We have all witnessed the absolute mess of My 600-lb Life and watched fat bodies be exploited for reality TV drama.
Not all of reality television is intended to shock viewers or invite them to body-shame its stars, however.
My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Way Thore has a powerful and positive message to share with viewers.
Unfortunately, some of those fans have claimed that her French boyfriend too "ashamed" to even be seen with her. WTF?
Whitney Way Thore is 37 years old and 380 pounds. That's smaller than some football players.
She is mobile, she is active, and she's giving viewers a different look at fat bodies and what life can be like.
PCOS has caused uncontrollable weight gain, but Whitney's love of dance and her focus on fitness keep her healthy and fit.
Several weeks ago, while promoting My Big Fat Fabulous Life, Whitney shared a photo of herself with her French boyfriend.
"I’ve always had a sorta love/mostly hate relationship with social media," she admitted.
"But after the last year," Whitney reflected, "it’s grown even more complicated."
"So -- when your French man says he values his privacy but you still wanna share him," Whitney wrote, "this is what social media gets."
What we "get" is a photo of her with her unidentified French beau standing in front of the Louvre.
Not only is he unnamed, but his face is blotted out entirely, making him impossible to identify.
More recently, Whitney posted again, calling out those who send her nasty messages about her relationship.
"I wish I could put this relationship into words," she began.
"But honestly," Whitney joked in reference to the censoring of her man's face, "it’s all been a blur."
"Nah, but for real, the amount of comments and DMs and tweets I’ve gotten from viewers," Whitney began.
These are comments "assuring me that this man is embarrassed of me and does not care about me."
Whitney commented that the volume of these cruel messages "is confusing."
"I just spent 6 weeks with him in the planet’s most-visited country," Whitney wrote, referring to France.
"And as you can see," she pointed out, "we are clearly out in public at one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions…"
"But because he doesn’t want his face shown on TV to millions of people around the world, he must be embarrassed of me?" Whitney asked.
"There’s a big difference between being in public with someone," Whitney explained.
She wrote that this is "versus choosing to put your identity on display on the internet and TV for people to rip apart."
"If he was ever doubting his decision to be anonymous in these arenas," Whitney added, "comments like these only validate it."
"Can’t y’all let someone be happy?" Whitney asked.
"I’ve had 8 serious relationships," she pointed out.
Whitney added that 'the “public' has only seen 3 of them."
"(I had 30 years of life before TV, imagine that!)" Whitney reminded the world.
"And," she admitted, "I’ve dated some s--tty dudes and had heartbreaks."
Whitney continued: "But I also do not doubt that I have been loved deeply and fiercely."
"And above all, I know that I deserve to be loved," Whitney affirmed.
"If you feel that you can’t be loved," she wrote, "because of your size or for any other reason."
Whitney asked that anyone with such an insecurity "please don’t project that onto me."
Whitney asked this "because I’m out here trying to enjoy myself."
She concluded: "and this person and what we have together."
That is a very positive way of telling cruel body-shamers to STFU.
Obviously, there are bad reasons that a man might ask that his identity be kept a secret.
A cheater, someone with a troubling romance history, might not want other women contacting his girlfriend. The same applies to a chaser.
But there are also extremely valid reasons to seek privacy. Not everyone is prepared to be a public figure. People can be vicious.