Whitney Thore, whose web videos “fat girl” became viral hits, is the subject of a new TLC reality series titled My Big Fat Fabulous Life, premiering Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 10pmET/PT. The refreshingly upbeat Whitney made a visit to the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour in Pasadena where she reinforced her message that size doesn’t matter when it comes to finding and doing things that make you happy. In her case, it’s her passion and love for dance.
Whitney’s unapologetic approach to her body size is an inspiration. The series is a heartfelt look into her life — including the prejudices and challenges she faces as a result of her obesity. The once 130-pound dancer/prom queen gained over 200 pounds in a short time as a result of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. She’s now 380 pounds.
“Obesity in America is such an issue that no one wants to talk about, and it’s filled with so much shame that even my family and my friends, nobody said anything, and I was too ashamed to say anything, so if we could speak a little bit more candidly about obesity, which is something that I hope My Big Fat Fabulous Life will accomplish,” Whitney said.
The upcoming premiere of the show, as well as her videos, have already generated plenty of support to her “no body shame” way of life. Tearing up at the session, she expressed the hardships of her size.
“I think that fat prejudice is one of the last socially acceptable prejudices that we have in America, and I think that’s really a shame because if you want to pursue a life of happiness and health, you can’t do it when you hate yourself,” she says. “I lived in so much shame and darkness and depression for over a decade that I wasted 10 years of my life, and it wasn’t until I finally learned that I had to love myself regardless. I have to claim my joy and my happiness, because there are people out there who don’t want me to be happy, but I have one life.”
Whitney’s a welcome wake up call and reminder to all on how to treat people.
The nine-part series will follow her life in Greensboro, North Carolina. My Big Fat Fabulous Life airs on TLC Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT.