“I’m not out here to be anybody’s weight loss inspiration,” says the author and TV star.
The year is 2019, and yet “weight loss” is still one of Google’s biggest ever search terms. And so Whitney Way Thore – who recently saw her social media account flooded with congratulatory and complimentary messages about her own perceived “weight loss” – has taken to Instagram to address the situation.
“I’ve been reading my comments, and a large majority of them are people congratulating me for losing some amount of weight that you have perceived that I have lost,” she said via a video, before reminding her followers of the fact that she has never once said she is on (as many have dubbed it) a “weight loss journey”.
“I’m not out here to be anybody’s weight loss inspiration,” Thore added.
Thore – who struggles with polycystic ovary syndrome – went on to explain to her followers that there is more to a healthy body image than the numbers you see on a set of weighing scales. Indeed, she prefers to focus on achieving self-love and happiness rather than conform to narrow-minded beauty standards.
“If you’re inclined to be inspired by me I appreciate that, I see you, but I’m just a complex human being focusing on a lot of other things in life besides losing weight,” the star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life said. “So it’s just not something I will ever feel comfortable saying thank you for.”
Thore added: “If you’re inspired by me that’s wonderful, I’m glad, but I hope it’s because I’m a woman who learned to love herself no matter what size she is.”
You can watch Thore’s Instagram video for yourself below:
Thore captioned the video with a simple, but very important, reminder: “Your value does not increase if your weight decreases. You can implement healthy behaviours as a fat person or a thin person independent of weight.
“Changing your body is not the key to happiness, but changing your mindset is.”
Thore recently revealed that she is subjected to a flood of negativity every single time she shares a workout video on social media – which she has dismissed as being down to “fat phobia”.
“They don’t want to see you working out,” she told People, adding that many of her followers don’t seem to understand the difference between working out to lose weight and working out for health reasons.
“The thing is, exercise is a healthy behaviour, it’s something you can do or not do, whereas losing weight is not a behaviour that you can just do. You can lose weight or you can not, but regardless exercise will benefit you in a million other ways.”
Thore finished by saying: “I think there’s a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions around 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.”
For far too long, the representation of women by both mainstream and social media has failed to reflect who we see in the mirror, and its impact on our mental health is worrying. Stylist’s Love Women initiative promises to change that. As well as the launch of our Body Politics series, we’ve partnered with Dove, whose latest project (in conjunction with photo library Getty Images) aims to increase the supply of diverse pictures of women – which we will be using going forward.
Our editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski has also made five pledges to Stylist readers:
- We will ensure the women you see on our pages represent all women – inclusive of ethnicity, body shape, sexuality, age and disability. When we create content and ideas, we will ensure that all women are represented at the table. We commit to featuring one fashion or beauty photoshoot a month that uses real, diverse women.
- We will ensure that we never sell an impossible dream. We believe in aspiration, but not in selling a lie. We will work with influencers, celebrities and other partners to encourage them to reveal their truths, too.
- We will celebrate the so-called flaws of women to prove the normality in all of our bodies. We will run videos, photoshoots and honest accounts of our bodies and how they behave.
- We will hold regular huddles with our advertisers and brand partners to challenge the way they portray and reflect women in their branding and advertising. We will call out and challenge brands, media and people who refuse to represent women with respect and truth. We will call on the government to support our goals.
- Through insight and anecdote, we will teach everyone about the issues facing women, what needs to be done and how we can all work together to resolve this self-esteem crisis.
Find out more about Stylist’s Love Women initiative here.