‘My Big Fat Fabulous Life’: How Did Whitney Way Thore Become Famous?

Before Whitney Way Thore became the star of the TLC series My Big Fat Fabulous Life, she became a viral sensation. Find out how Thore came to be the famous TLC star she is today. 

Whitney Way Thore
Whitney Way Thore | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Discovery Communications

Before ‘My Big Fat Fabulous Life,’ Whitney Way Thore worked at a local radio station 

After graduating from college, Thore moved to Korea to teach English. Upon her return, Thore landed a job as an on-air producer for the station 107.5 KZL in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Thore has the Jared and Katie in the Morning show to thank for her fame. In 2014, the show shared the video “A Fat Girl Dancing,” featuring Thore dancing a routine to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty.” Her smooth choreography and fearlessness quickly garnered Thore a following on social media. 

The response was incredible, so Thore took full advantage. She seized the opportunity to spread awareness about body positivity. 

Whitney Way Thore started a body positive movement

Thanks to the 107.5 KZL morning show, Thore had a platform to start spreading her message about body positivity. 

In 2014, Thore started No Body Shame, a global movement founded to help people of every shape and size live their lives fully, passionately, and free of shame. Fans of Thore instantly became a community. 

“For me, to reclaim the word fat as an adjective is really powerful,” Thore told Proud2BMe in regards to her body-positive movement. 

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“I’m a great dancer, and I’m doing all of that while I’m fat, she continued. “I think that’s an important message to put out to people because I spent so long thinking that my life couldn’t begin until I was thin. I believed I couldn’t be active, I couldn’t feel pretty, I couldn’t find a partner, I couldn’t do all of these things I wanted, and I realized these beliefs were false.” 

TLC took notice of the attention Thore’s body-positive movement had garnered. In January 2015, the network debuted My Big Fat Fabulous Life

‘My Big Fat Fabulous Life’ allows Whitney Way Thore to demonstrate her worth as a human being 

Having attained self-acceptance and embracing the word “fat,” Thore agreed to do the TLC series.

“My whole self worth is not dependent on whether I’m fat or not,” Thore explained on the Today Show. “I would love to open up a dialogue in this country about obesity that’s more candid because there are a lot more things worse than being fat.” 

Shortly after My Big Fat Fabulous Life debuted, Thore became a published author. In May 2016, Thore released her memoir I Do It with the Lights On: And 10 More Discoveries on the Road to a Blissfully Shame-Free Life.

My Big Fat Fabulous Life showcases Thore’s life, but it also addresses issues like body shaming and Thore’s diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder.

Thanks to TLC, Thore continues to share her weight loss journey and self-love on My Big Fat Fabulous Life. The show has been on for seven seasons, with season 8 debuting Nov. 10.