Premiering on Jan. 27 at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, The Skinny is set to be one of our most beloved shows of 2016, even if 2016 has barely even begun. Following an adapted autobiographical series by feminist comedian Jessie Kahnweiler, the series will follow the life of a YouTube filmmaker trying to deal with life, love, and creation while battling a personal struggle with bulimia.
As Kahnweiler said in a more personal video about eating disorders on Refinery29, "I always felt really bad for those girls with eating disorders. Until I realized I was one of them." The Skinny is a dark comedy looking to explore bulimia, but alongside the rest of a young feminist's life. As her on-screen mom (Illeana Douglas) said in the latest trailer, "You don't look like a person who has an eating disorder." With that, it seems like we're finally about to see the reality of living with disordered eating in a way that isn't a moody subplot for the manic pixie dream girl (á la God Help The Girl).
The project was shot last year, and funded for editing, music licensing, color correction, and sound design via Kickstarter. Now, the show has partnered with Refinery29 and Wifey.tv to produce more episodes for the forthcoming web series.
Kahnweiler has already made a name for herself as a YouTube star; and not the vlogging, makeup haul kind, but the kind who turns out funny content both independently and for sites like BuzzFeed. Her unique brand of Jewish, feminist humor touches on dark topics and fun ones with ease, not making light of serious issues, but instead representing how these issues usually fit into our everyday lives. Living with an eating disorder isn't always a self-hating spiral, but a dark secret hidden in an otherwise "normal" life.
As Kahnweiler has repeated in many videos running up to The Skinny's release, this is a series that the world needs to see. Not just because she's trying to self-promote, but because there's a serious lack of women-driven shows and content in our media.
By watching shows written by, written for, and starring real life women, we get the representation of different lives, times, and struggles that we've needed for years. Sure, we can never have too many episodes of Broad City or GIRLS. But at the same time, we need new shows unafraid of combatting other issues, too.
There'll never be such a thing as too much women-orientated media because for so long, we had none. The Skinny is one more step forward for filling in that gap.
Images: Jessie Kahnweiler/Facebook