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My Big Fat Fabulous Life’s Whitney Way Thore Defends Herself From Criticism After Saying She’s ‘Fat’

Embracing her truth. Whitney Way Thore isn’t “uncomfortable” with calling herself “fat,” despite facing criticism from fans.

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On Thursday, August 27, the 36-year-old My Big Fat Fabulous Life star shared a throwback photo of herself in a rainbow swimsuit on Instagram and joked, “Bringing you high fashion since 1988. But seriously, can I get this suit in size fat? 😂.” Five days later, she addressed the hundreds of comments from fans encouraging her to stop using “such a mean word” to describe her body.

“I got so many comments that I didn’t expect, so here’s just a little reminder that … it’s actually insulting to insist that a fat person who has identified as fat actually isn’t fat,” Thore wrote in another post on Monday, August 31. “If you try to convince me otherwise, you’re simply reinforcing the notion that being fat is bad and not making any damn sense because I am obviously fat. 😂.”

While the TLC star received an onslaught of comments reminding her that she’s “beautiful!/funny!/smart!/successful,” she pointed out that remarks like that aren’t as empowering as people may think.

“Telling a fat person some variation of [that] 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 wrote. “It’s disrespectful to tell someone that the way they identify is wrong.”

Whitney Way Thore Responds to Criticism After Calling Herself Fat
Whitney Way Thore Courtesy of Whitney Way Thore/Instagram

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Despite the good intentions behind comments highlighting other positive traits, or using terms like “fluffy” or “chunky,” Thore admitted that avoiding the word “fat” makes her “cringe.”

“I don’t need to distance myself from the word fat. I don’t need a euphemism. If it makes you uncomfortable, again, that’s on you, not me 😇,” she concluded. “For many fat people, myself included, there has been a long journey of acceptance in using the word ‘fat’ as a descriptor like any other — short, brunette, and white are also adjectives I use to describe me and none are good or bad, they just are. Let fat people call themselves fat and recognize it isn’t a put-down.”

The North Carolina native’s powerful message comes three months after her split from ex-fiancé Chase Severino, who got another woman pregnant while they were together. The former couple announced their engagement in December 2019 after Severino, 30, popped the question two months earlier.

“This is a really weird and uncomfortable thing to have to ‘announce’ on social media, but as I get more questions and hear more rumors, I figured it was time,” Thore explained via Instagram in May. “After experiencing a lot of ups and downs and still living apart, Chase reconnected with a woman with whom he has had a long history. Chase recently told me this information and the fact that it had resulted in a pregnancy. Chase will be a father in October.”

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Severino later announced in an Instagram post of his own that he was “excited” to be a father soon and praised his ex for her strength through their breakup.

“I have nothing but love and respect for Whitney and our time together,” he wrote. “Thank you for always supporting us. As we now go our separate ways, I ask for privacy for Whitney, myself, and the mother of my child who wishes to remain anonymous.”

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