Whitney Way Thore, star of the TLC reality television show “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” has had a rough couple of weeks: she announced a false pregnancy, her work crush told her he wasn’t interested in her, and she confided in her mother that she was afraid she would die alone.
So when she received a hateful letter in the mail, Thore felt prompted to do something positive.
Her Facebook post began: “If you don’t believe we live in a fat-phobic society, read this”:
⭐️⭐️⭐️IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE WE LIVE IN A FAT-PHOBIC SOCIETY, READ THIS:⭐️⭐️⭐️This was sent to my house today. I…
The post included a photograph of the letter she received in her post office box. Thore intentionally censored the name and address to protect the writer, but the unidentified person claimed he or she was a doctor. The letter said:
“I am not a fan of you or your TV program but at the suggestions of a few of my patients, I have seen 2 or 3 of your programs, which I find to be so distasteful and very dishonest.
It is my understanding that you blame your weight gain on Poly Cystic Ovaries but that is a bunch of Bull; if you really believe that, you are in complete denial. The cause of your weight gain is plain old gluttony and you know it. It is very sad to see you blaming a physical condition (polycystic ovaries) for being a big fat pig rather than blaming it on your lack of self-control. There is nothing about your life that is “Fabulous”; when you are a big fat sow as you are, it is a disgusting existence. You need to get out of denial and do something about your extreme obesity.”
Unfortunately, Thore has been dealing with hateful comments like these for years. She wrote in her post that it all started when she was 20, and she gained 100 pounds in one year.
Doctors diagnosed Thore with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). According to womensheath.gov, PCOS is when a woman develops cysts on their ovaries that cause hormonal and metabolic imbalances. One of the main side effects is weight gain.
Thore wrote that her journey hasn’t been easy. Living with PCOS has made it even more difficult to manage her weight:
“People might not think there’s anything “fabulous” about this. After all, gaining such a large amount of weight in such a small time is traumatic, to say the least. PCOS has caused acne and hair growth all over my face. It puts me at an increased risk for most major health problems and has left my ovaries riddled with cysts and caused me not to bleed for years and years at a time.”
Just a reminder that a new episode of #MyBigFatFabLife is on tonight at 9/8c on TLC! I'm on the west coast right now, so…
She admitted that PCOS might not be the only source of her weight gain, but she’s tried everything to bring her weight down. For years she put herself down for being overweight. Now she refuses to let other people try to make her feel bad:
“I, too, thought I led a ‘disgusting existence’ for over a decade precisely because of the feedback I got from society like you see here in this letter. The thing is that I don’t believe that anymore. I know that my life has been messy and complicated and overwhelmingly wonderful and I am not defined by how fat I am.”
In the three years since her dancing YouTube video went viral, Thore’s been on talk shows and other programs to help fight the stigma against body shaming.
Daaang! Three years ago was my first national television appearance on the Today Show. I walked in a fashion show, met…
More than anything, she wanted to share the letter to highlight an example of a hateful message and prove that shaming is not acceptable:
“PCOS is not even the point of this — it absolutely does not matter why someone is fat (or thin, or disabled, or anything else). All human beings deserve respect. My heart aches for all the human beings this man “treated,” because he clearly treated them poorly and with no respect. He can do better.”
Thore noted in the comments that she researched the doctor and found the person online. Her fans suggested that perhaps the writer was using the doctor’s name and address to mask their own identity.
It appears that Thore has not followed up with the writer of the letter.