(CBS) Nikki Blonsky is "Huge" and unashamed, but is the "Hairspray" star also unhealthy?
The 21-year-old, New York-based actress is now opening up to a national audience on ABC's new series "Huge." The scripted drama is set in a fat camp for teens, but Blonsky, as the main character Willamena, is controversial. She doesn't want to lose weight despite being heavy enough to be considered morbidly obese.
And the real life actress feels the same.
"I'm just comfortable and confident in my body. I could care less that the world is seeing me in a bathing suit right now," Blonsky told UsMagazine.com.
Blonsky was referring to the ABC billboard campaign which has plastered her bathing suit-clad body in front of motorists.
But some experts disagree with Blonsky's rosy assessment of her weight.
"If she is representing teenagers and adolescents, young adults, it's wonderful to accept your body, but there's a way to do it and be healthy," says Marisa Sherry, a registered dietician in New York City who works with young women. "That doesn't mean you have to be dieting or skinny, but you can represent teens as healthy without being obese."
Sherry cautions that she doesn't know Blonsky's exercise regimen, but says that teens carrying as much weight as Blonsky are "at an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis at a very young age. That's just the basics."
But Blonsky insists she's doing great.
"I feel awesome," Blonsky told US Magazine. "I think there's nothing better than just showing by confidence and showing that I love my body."