear in her childhood years and her apprehension in donning a swimsuit when going to get the scoop on the ‘Fat Babe Pool Party’. The episode, written by Samantha Irby and directed by Shaka King, made me recount my times on family vacations, trips to the beach in high school, and my current woes as a travel blogger who happens to also be fat and happens to also love playing in the water.


Shrill -- Episode 104 -- Annie & Fran attend the Fat Babe Pool Party. Annie is so empowered by the experience and so furious with her boss, Gabe, that she posts a body positive article to the paper's website that explains exactly what it's like to be a fat woman in today's world. Annie (Aidy Bryant) shown. (Photo by: Allyson Riggs)

(Source: Allyson Riggs / Hulu via IndieWire)

My swimsuit shopping preferences have changed over the years. In high school, I opted for more sportier tankini style swimsuits, in an effort to hide my stomach and minimize exposure of my thunder thighs. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve slowly begun to venture into the realm of two-pieces that show my stomach, support my breasts, and are bright and colorful. Brands like Fashion to Figure, Torrid, Swimsuits for All carry swimsuits in larger sizes that don’t bring me back to the traumatic days of being a chubby girl shopping in the dismally dreary women’s section for a swimsuit that would actually fit my curvier body.

What was so magical, for me, about “Pool” was the deep yearning Annie had to enjoy herself without shame, without fear, and without being chastised for enjoying life and being fat at the same time. The beautiful dancing bodies and smiling faces on screen as the camera pans around the pool party reminded me that life is meant to be enjoyed. It reminded me that I too, need to embrace my curves, delight in my melanin, and enjoy the sun.


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