Art by Gaby Serrano
The second Saturday of December saw the return of TLC Festival in Bonifacio High Street, and the proceedings were as lively and inspiring as ever. Now called Discovery Festival, the event was tastefully curated, with fun for the whole family, whether you’re looking for a taste of travel, culture, adventure, leisure, or just good food. Of course, the festival wouldn’t have been complete without exciting guests, including animal rescuer Amanda Giese, chef Sherson Lian and his mother Ann, and Fun Taiwan host Janet Hsieh. Also present was My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Thore, who led a dance workout to foster body positivity. Whitney, who has taught dance classes professionally for quite some time and first came to prominence thanks to her viral “fat girl dancing” videos, notes that people tend to get shy or are afraid to dance in public, so it’s always great for her to see them let loose. “The freedom and the joy that I see on people’s faces when they dance, especially in a big group of people, is so wonderful,” she says.
“The freedom and the joy that I see on people’s faces when they dance, especially in a big group of people, is so wonderful.”
She was in college when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and gained 100 pounds in a year. “I was not fat, but I wasn’t very skinny, either, so I had body image issues, which I think is unfortunately very common,” she recalls.
“I was very ashamed of myself, but eventually I realized that maybe the answer wasn’t losing weight.” She had lost some of it, but found that she was still struggling with an eating disorder, and she was still unhappy. “Maybe the answer was just taking responsibility for my life and loving myself, and living the way I want,” she says.