Nothing's 'Fabulous': When Fat Shaming Gets Personal
Last night's episode of TLC "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" made news when the star of the show was fat-shamed on the air at a radio show. But it's so much more than that. Whitney Way Thore, star of the TLC show, was at the radio station she works at when comedian Kerryn Feehan was on the air making fun of fat people (probably part of her bit to promote her stand-up date), but later turned her attention towards Thore's physical appearance and health. You can watch the video of the exchange here. "People who claim to be concerned for my health but insult me in the same breath give themselves away; they are not 'concerned.' They're fat-phobic," says Thore to People.com. "It's attitudes like this–the aggressive fat-shaming cloaked in concern that all too often convinces fat people that we are worthless and it's a narrative I will not buy into." Feehan took to Facebook to tell her side of the story: "[Thore] is her family and friends' literal and figurative cash cow. She smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and threatened to have one of the MANY production assistants who told me this FIRED. He has kids. She doesn't exercise or eat healthy in the slightest. Be fat. Be happy. I don't care. But going on tv, selling books, telling hundreds of thousands of your fans that you can be fat and fit (when the entire country saw you have a heart attack doing the running man in an earlier episode) is a deadly message. When they hired me for my opinion it was because I refused to go along with the glorification of addictive behavior. I'm not a bully. I'm also not a liar." This video went beyond fat-shaming. This is a scenario plus size people endure all the time. Thinner people claim plus size people don't try hard enough to lose weight. Plus size people get insulted, deny the claims, then get discouraged. Perhaps this was a contrived argument reality show producers dream of: Get two people in the same room with opposing views and watch the sparks fly. But this argument between Thore and Feehan felt too real. It just happened to play out in front of a camera crew.