Todd Beasley rose to prominence through his participation in TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life.” He was introduced into the series as the eternal dance partner and high school friend of the main star of the show, Whitney Way Thore. The dancer had been attracting more attention from the fans since the pandemic, especially since they all noticed and appreciated his new look. His friendship with Whitney survived their little fights through the years, as he would always have her back, but was never afraid to call her out if she did something unjust.
- 1 All about “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”
- 2 Get to know Todd Beasley
- 3 Todd Beasley’s highlights in “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”
- 3.1 Eternal dance partner
- 3.2 Todd helped Whitney get back to her dancing form
- 3.3 Big Girl Dance Class
- 3.4 The Big Girl Dance Class Tour was almost ruined
- 3.5 Todd smashed a cake on Whitney’s face
- 3.6 Todd and Whitney attended the Fitness Marshall class
- 3.7 Todd brought Whitney to his favorite NY bar
- 3.8 Todd injured his leg during a dance class
- 4 Real or Scripted Reality-TV Series
- 5 What happened to Todd that made fans appreciate him more?
All about “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”
A viral video of a plus-sized woman dancing gracefully called “A Fat Girl Dancing: Talk Dirty to Me” was the reason why the TLC cable network created a reality television series for the star of the video.
The video was uploaded on YouTube back on 29 January 2014 by the staff of the radio program, “Jared and Katie in the Morning,” aired at 107.5 KZL; at that time, Whitney Thore was an on-air producer for the radio station. She had been quite passionate about dancing since she was a young girl, and viewers found it fascinating to see someone of her size dance effortlessly to one of Jason Derulo’s songs, “Talk Dirty.” On the day the video was posted, it immediately went up the trending video list on YouTube, and collectively gained around eight million views,
The main star of the reality-TV series
Whitney Way Thore was a Greensboro, North Carolina native, who graduated from the Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre. Her love for dancing made her join many school programs.
Her family had noticed her rapid weight gain when she was in her teens, and initially thought that it was normal. However, when she also lost clumps of hair and had an abnormal irregular menstruation cycle, they knew that something was wrong. She was already in college when she discovered the reasons behind her body issues, diagnosed with an hormonal disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. Her reality-TV show gave her the platform to talk about it, and she was grateful that through her story, many women went to see their doctors to check if they also had the same disorder. Apparently, this type of woman’s health issue was rarely talked about, even if in reality one out of every 10 women suffered from it.
Other original cast members
The reality-TV series chronicled the life of Whitney, and most of the people featured in it were her family, close friends, business associates, and the men she dated. Her parents, Glenn and Barbara Thore were regulars, since they initially appeared during the show’s premiere while her brother, Hunter, was credited as a recurring guest. The other original members of the show were her friends Buddy Bell, Ashley Baynes, Tal Fish and Todd Beasley.
Get to know Todd Beasley
Todd was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, and also grew up interested in singing and dancing. He was part of the local church choir, and would participate in local musical plays. He met Whitney during their teens as they attended the same high school, Southeast Guilford High School, in Greensboro; they became friends, as they found themselves as dance partners in several school programs.
However, they were separated when they went to college, as Todd chose to study at Elon University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Musical Theater in 2007. He moved to New York to try his luck in theatre, but returned to his hometown in 2014 when Whitney asked for his help, which was documented in “My Big Fat Fabulous Life.” He was Whitney’s dancing partner in the “Fat Girl Dancing” video that went viral. In the reality-TV show, it was revealed that back in high school, Todd dated Heather Sykes, who was another cast member who started to appear during the second season.
He was later revealed to be the first cousin of Whitney’s other bestie, Ashley Baynes – she was the one who gave birth to a son named August Daniel after the ninth season. Fans speculated that she served as a surrogate for Whitney, because the father of the baby never made an appearance in the show, and Todd helped in keeping it a secret. The pregnancy coincided with the time when Ashley was helping with Whitney’s IVF treatment.
Todd Beasley’s highlights in “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”
Todd was included in the hit reality series because he was part of Whitney Thore’s amazing support system, and also instrumental in her becoming a YouTube sensation.
Eternal dance partner
Todd and Whitney had known each other since they were 17 years old, and he witnessed how she suffered from her body weight issues over the years. They both shared a love for dancing and theatre, with Whitney saying, ‘If anyone can understand my insane passion for dance, it’s Todd.’ He was introduced in the show as her perpetual dance partner, and she claimed that it was her who taught him to dance. They initially bonded during their participation in the musical “Grease”, both landing great roles as Todd played Kenickie while Whitney was one of the antagonists named ChaCha.
Dancing my way into the long weekend like Whitney Way Thore! #MyBigFatFabLife
Posted by My Big Fat Fabulous Life on Friday, January 18, 2019
Todd helped Whitney get back to her dancing form
After Whitney’s stint as an English teacher in South Korea, she returned home to Greensboro and reached out to Todd to help her get back to her dancing form. She was already overweight at that time, and felt that the only thing that could help her regain shape, but not necessarily become thinner was dancing. The last time she was a regular at the gym was in 2011, which resulted in an eating disorder, so didn’t want to go that route again. Todd said that he didn’t have any second thoughts about supporting Whitney in achieving her goals, because she was worth the time and effort.
Big Girl Dance Class
After Todd and Whitney’s dance videos became popular online, the two friends opened up “Big Girl Dance Class” in Greensboro, which featured dance workouts and tutorials. They welcomed anyone to the classes, but the dance routines were highly geared towards big girls. The dance class aimed to help big women feel good and comfortable in their own skin, and to empower women to fully embrace their body type instead of being ashamed of it.
The Big Girl Dance Class Tour was almost ruined
Whitney organized a “Big Girl Dance Class Tour”, and Todd went along with it. Instead of just staying in Greensboro, they announced that they would visit several places, including Chicago, Pittsburg and Columbus, and offer classes to those interested; they traveled by land using an RV. However, Whitney wasn’t a great planner, and most of the time, it left Todd frazzled and confused. When they were in Pittsburg, there were around 500 people who bought tickets to participate in the class, but the venue that Whitney rented couldn’t fit everyone. They only had two options at that time, which were to have back-to-back classes or send some people home. Todd said that he knew that it would turn out that way, because Whitney had no tour management experience. ‘We are dance teachers. Like, can we just go back to Greensboro and what we know where we know it?’ They were lucky that despite the obstacles they encountered, things worked out in the end, and the tour was a success.
— TLC Network (@TLC) January 20, 2019
Todd smashed a cake on Whitney’s face
Todd and Whitney might have been close friends since high school, but they had their little disagreements every now and then. It escalated one time during Ashley’s kid’s birthday party, and even with children around them, they bickered back and forth. Apparently, Whitney told everyone including their families, friends, and even clients that Todd had quit on her. However, Todd called her out for spreading lies, and corrected her that what he’d said was that he would just take a break, telling her that she was putting words into his mouth. A mutual friend told them to stop, because apparently they had different perceptions about what really happened. Todd said, ‘Whitney has just latched onto this idea and run amok.’ He was quite frustrated, and told her to stop lying, so when she repeated her claim that Todd had quit on her, he pushed a piece of the cake onto her face, particularly her mouth, and then stood up to go to the bathroom.
Todd and Whitney attended the Fitness Marshall class
In one of the earlier seasons, Todd and Whitney went to New York City to attend the dance class of Fitness Marshall, also known as Caleb, a popular YouTube fitness star, hoping to get into one of his dance workout videos. However, for some reason, Todd, had to excuse himself a couple of times during the dance class as he puked. Meeting Caleb was Todd’s idea, but in the end, Caleb talked to Whitney and asked her to join him in a video. She asked him if she could bring Todd along, but Caleb rejected the idea. When Todd learned about it, he was bitter and frustrated. Whitney tried to make him feel good but he acted like a jerk. The fans had mixed reactions – some of them empathized with Todd and understood his frustration, others said that Whitney should have recognized that it was a glaring red flag, and she should pick better friends.
Todd brought Whitney to his favorite NY bar
During their trip to NY for the Fitness Marshall class, Todd took Whitney to his favorite bar, where he usually hung out with his friends. He invited his NY friends over to meet Whitney, hHowever, it seemed that she wasn’t really into the NY bar scene, claiming that she was way past the drinking part of her life, and didn’t feel comfortable being surrounded by drunken people anymore. So, after taking a few sips and having a few conversations with Todd’s friends, she said her goodbyes. Todd was disappointed as he wanted his friend to enjoy the sights and sounds of the NY nightlife with him. Some thought that Whitney was some sort of a party pooper, and should have indulged Todd more as he was trying his best to show her around.
Todd injured his leg during a dance class
Fans of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” argued again online when Todd experienced shooting pain in his upper right thigh. At that time, it was Whitney who was teaching the class when Todd went down holding his thigh, and had to step away from the class to massage it. Whitney was perhaps too engrossed in what she was doing that she didn’t notice what was going on. Some found it incredulous that Whitney acted that way, considering that Todd was in her line of sight, and that it was quite impossible for her not to notice him. It took her a while before she went over to where Todd was – some believed that Whitney intentionally ignored him, while others said that she probably thought it wasn’t a big deal. Fans speculated that it wouldn’t be long before the two unfriended each other.
Real or Scripted Reality-TV Series
As with other popular reality-TV shows on the TLC network, many criticized the authenticity of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life.” Some viewers alleged that it was probably as real as it could be in the first couple of seasons, but as the show progressed, they thought that most of the narratives were forced and looked incredibly unnatural. Here are some of the controversial speculations about the show:
Big Girl Dance Class wasn’t real
There were allegations that the dance classes that Whitney and Todd offered to people were bogus, and it was part of the reason why they ceased to exist in the later seasons. Some fans refuted this theory, and believed that it was all real, because at the time that these classes were offered, there was still an official website. They even charged $5 per student, and all ages were welcome to attend. Reportedly, if the participants chose a day that coincided with the filming of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” attending the class was free of charge. However, they were confused because it instructed those who were interested to check the calendar for upcoming classes, but on the said calendar, there were no classes. In online forums, it was posted that some people allegedly called the Greensboro Dance Theater for details of the Big Girl Dance Class, had been told that it was just for the TV series. Whether the dance class was created for the show or was real but was no longer operational because Whitney became busy, no one knew for sure.
The reason why dancing wasn’t part of the show’s main plot
For a time, the “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” narrative centered on Whitney’s loved ones and her insane passion for dancing. However, viewers noticed that the narrative changed in recent seasons, and speculated about it. It seemed that since the third season, Whitney had trouble following some of the dance steps that were taught in her class by other instructors; when she couldn’t do it, she asked Todd to step in for her, and would be annoyed with the instructors for teaching those moves that she found difficult to do.
It was pretty noticeable in the fifth season when Todd had the students do their thing, and explore other dance styles which included barefoot dancing. This outraged her, later confessing that she couldn’t dance barefoot. There were concerned fans who said that Whitney needed to lose weight, so that she could keep up with other dance styles, instead of just staying in her comfort zone. Most of the fans believed that it was the main reason why they removed dancing from the main plot of the series; producers couldn’t create more dance scenarios in the narrative, due to Whitney’s limitations.
Fake boyfriends and relationships
The main star of the show kept falling in love, and it was quite normal, however, viewers continuously questioned the authenticity of Whitney’s relationships. The timeline was confusing, and a clear example was her relationship with Chase Severino. Some fans thought that Chase was just an actor, who was hired to play the role of Whitney’s adorable boyfriend, but when his girlfriend in real life became pregnant, the producers didn’t have any choice but to change the narrative and make Chase a cheating boyfriend. Another suspected fake relationship that Whitney had was with the French guy who remained anonymous up to the 10th season.
What happened to Todd that made fans appreciate him more?
When the 10th season of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” premiered on TLC in August 2022, viewers were ecstatic to see Todd looking great. Everyone appreciated his new look, as he sported a different haircut and color. Fans went on social media and posted that he had his ‘glow up,’ which was internet slang for a highly noticeable and impressive physical transformation, but it could also refer to self-confidence or success in life. He remained friends with Whitney, and fans thought that this was an indication that he was loyal and sincere to her.