A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Big Fat Fabulous Life stars Whitney Thore, a bubbly and confident radio producer who became Internet-famous when her "Fat Girl Dancing" YouTube video went viral. It has lots of positive messages about body image, self-acceptance, and being healthy. There's also a good amount of bleeped strong language, lots of sexual innuendo, and drinking (wine). There are a few instances of fat shaming, but these are addressed as one of the many challenges in Thore's life as she deals with extreme weight gain caused by polycystic ovary syndrome.
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What's the story?
MY BIG FAT FABULOUS LIFE is a reality show starring Whitney Way Thore, a radio producer who caught the attention of millions after her YouTube video, "Fat Girl Dancing," went viral. Thore, who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in her twenties, is committed to being comfortable in her own skin despite her weight, which stands at 380 pounds. Now living at home with her parents to save money, the 30-year-old continues to dance with partner Todd Beasley, work, hang out with friends, date, and actively work on living a healthier life. She also dedicates her time to inspiring others to be comfortable with who they are, regardless of their size.
Is it any good?
The series briefly highlights some of the challenges that come with living with PCOS, a common endocrine condition in women that leads to overproduction of testosterone, baldness, facial hair growth, and, in many cases, extreme weight gain that becomes very difficult to take off. But the show's entertainment value comes from Whitney herself, whose self-confidence and effusive personality make for lots of humorous moments, especially with her parents.
It's full of positive messages, as well as ideas that challenge common misperceptions about weight, health, and the notion that large individuals shouldn't be comfortable with their bodies. There also are moments when, despite her efforts, Whitney herself doesn't seem completely comfortable with her size. But overall, it's a show that encourages people to love and embrace who they are, regardless of their weight.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the body-image-related issues raised here. What is fat and body shaming? Is there a stigma against overweight people in the U.S.?
Do women get judged more for their appearance than men? Talk to your kids about the pressure some women face to maintain a certain appearance.