5:10pm PT by Jethro Nededog
Chelsea Settles on Her New MTV Series: 'Journeys Like This Aren't Depicted on TV Very Often'
Chelsea Settles wasn’t quite sure what she was getting herself into when she answered an ad from MTV for “an overweight girl to follow on her weight loss journey.”
“I see that and with all of these amazing weight loss shows, I was thinking ‘Oh great, they’re going to send me to a ranch, I’m going to lose weight tomorrow, this is what I’ve been looking for, my life will finally change,' and that’s not what this was about,“ Settles tells The Hollywood Reporter. “This was more about self-discovery and I had to do a lot of this on my own so it kind of just went from there.”
There is a lot about Settles that seems similar to the network’s previous stars from The Hills and The City. She’s only 23, a new college graduate, and she has dreams of a career in fashion. But, then you find out that she doesn’s come from an affluent beach adjacent community. And while she has the personal style to carry off the career, she can’t fit into sample sizes that hang all around her. That’s because she starts the series off at 324 pounds.
“I look at myself then and I just look dead even if I were smiling,” she tells us of how she felt watching herself on the series premiere. “I could just tell how unhappy I was and it really just hurts me to see that I allowed myself to get to that weight, and that I was almost content with being that miserable.”
“I had really just signed the papers saying, 'this is life and I’m just going to accept it. I will live in my small town. I won’t go after my dreams. This is it,' " she continues. "And I’m just so glad that I finally found the courage to take the steps to make a change.”
And that’s where the magic happens. Like with Lauren Conrad or Whitney Port, viewers will relate to Settles’ high fashion aspirations, but she offers something those girls really couldn’t: Actual obstacles. And Settles knows how unique her show is.
“When it was hard and it was challenging, I cried and I didn’t want to do something and I felt like throwing in the towel, I definitely had the viewer in mind,” she says. “Because I feel like journeys like this aren’t depicted on TV very often.”
“I felt like I was alone. I felt that no one else had the same fears and insecurities,” she goes on to say. “But now I realize that we’re all battling something and if you go to people and lean on people for support, you can really get through it… I’m really excited to connect with people and just get the word out. I’m really proud of the show and everything I hope that it does for the people watching.”
Chelsea Settles premieres Tuesday at 11 p.m. on MTV.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro