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By Eun Kyung Kim

Whitney Thore became an Internet star after her video “Fat Girl Dancing” became a viral hit with more than 6 million views.

Now she’s hoping her new TLC reality show, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” will spread her message of self-acceptance and encourage viewers to see the person behind the pounds.

“’Fat’ is such a dirty word in our society, but after I started to become more confident and started dancing again, I realized I kind of just got angry,” Thore told TODAY’s Natalie Morales on Monday. “I kind of wanted to say, 'I’m fat but I’m also fabulous. I’m also intelligent. I have talents and contributions. My whole self worth is not dependent on whether I’m fat or not.'”

Thore said she started gaining weight in her freshman year in college when she put on more than 100 pounds. She later was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that often leads to excessive weight gain.

But Thore said that like many women, she had body image issues long before weight became an issue.

“I was prom queen, I was a dancer and a professional dance teacher. I had body image issues forever,” she said. “It’s not something that’s only for fat women, it affects all women.”

Even though she now loves her body, Thore said she's trying to lose some weight. 

“I’m not naïve to the health risks that I will probably face if I stay this weight because I'm almost 400 pounds,” she said. “I know I need to lose some weight but I have no desire to ever be thin again. I just want to be fit and healthy and happy.”

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