Ostensibly, "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" should get a round of applause. TLC's 380-lb Whitney Way Thore proclaims the fat and proud message that is so chic just now. The North Carolina reality television star preaches that obesity is healthy and disliking your body isn't.

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Thore is getting lots of kudos for her message of healthy self-esteem despite weight. It's a lot less depressing than "My 600-lb Life" but the messages on weight loss vs body love is also a bit mixed. 

Whitney loves her weight, or does she?

Whitney Way Thore loves her fat and fabulous life. Arguably, that positivity earned her a YouTube cult following as a "107.5 KZL's fat girl dancing" and then a reality TV show. According to the comments, another faction watches for the schadenfreude those types get from obese people.

Whitney Way Thore of "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" TLC. Wikimedia
Whitney Way Thore of "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" TLC. Wikimedia

Then there are the mixed messages--does Whitney love being fat or is it just an excuse to avoid weight loss and a defense mechanism when she doesn't shed pounds? Even some of Whitney's pals question that. 

Obesity and excuse-making

On "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" Whitney comes across as very up-beat, in shape and energetic. She hosts dance marathons and is undoubtedly a very capable dancer. Like ITV Lisa Riley of "Loose Women" Thore has certainly busted the stereotype that obesity is uncoordinated and big people can't dance.

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But can they dance as well as they could if they weren't overweight? Thore admits that since she's put on weight she doesn't have the stamina. She also balks at doing one of the most basic exercises--biking. She's so energetic on the dance floor but lacks the confidence and/or coordination to ride a bike. 

Obesity is healthy because body-shame isn't?

The "love yourself as you are, damn the scale" mentality says that because fat-shaming is unhealthy it must be okay to be grossly overweight.

But are the two mutually exclusive? Can you love yourself as is and also lose weight? Should obese people accept themselves as is and expect others to also? Is it fat-shaming to acknowledge that obesity is unhealthy? Is self-love being the healthiest you can be or accepting that you are morbidly overweight and enjoying it? Obesity is a direct link to Type 2 diabetes, heart failure, sleep apnea, hypertension, high cholesterol (to name a few). You be the judge.

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