Chrissy Metz, who plays the character Kate Pearson on NBC’s drama This Is Us recently revealed that it has taken almost her entire life to feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit. The actress advocates for loving the skin you’re in which has led her to her new found fame of calling herself a role model for body positivity. 

“I grew up wearing a T-shirt at the pool,” Metz told Glamour for their November cover story. “As an adult, I was like, I’m gonna find a bathing suit I like and I’m gonna wear it.”

At the end of June, while vacationing with a friend in Barbados at the Sandals resort, the actress did just that and documented the moment by snapping a photo of herself wearing a black Lane Bryant swimsuit. 

Metz noted that she was proud of relieving some of her insecurities, she also said that other people were just as impressed with her decision, but their responses came off in the wrong manner. 

“There were people, like, Oh my God, look at you! You know I could never do that,’” she recalled about a response she had received. “It’s a backhanded compliment, but I’m doing what I want to do.”

On the current season of This Is Us, her character, Pearson’s storyline is focusing on the trials and tribulations of getting pregnant with her husband Toby. Her character also continues to cope with the tragic death of her father, while establishing her singing career and adjusting to married life.

Metz weight has been a part of her character’s storyline, but it’s not the only thing that her character deals with, which Metz is grateful for. 

“People who’ve never been overweight don’t understand what it all entails. They think you’re just sitting in the corner and all you do is eat,” Metz said. “My thing is, let’s get to the real issues — because the food is the symptom; it’s not the issue. Everyone’s filling a void with something.”

But even with the success of shows and films that have addressed body positivity, Metz has continued to receive backlash for her weight. “People are still surprised that a big girl could be on TV, and it’s like, Ugh, really? Really?” she said. “There’s so much other stuff to talk about.”

In 2017, Metz spoke about embracing her curves in a People Style issue.  

“The red carpet transformed how I dressed,” Metz said. “I never wore form-fitting dresses before. There are a lot of people who make you feel uncomfortable if you show a chubby stomach, arm or leg. I was being educated while becoming part of the conversation on size inclusivity.”

Metz also revealed that when she first started promoting This Is Us, she was worried about how things would photograph. She then added that she wants to be at the forefront of the body positive conversation to inspire other women to come out their comfort zone and experiment with their clothing. 

“I want to encourage women to enjoy what they’re wearing,” Metz said. “as opposed to just finding a boring black dress that fits.”