After struggling with years of eating disorders, self-esteem issues, and dramatic weight loss and gain, Whitney Way Thore decided to shed her shame and love herself. Her YouTube series, called "A Fat Girl Dancing," is her way of expressing that self-love while challenging others to reconsider how they perceive those around them.
Growing up, Thore was a dancer who absolutely relished her time in the spotlight while performing. However, due to a medical condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), she gained over 100 pounds while in college and quit dancing. While the cause of PCOS is unknown, WomensHealth.gov notes that this condition creates a hormone imbalance in women that results in irregular menstrual cycles, fertility issues, and weight gain in addition to the formation of cysts on the ovaries.
On her website, Thore writes that she "desperately wanted to have a body that gave [her] permission to do the things [she] loved, like dance in public, and a body that gave [her] permission to outwardly be the person [she] was inside: a confident, quirky woman with endless goals and dreams." However, her outward appearance left her feeling ashamed and depressed. It's heartbreaking to hear her manner of thinking during this phase of her life, deeming herself unworthy of self-expression because she doesn't fit in with societal norms. It's even sadder to realize that these feelings are not unique to Thore; in fact, most women experience the same negative self-perception at some point in their lives, regardless of their appearance.
Rather than let that shame hold her back, Thore (with encouragement from her coworkers) decided to upload videos of herself dancing on YouTube. This "A Fat Girl Dancing"series quickly went viral, spurring the inception of Thore's "No Body Shame" campaign. Through this body-positive movement, she is committed to staying active and unabashedly herself while reminding other women that they are defined by who they are and what they do, not by how society perceives them.
We think this is an amazing message worth perpetuating, and have seen similar campaigns
inspire us like this in the past. We'd love to hear your opinions on the No BS campaign, as well as on Thore's bold move to share her love of dance with the rest of the world.