One woman’s journey to be seen as ‘normal’ takes her and her family on an interesting journey, one that involves lights, cameras and loads of ‘TLC’
If Mount Pearl’s Adrianna Harris had any skeletons lurking in her proverbial closet, the door has been swung wide open thanks to a new TLC reality series airing in January, Hot & Heavy. Why would a home-grown gal, proudly raised in Labrador, agree to such a thing? Harris laughs.
She’s been sharing her life with the world via Instagram, she opens, and she’s certainly not shy. But the real reason why is much more deeply rooted.
“I guess the reason that I signed up for the show is because as a young girl, I definitely always had a lot of attention surrounding my body. I wanted to reach those young girls who probably think the way that I thought back then who might be watching the show.”
Harris says she wants to ‘normalize’ her life, and the life of others like her in what is being called ‘mixed weight’ relationships.
“I want to model a great relationship and show people that we do exist and we live normal lives like anybody else.”
Instagram has played an interesting role in the life Harris now lives. It’s how she met her husband, Ricardo Thompson, and it’s also how TLC reached out to her, encouraging her to audition for the series.
Filming took place in and around the city of St. John’s, which was a different yet eye-opening experience.
“I’m used to kind of just being ignored by the public. We live a very low-key life, but it was definitely also a really cool experience.” There were downsides.
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“I was downtown just enjoying a day with my boyfriend and somebody called ‘moo’ at me and called me a cow and said ‘lay off the ice cream’. I had this high expectation that Newfoundlanders are super nice people. It was really hard for me to experience that from somebody publicly, especially here. I expected to deal with such harsh comments elsewhere but not in Newfoundland. That was something that really took a toll on me. Guess I learned that it can really happen anywhere.”
What does she hope viewers take away from this show? She just wants to be seen as normal, she shares.
JUST GIVE IT A CHANCE
“I really hope that people just learn that anyone can just be in a normal relationship. Ricardo loves me for the person that I am. We live normal lives just like anybody else,” she says.
“I want people to understand that we do have our struggles like everybody has struggles. My goal is to just normalize our kind of relationship.”
While folks in their inner circle were skeptical about her involvement, those who love her most say they think it’s a great idea and are proud of her for stepping outside her comfort zone.
“It’s not this fake dramatic thing, it’s real life. I think my friends and family saw the positive outcomes. I think that I honestly grew a lot as a person having had this experience.”
Some have criticized the show for being yet another reality series exploiting stars for their differences. Harris disagrees. ‘‘Just give it a chance,’’ she says.
“I think a lot of people are just jumping to conclusions on what the show is actually about based on a trailer that is meant to grab people’s attention. I don’t want people to view it as us just glorifying obesity, as people have said, and thinking that we’re being exploited because it really just was not about that at all.”
The situations depicted in the show really happen, she says, and giving such happenings exposure is a good thing.
“The goal is to show that we go through stuff that a lot of other relationships don’t. Don’t judge a book by its cover and give it a chance.”
Harris, for one, is proud of what she’s accomplished.
“Everyone might actually really learn something from this show because overall it was a really positive thing.”
‘Hot & Heavy’ airs January 7 on TLC at 11:30 P.M. For more on Adrianna Harris, follow @aemilyharris on Instagram.