Up front, I want to say that I'm a fat woman. I'm 5'4" and I'm *almost* as large as Whitney. I'm not sure how tall she is, but the two of us are built alike. At first, I was really happy to see that there was a large, functioning, seemingly confident, fat woman on television, advocating for no fat shaming. I felt for her--I also have PCOS and it's DIFFICULT to lose weight! It's not IMPOSSIBLE, but it's far more difficult (ie: 1000 calories and a 10k walk once a day MAY result in a 2lb a week loss, OR a 5lb gain with no explanation). I THOUGHT Whitney would be the intelligent, confident and balanced voice for fat women everywhere.
MAN, was I WRONG.
I forgot to watch Season 2, but with a bit more time on my hands this summer, I decided to watch Season 3. My observations follow:
1. People who are confident and happy within their own skin don't get defensive over fat jokes. The comedian that was on the radio station was FUNNY. I actually laughed out loud at her jokes. Whitney's defensive attack on the comedian was enough for me to decide that Whitney isn't happy being fat....at ALL. I thought that going to the show was going to be her saving grace, instead, she decides to get into a heated battle with the woman. I could tell (and remember, I'm FAT!) that the comedian wasn't irrational--she made some interesting points. In fact, I'm not even sure WHY Whitney was so upset over what she said....
2. Whitney really hides behind her dancing to be the "HEY--I'm doing everything I can to lose weight" but weight loss is also about eating right. A normal, healthy person without PCOS can't eat junk food and garbage and lose weight by exercise alone--why does Whitney think she can? She's educated and knows how to use the internet--why hasn't she Googled her own illness? The LAST thing should should be eating is sweets and junk food!
3. She discusses one day having children. Surprise, Whitney--conception with PCOS is VERY, VERY difficult. Take it from me---I went through IVF, IUI and 8 years of just trying the "old fashioned way" and my only pregnancy ended up ectopic. (By the way, ectopic pregnancies are another side effect of PCOS).
4. Lennie was a perfect example of a guy who "just isn't that into you" but Whitney's lack of self-esteem really kept her in a relationship that was totally wrong for her. Her comment that it took "3 years to find him" was sad. Why SETTLE for someone who's wrong for you JUST because you're fat? I applaud her for breaking up with him, but I'm not 100% convinced that she did it because she was confident in the decision--I think she realized that she was fat-shaming herself if she remained with him. Her "friendship" with Buddy was the emotional crutch she needed to be somewhat happy with Lennie (IMHO)....
5. ...and my final point--the only person who can fat-shame you, is you. Whitney (or anyone else) will never stop others from making fat jokes. Not taking the jokes personally is really the key to this issue. She really needs to recognize that "fat jokes" are not directed toward her. Being defensive and implying that she has proven herself by losing (then gaining) 100lbs is counterproductive to the message that (I assume) she wants to deliver.
I'm fat. I don't deny it. I don't defend it. I'm healthy right now, but I know that I won't remain healthy if I don't work on my weight. To be honest, I've NEVER had anyone randomly call me out on my weight in public, as television would have you believe. I think the "fat person being laughed at in public" trope is tedious. In fact, on a trip to Southern Italy last year, I walked up a 1km incline to the top of Mount Vesuvius, in nearly 100F weather, coupled with humidity from the volcano. I was sweating, out of breath, my body ached and I had a UTI, for which I was taking antibiotics....yet, on my way up, people gave me random phrases of encouragement "you can do it"...."you're almost there"...and those who thought I didn't speak the language gave me the universal "thumbs up".
When you try hard, it's noticeable. People, for the most part, want to encourage others. Don't believe the hype.