Before she had a TV show or a massive online following, Whitney Thore had a love of dance.
You've probably seen her hit reality show My Big Fat Fabulous Life, but just a few years ago she was working as a radio DJ in North Carolina. Throughout Thore's life there were two threads that seemed to always come up: her passion for dancing and her weight.
Thore says that she used to be average sized, but that she gained weight because of a condition called polycistic ovary syndrome. “You know those social experiments where you put on the fat suit and see how people treat you? That became my actual life," she told Yahoo! News.
POS is a little-known condition, which made it even harder for Thore to deal with. She tried losing weight, and even dropped 100 pounds with the help of a personal trainer, but noticed the weight-loss didn't actually improve her life the way she imagined it.
"Losing the weight was a magic panacea for everything I had been dealing with my whole life," she said. Instead, Thore decided on a new goal: being happy with her own body.
And part of the way she shares that lesson with the world is her awesome dance moves.
Thore has a huge following on social media and her own TV show, but her dance videos attract the most attention.
People are genuinely surprised by Thore's dancing skills, and that was part of the inspiration for her "A Fat Girl Dancing" videos. She wants to change people's preconceived notions about what "fat people" can accomplish.
So far her videos have racked up millions of views. The one that started her whole career, a routine choreographed to Jason Derulo's "Wiggle" that she made while working as a DJ, has been watched more than 8 million times.
Thore uses all of that attention to spread her "no body shaming" message. Becoming the face of a global movement for body positivity was unexpected, but it's a role that Thore is perfectly happy with.
“It was easy, it was natural, I had answers — I didn’t have to plan answers for my detractors. I didn’t read about this in a book. No one taught me how to think about this in a class. I lived it. It was the most powerful, amazing feeling — it was as though I had been an oppressed person and I had realized I had the power to be free,” she said.
Share Thore's amazing dance routine with someone you know!