Did you know that one small thing you do can make a big impact? On February 27, 2014 Whitney Way Thore created a dance video called “A Fat Girl Dancing” and posted it on her YouTube channel. Soon after the video went viral, Thore started promoting her “No body shame” campaign. In early 2015, she got her own reality TV show on TLC.
Thore discovered in her college years that she was gaining weight and it was very hard to control it. She was later diagnosed PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The disease causes weight gain, hair loss and menstrual problems. Her current weight is around 380 pounds. She has learned to be happy with her body. Instead of using the disease as a setback, she uses it to help people.
One way she helps people is through dance. She now teaches her own “big girl” dance class in Greensboro. Anyone, with any body shape is allowed to attend. Thore’s big girl dance class has actually danced at a Greensboro Grasshoppers game and other local events. She has also spoken to children at elementary schools about body positivity and bullying.
Thore is currently working on losing weight and developing better eating habits. Especially since she discovered that she was pre-diabetic, and her dad was too. Thore is very close with him and they are pushing each other to live a healthier lifestyle. They ran together in a 5k called the Tuxedo Trot to help raise money for African penguins. Thore says on the show “I usually only walk a mile at a time” and she completed a 5k.
Along the way, Thore has her best friends and her parents to support her. She also has a large fan base, especially in the local area. Nadiya Debnam (’17) said, “What she does is awesome!” Thore is a role model and inspiration to young girls to feel confident with who they are. Debnam also stated that she would really like to meet her someday. Thore’s “No Body Shame” campaign lives by the motto “Love yourself. Live fully. No excuses. No shame.”