On Sat March 19, 2016, Gardner-Webb University hosted the annual Everybody Knows Somebody 5K to raise money for eating disorder awareness. The weather was perfect, laughter was in the air, and fun was had by all as each person walked for a friend, loved one, or themselves. Everybody knows somebody with an eating disorder.
In a world of social media likes, tags and comment buttons, many people, especially young women, find themselves as victims of body shaming. For those of you who do not know, "b
Fortunately for victims such as myself, awareness for body shame is growing. One of the greatest sources of awareness and inspiration for me and many others is the lovely and talented Whitney Way Thore.
Whitney is the star of TLC's "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" and has used this outlet to tell viewers "it doesn't matter what your body looks like. When someone tells you that you can't be fat and happy, that is a lie. Next time you want to do something but your scared because your fat, go ahead and do it anyway."
Not only has Whitney created a beautiful wave in the awareness body positivity, she has started a her own campaign entitled No Body Shame. Like many of you reading this, I wanted to know more--so I reached out to Whitney herself. Here are her responses to my questions!
What is your story? How has it impacted your journey to TLC and to making your No BS line?
I am like so many people in the world, young girls in particular, who grew up struggling with self-esteem and body image. I was a dancer who had eating disorders and a desire to be thinner because I believed that was better. In college, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and gained a lot of weight very quickly. I quit dancing. After that, everything spiraled into depression and more weight gain. Even though I ended up losing 100 pounds, I gained it back. It was then I decided to take my life back and try to be happy right now. The first thing I decided to do was dance. I made Fat Girl Dancing videos and one of them went viral. I started the No Body Shame campaign to encourage other people of every variety to live their lives free of shame. I did a lot of national press and a TLC executive saw me. The rest is history!
What inspired you to begin the No BS clothing line?
So many people who feel marginalized, like I did, don't have the confidence to go exercise in public, even though so many want to. Because of the shame and stigma we experience, it's hard to get out in the world sometimes, so I thought a No BS clothing line could empower people to do just that.
Where did the logo design come from and what does it represent?
I was sitting around with my friends doodling. It's simple. When I look at it, I see a body in motion, a dancer, and the most important thing: a heart.
What is your favorite product from the line?
I love the tank tops because I wear them constantly - and we have so many bright colors.
What would you want to tell women and men who are struggling with body image?
The first step is to be visible. Don't feel like you have to hide yourself away, and remember that confidence is a product of action, not the other way around.
As you may have noticed in the questions above, the #NoBS campaign page not only has information on staying up to date with the queen of fabulousness, but a store as well.
Here are a few of my favorite products from the line!
These three #NoBS products are on me every single day! The wire bracelet is great because I can add other meaningful charms along side my dancer. I love my silicone band because it is a conversation starter wherever I am! Finally, the tumbler. This is my greatest pal. Whether it is water or a protein shake, I am always using my #NoBS tumbler!
This is probably one of my favorite items to wear to the gym. Not only is it super comfortable, this shirt reminds me that I am limitless and encourages me to keep on working toward my goals!
You know the expression, "when style and comfort meet"? This is it! This beautiful shirt not only is a stylish (and comfortable) addition to any wardrobe, it is a great conversation starter!