When Whitney appeared at the recent Television Critics Association event to promote her show, her energy lit up the room. Even when talking about issues that must have been hard to discuss in front of a roomful of journalists, Whitney kept a smile on her face. Her personality alone is enough to make you want to watch the show.
As an overweight female, I've dealt with comments my whole life. People think that it's their job to tell you there is something wrong with you and that by doing that, it will somehow help you. As Whitney says on her show, this simply does not work. Body-shaming, whether by insults or just by making "helpful" suggestions as to how someone should eat less, only leads to the person feeling worse.
Whitney's issues with her weight are due to a medical condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, but because of the way overweight people are treated in this country, she went untreated for years. Whitney, her parents and her friends ignored the subject of her weight gain as they all found it too difficult to discuss, but she hopes that being on the show will encourage people "to speak a little bit more candidly about obesity."
People who are overweight usually don't want to talk about it and those who aren't overweight don't understand it, and therefore either insult or ignore those who are overweight. It's a vicious cycle and one that could be abolished, thanks to the show. Whitney doesn't shy away from the subject of her weight and hopefully it will help others learn to talk about their own struggles.
"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," Whitney said about the topic, putting into words something that I'm sure all overweight people have felt.
As Whitney said, you can't be happy and healthy unless you love yourself, but it's a task that many of us find hard to accomplish. Watching Whitney take control of her life and love herself will hopefully help everyone watching do the same.
Whitney became famous after she posted a video on YouTube called "Fat Girl Dancing." But the show itself is about more than just watching an overweight girl dance. Whitney's willingness to be candid about her weight and to do things that used to terrify her because of her size (such as donning a bikini) will inspire people of all shapes and sizes to face their own fears.
Being a dancer is not something usually thought of for a girl of 380 pounds, but Whitney is doing exactly that. She was a dancer before she gained 200 pounds and for a long time, she let her weight stop her from doing what she loved. Now she's dancing again and showing the world that you don't have to let your size prevent you from living your dreams.
Just because Whitney has decided to love her body at its current size doesn't mean that her show promotes being unhealthy. Whitney is working with doctors and taking medication for her condition. She is also dancing and doing Zumba to stay as healthy as she can. She's probably going to be one of the best role models on TV for a healthy lifestyle, despite her size.
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