On the NBC hit show, This Is Us, Chrissy Metz plays the loveable Kate Pearson— the only daughter of Rebecca and Jack Pearson whose struggle with weight and size acceptance is not the focal point of her storyline, but something she learns to conquer by the end of the first season.
Chrissy Metz isn’t what people typically think of when the image of a Hollywood starlet comes to mind; instead, she looks like a real woman of a real size who is sensual, confident and has real emotions. Essentially, Metz’s portrayal of Kate puts to rest the stereotype of the “happy, fat person.”
After many This Is Us fans approached her about how realistic her portrayal of Kate is, saying, “I don’t know what you’ve been through to play her, but it was something,” Metz decided to tell her story in a book that is part memoir, part cultural commentary.
In This Is Me: Loving The Person You Are Today (HarperCollins Publishers), Metz writes about her life’s journey thus far in a collection of essays, some biographical and some instructional. Her book is reminiscent of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes as it is both a recollection of experiences and inspiration that comes with facing life’s challenges with strength and perseverance. However, it is different in that Metz touches on the issues that so many women face, but rarely discuss. Her story includes the feelings of abandonment she felt when her father left his family and how his absence impacted her romantic relationships later on in life; engaging in a series of relationships where unconditional love was never a factor and attention always came with strings attached; and how, when she was just about to give up on ever finding success as an actress, the perfect role — Kate Pearson— came when she only had 81 cents in her bank account and was facing imminent financial ruin.
This Is Me is more than a collection of memories. Metz puts herself, front and center like my friend, former American Idol contestant and Grammy Award-winning singer, Mandisa did in Idol Eyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame and airs all of her personal issues— straight, no chaser. Like Mandisa, Metz is vulnerable, self-aware and real. She uses her own story to connect with readers much in the way her character on television connects with viewers.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the universal message that anyone whoever has felt unattractive, unloved and uncertain about themselves can read it and know that what they are feeling isn’t something that no one else understands; a perfect read and wonderful role model for young women. Metz finds a way to give some very insightful analysis of pop culture, social norms and the cognitive dissonance that occurs when one is trying to reconcile unrealistic aspirations with a more realistic and holistic definition of beauty.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chrissy Metz is an actress best known for her role in This Is Us. Her breakout performance in the show earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations and an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress.