Courage, bravery and boldness sum up the attitudes of many of the celebrities featured on Season 17 of "Dancing with the Stars." On the September 16 show premiere, Jack Osbourne talked about his struggles with multiple sclerosis, while Valerie Harper earned a standing ovation for her courage in taking to the dance floor despite her cancer. But of all the stars, Amber Riley stood out for bucking the tradition of a slim star scoring the highest points. And Amber underscored her reason for dancing with a determined announcement that sums up positive body image.
"I'm a big girl," she declared. But "it will be good for young girls to see somebody my size trying to dance and throwing this weight around."
And Amber did more than prove that big girls can dance: She also proved that they can win, turning in a dynamic performance that had the judges exclaiming with delight and giving her the highest scores of the night. Underscoring their response: On September 17, Keep This 100 named her performance one of the best TV moments on TV.
Supporting Amber: "Glee"-ful cast members, who were in the audience to cheer her on, including co-stars Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz. The group gave her a standing ovation after her performance.
"Right after we performed, I ran over there and gave them all a hug," Amber told E Online on September 16. "When I came out all of them were smiling and my mom and my dad and my aunt and my grandmother and everybody was here!"
Summing it up: "You are the tigress of Season 17," judge Bruno Tonioli told Amber. "That's how you take it, that's how you shake it, that's how you make it yours!"
In the past, celebrities have emphasized their desire to lose weight by doing the show, with the focus on diet. Will Amber decide to shed pounds for the show? Post your comments below.