Aidy Bryant is standing her ground after an Instagram commenter said her upcoming movie, I Feel Pretty, “continues to perpetuate fat phobia.”
The film, which comes out April 20, stars Amy Schumer as Renee Barrett, a woman who is insecure and frustrated with her body until she hits her head and wakes up suddenly confident. Bryant plays Vivian, one of Barrett’s close friends.
After the trailer debuted in February, people took to social media to criticise the movie for fat-shaming. And when Bryant shared a photo from the set on her Instagram page on Tuesday, the critical comments flew once again.
“I think you’re great @aidybryant, but from the previews I’ve seen of this movie, it’s a HUGE step backwards for the feminist movement, that at this very moment is having a huge identity shift that many of those on the front lines of the work are working against the messages in this film on a daily basis,” wrote one commenter. “I won’t be supporting a movie that continues to perpetuate fat phobia and the notion that for a woman to be confident she needs to look a certain (read: thin, white, rich) way. The previews are extremely problematic and as a fat woman in Hollywood, who has thousands of fat girls who look up to you, I hope you will consider the message this film sends. Thumbs down.”
Bryant decided to respond to the commenter directly and explain why she believes in the movie’s message.
“I hear what you’re saying. I encourage you to see the film. I think you’ll find that’s not the case,” Bryant wrote. “I’m very proud to be in a movie tells the story of someone who believes confidence is directly tied to looks but learns that confidence comes from within. It’s a movie I wish I could have seen when I was 14.”
The Saturday Night Live comedian added that she’s read for plenty of movies that promote body shaming, and this isn’t one of them.
“Through my short time in this industry I have been sent all kinds of demeaning scripts where my body is the punchline,” she said. “I choose my projects carefully with exactly these things in mind. Change cannot happen over night and this movie is a step in the right direction.”
Bryant’s comment was swiftly applauded by her followers, including the original commenter who thanked her for her response. Schumer also reposted Bryant’s words on her Instagram Story.
Bryant has spoken out in the past about her size, and her unintentional role in the body positivity movement.
“I didn’t try to get on SNL to be a body-positivity activist, but apparently just being there makes you one,” Bryant said in November. “It’s this weird kind of thing where you’re like, I guess I kind of am. It’s literally just not what I came here to do.”
But she decided to embrace it.
“It sounds so corny now, but representation does f—–g matter,” she said. “And I remember how as a child I was obsessed with Rosie O’Donnell even though that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but I was like, Oh my god, someone who’s a little bit like me on TV.”
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