Reality star Whitney Thore is no stranger to criticism regarding her weight . . . after all, when you've got a TLC show called My Big Fat Fabulous Life, viewers are bound to express strong opinions. However, the criticism hasn't always come from outsiders. In an interview with People, Thore revealed that she struggled with guilt and self-blame for her weight: "For 10 years when I was fat I was able to project a happy face, but I was absolutely miserable. Up until two years ago it was, 'I gotta lose weight, I gotta lose weight,' in a panic almost. This idea that life can't start until I'm thin." But not anymore! The 380-pound 30-year-old denies promoting obesity with her reality show — instead, she's simply living life and not hating herself for being fat.
One of the ways that the TLC star lives life to the fullest is through dance, which is actually how she caught the eye of studio executives. A viral video called "A Fat Girl Dancing," which shows Thore hitting some pretty impressive moves despite her size, amassed over 1.3 million views from impressed viewers and haters alike. Even in the recent comments of the video, critics accuse her of promoting obesity. This kind of accusation just doesn't fly with Whitney:
"Any fat person who's just living and not miserable is apparently promoting obesity! If I'm pro-anything it's simply pro-loving yourself in this moment because it's all we have. And I do want to lose weight. I'm not naïve to the health risks that are going to come to me at almost 400 lbs. But does that mean I'm going to hate myself in the process? No. People seem to think that as I go about my daily life, just living and existing, that I'm trying to get some reaction out of people.
. . . I think people are very threatened by happy fat women. We have an idea that thinness leads to happiness. But to see a fat woman living her life and being happy in the moment now, I think people feel slighted: 'Well, she just cut in line! I've been buying gym memberships and starving myself and buying wrinkle creams and who is she to get to feel happy?' And I'm like, 'No, sister, jump outta line. You can do it too.'"
While Thore is happy with her body as it is, she knows that losing weight is vital to leading a long and healthy life. In fact, her goal is to lose major weight for the sake of staying in the dance studio! "If my stomach gets any bigger I won't be able to bend down and tie my shoes. I love to be active, I like to dance. So for me to live my most fulfilled life, I need to drop 100 pounds," she shared with People. But her looks are not the motivator — she simply wants to be as happy as possible with her life. Thore's favorite part of the show is her interaction with the many viewers who find her story inspirational, many of whom pluck up the courage to start dancing or even come out of the closet after watching the star reject socially constructed shame.
Do you think that Thore's show promotes obesity, or are you impressed with her confidence in front of the camera? Watch a few of her dancing videos ahead, because they might change your impression from "fat" to "fabulous."