Whitney Way Thore Urges People to Stop Calling Fat Women 'Brave' for Showing Skin: 'It's Normal'
The TLC star reflected on the patronizing ways some people react when they see "fat women showing skin"
Whitney Way Thore is firing back against the idea that showing off her body takes courage.
Alongside a video montage of swimsuit photos, the My Big Fat Fabulous Life star, 36 — who has long been an advocate for body acceptance — reflected on the patronizing ways some people react when they see “fat women showing skin.”
“If you’re a fat person, wearing a sleeveless shirt in 90° weather, how many times has someone shaken their head in disbelief and pointed out how BRAVE you are?” she wrote at the start of a lengthy caption, going on to point out that working out at the gym can garner similar reactions.
“If you’re a fat person walking on a treadmill to warm up for a three mile jog, how many times has a stranger given you a thumbs-up, encouraged you to ‘keep going,’ and applauded how BRAVE you are?” she added.
The TLC Star also called out the rude comments that are made on social media.
“If you’re a fat person, and you post photos of yourself on the internet swimming, laughing, or otherwise living life joyfully alongside other thin people doing the same thing, how many times has someone declared their envy and cheered you on for how BRAVE you are?” she added.
As Thore brought the post to a close, she encouraged people who may have said similar remarks in the past to reflect on their actions. “If you are NOT a fat person, how many times have you actually thought about how bizarre this is?” she wrote.
“Fat women showing skin isn’t brave,” she added in a message that appeared alongside the video montage. “It’s normal.”
Thore, who has gone through “a long journey of acceptance” to feel proud about calling herself fat — recently opened up about why she’s embraced the term.
“It’s actually insulting to insist that a fat person who has identified as fat actually isn’t fat,” she wrote on social media last month. “If you try to convince me otherwise, you’re simply reinforcing the notion that being fat is bad.”
“Telling a fat person some variation of, ‘You’re not fat; you’re beautiful!/funny!/smart!/successful!’ means that you have not reconciled that a person can simultaneously be fat and possess good qualities and be likable...and that’s a problem for you to work out, not fat people,” she added.
Thore has also spoken in the past about her frustration with how she’s treated at the gym — and the negative comments some of her fitness posts receive.
“Sometimes I’ll be at the gym walking on the treadmill or something, and someone will come up to me and say, ‘You’re doing great honey, keep it up.’ And it’s the most condescending s— I’ve ever heard,” she told PEOPLE in 2019. “If I was thin, you wouldn’t come up to me and assume that this was really hard for me and give me encouragement. “
“I think there’s a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about fat people working out, and at the end of the day you just need to do what’s right for your body and dismiss what other people think,” she added, labeling the reactions as “fat phobia.”
Season 8 of My Big Fat Fabulous Life premiers Nov. 10 on TLC.