• "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" (MBFFL) is a TLC reality show that premiered in 2015
• The show follows Whitney Way Thore's life and weight journey, as well as her complicated love life and other issues
• The Thore family matriarch, Barbara “Babs” Thore, passed away in early December 2022 due to complications from cerebral amyloid angiopathy
• The main cast members are Whitney, Glenn and Hunter Thore, and her friends Tal Fish, Ashley Baynes, Buddy Bell, Todd Beasley, and Heather Sykes
• Some viewers are calling for the show’s cancellation due to lack of compelling storylines and Whitney’s focus on her personal relationships rather than her health
About “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”
The TLC reality show “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” (“MBFFL”) premiered in January 2015, and is produced by Pilgrim Studios. The gripping series follows Whitney Way Thore, who enjoyed her first taste of viral fame after appearing in the “107.5 KZL’s Fat Girl Dancing” YouTube videos, which were seen by millions.
Whitney weighed almost 400lbs, about 180kgs at the beginning of season one, having gained over 230 pounds due to polycystic ovary syndrome, which can also cause irregular periods, excessive hair growth, and fertility problems. Since then, her weight has fluctuated at various times, but Whitney herself is yet to come out and share an exact figure.
Although some viewers were hoping that “MBFFL” would document Whitney’s weight loss journey, the bubbly brunette once took to Instagram to say: “I am not out here to be anyone’s weight loss inspiration… I’m just a complex human being focusing on a lot of other things in life besides losing weight.” Instead, the show focuses on how Whitney juggles her complicated love life, health issues, and other problems.
Barbara “Babs” Thore, who passed away in early December 2022, was known for being the Thore family matriarch, and Whitney’s greatest support. Despite being in the public eye for years as a main character on her daughter’s show, many details of Barbara’s life, such as her early years, remain unknown. however, we can confirm that Barbara passed away aged 76, having been born in June 1946.
Whitney’s mother was relatively young when she married her first husband in a lowkey wedding ceremony. Although Barbara and her first husband couldn’t work things out, the future TV personality would find love for a second time with Glenn Thore. Barbara and Glenn made an excellent team, and were often praised for their on-screen chemistry.
Barbara’s first serious health scare came in December 2021 when she was left bedridden after suffering a stroke. The road to recovery was relatively long and arduous, but Barbara’s family members rallied around and took turns watching over her. Whitney often posted her mother, and enjoyed keeping things as normal as possible for her; for example, they attended a fall festival as recently as October 2022, and participated in many seasonal activities. At the time, Barbara was residing in a comfortable senior living community named Irving Park.
The exact cause of Barbara’s death stems from the strokes and other health complications brought upon her by cerebral amyloid angiopathy. The rare condition, also referred to as CAA, leads to the amyloid protein growing in the walls of brain arteries. Some complications include hydrocephalus, seizures, dementia, and bleeding on the brain; the most common symptoms range from headaches and drowsiness to seizures and vomiting. Although the condition is most common in those aged over 55, it can also be passed down through the generations.
CT, MRA, and PET scans aid in the early diagnosis of the condition. Sadly, no specific treatment for CAA has been found. Physical, occupational, and speech therapies, along with anti-seizure drugs and other medicine, are often used to reduce the complications.
Whitney and other family members posted touching tributes to commemorate Barbara’s life, with the TV star writing: “My mother died last night just as the credits rolled on her favorite movie… [She] is our family’s greatest gift. We could never love, revere, or value another person more.” The “MBFFL” protagonist went on to describe some of Barbara’s best qualities, such as her sense of humor, southern charm, and the ability to make everyone around her feel at ease.
These days, the main cast members of “MBFFL” are Whitney, Glenn and Hunter Thore and her close friends, Tal Fish, Ashley Baynes, Buddy Bell, Todd Beasley, and Heather Sykes. Whitney herself hails from Greensboro, North Carolina and was born in April 1984. Having matriculated from Walter Hines Page Senior High School, she furthered her studies at Appalachian State University.
Whitney is well-known for being unlucky in love. Salacious online sources claim that the dancer is married to a man named Jason Rose and has two children named Bobbie and Brooks, but nothing could be further from the truth. For now, Whitney is childfree and in a long-distance relationship with a mysterious Frenchman whom she began ‘seeing’ in 2021. Whitney has yet to divulge any important details regarding him, as she prefers to keep him out of the limelight.
Apart from being a dancer and TV star, Whitney shines as a body positivity advocate and best-selling author. Her first book, “I Do It with the Lights On: And 10 More Discoveries on the Road to a Blissfully Shame-Free Life” was published in 2016, and received rave reviews.
Happy Holidays from Whitney, Babs, Glenn and Hunter!
Glenn, Barbara’s husband of decades and Whitney and Hunter’s father, is known for his steady and calm personality. 2021 was a particularly bad year for the small-screen patriarch, as he battled against COVID-19 while juggling Barbara’s health problems; in 2022, he and Barbara celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary with an intimate shindig for their nearest and dearest.
Not much is known of Glenn, but we do know that he obtained a bachelor’s degree in History & Political Science from the Guildford College in North Carolina. He joined the graphics industry in 2003 and would become the Account Manager of Graphic Visual Solutions nine years later. In 2014, Glenn climbed up the career ladder to work as the VP General Manager of Millennium Print Group. Unlike many in his age group, Glenn has shown no desire to slow down in his golden years.
Whitney’s brother Hunter was born in February 1985, and is a guitarist and an aspiring actor; himself and Whitney share an incredibly close bond. Hunter is especially vocal about his love for Whitney, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to post her on his social media profiles. His hardcore and metal band, Plague of Jackals, also features regularly on his Instagram.
Not many are aware that Hunter was the one to save his mother Barbara’s life; having found her unconscious after suffering a stroke, he immediately dialed 911. Later, a tense argument ensued when he and Whitney discussed how to best take care of their aging parents. The argument was partly caused by the distance between Hunter and the rest of the family, as he’s been living in Atlanta for at least a couple of years.
As it happens, Hunter has always wanted to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry. His appearances in “MBFFL” helped him gain some mediatic exposure, however, perhaps tired of being in Whitney’s shadow, he decided to move away from home to focus on his personal projects.
Next up are Whitney’s close friends – Todd Beasley, who has known the “MBFFL” star since their high school days, is considered by many to be her best friend. The pair majored in musical theater together, and have always enjoyed a good relationship despite the occasional argument. Many netizens have praised Todd for never being afraid to tell Whitney what’s on his mind, as some cast members tend to walk on eggshells around the outspoken brunette.
What do you think about chubby girls 😌😏 pic.twitter.com/vCEjSExbK7
— bae (@baeeeeeeeeeeez) September 18, 2019
Todd also gained a large fanbase after starring as Whitney’s dance partner in the “Fat Girl Dancing” videos that would make her an internet sensation. When Whitney was told by a doctor that her weight and health issues made it impossible for her to dance, she immediately asked Todd to help her out; they then began choreographing and running dance classes together. Although Todd is disapproving of Whitney’s mysterious French boyfriend, he’s made it clear that she can always depend on his emotional support when necessary.
Buddy Bell is also especially close to Whitney and is a fan favorite after showing his vulnerable side on “MBFFL”. Viewers are thrilled to see Buddy turning his life around and appearing to find true love, as in the past, he’s gone through difficult break-ups and battled with drug addiction. Buddy announced his engagement in late 2021 and is currently planning a wedding that will take place in October 2023.
Previously, Whitney was criticized for complaining about not being able to see Buddy as much, since he’d began devoting more and more time to his new girlfriend Kourtney. However, she and Buddy are still believed to be on good terms.
Fellow TLC star Ashley Baynes has a lot in common with Whitney, and has known her for over a decade. Ashley has two children named Harper and August Daniel and has been in a long-term relationship with a man named Eric; however, he prefers not to appear in “MBFFL”.
During her second pregnancy, there were some rumors of Ashley being a surrogate for Whitney. The rumors began when Whitney – who has trouble conceiving due to her health condition – asked her friend Heather if she’d be her surrogate. Heather said yes at first, but later changed her mind; not long afterwards, Ashley was spotted with a baby bump, and netizens naturally thought that she had agreed to be Whitney’s surrogate. Ashley has also been seen helping Whitney with her IVF treatments.
Tal Fish is another friend of the group, who has struggled with substance abuse for years. These days, he’s in long-term recovery, and working in the substance abuse field to help others who have gone through similar situations. Although Tal doesn’t often appear in “MBFFL”, we know that he’s been sober since April 2015.
Some of Tal’s many interests include trips to the theater, days out at the beach, and visits to local museums. The gym enthusiast also spends plenty of time with his mother, who has helped him remain drug-free for almost a decade.
Last but not least is Heather Sykes, who recently split from her husband Jared. The exuberant brunette currently works as a global director of editing for Market America, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It remains unclear how she and Whitney first met, but these days they get along like a house on fire.
Heather and Jared married young, and share two children named Ava and Eli. As a single mother, Heather is 100% devoted to her children, and makes sure to nurture them in every aspect of their lives. She also keeps fans up to date with their latest accomplishments, and recently shared that Eli is an honor roll student, and that Ava has been performing in many school plays and musicals. Some viewers think that Heather decided not to be Whitney’s surrogate because a pregnancy would affect her work and personal life, but she has yet to give a clear-cut reason.
It was recently confirmed that filming for the latest season of “MBFFL” commences in February 2023. However, many viewers and former fans of the series were less than thrilled to hear the news, with many calling for the show’s cancellation. With each passing season, more and more fans believe that the series is scripted – or just not worth watching.
One of the main complaints amongst fans is that Whitney no longer focuses on her personal goals, health, or happiness; instead, the 38-year-old is obsessed with making her love life her priority. Viewers are tired of seeing Whitney suffer after so many failed relationships, and would rather see her focus on other areas of her life; they have also criticized the TV personality for putting her health on a backburner.
In a particularly memorable episode of the show’s latest season, Whitney passed out at an event, and was told by the ER doctor that she needed to lose weight. As soon as she returned from ER, Whitney ordered a Philly cheesesteak-stuffed crust pizza… and blamed her passing out on not sleeping or eating enough.
With that said, the lack of compelling storylines is another reason why viewers are suggesting that the show be cancelled. Obviously, the upcoming episodes of “MBFFL” will focus on how Whitney and the rest of the family are coping in the aftermath of Barbara’s death; despite online pushback from a few disgruntled fans, the TLC series remains vastly popular, and is likely to be renewed for more seasons to come.