Woman who wants to be world’s fattest reveals more
“We wanna see the pig in action!!”
This is but one of the many comments that appeared on the UK Telegraph’s website after it posted a story about Donna Simpson, a 42 year-old mother of two from New Jersey who wants to be the world’s fattest woman.
To do this, she’ll have to double her weight to hit the 1,000lb mark (roughly 454kg), giving her the dubious honour of weighing more than any other woman on the planet: about 6.8 times the weight of the average woman in Australia.
At the moment, Simpson weighs 273kg, wears a size XXXXXXXL and consumes about 12,000 calories a day. To put this in context for the non-calorifically literate it is about six times what an average woman should eat.
To maintain her physique, Simpson does as little physical activity as possible, using a motorized scooter to help her shop for the $US750 worth of food she eats a week. This is a woman who proudly admits to downing 70 pieces of sushi in one sitting, devours whole cakes and makes money from a website where men pay for the pleasure of watching her eat.
Simpson said in an interview with the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that her mother fed her huge amounts as a child, “Food was her way of showing she loved us, she wanted us to eat, and she was very protective of us”.
Fast-forward 20 odd years and Simpson, now a divorced single mother and weighing 37 stone, found a website devoted to men who love morbidly obese women. She put details about her weight on the site and a torrent of emails ensued. Men “sent me gifts through the post, like protein shakes to help me put on weight faster,” Simpson has said, “people love watching me eat”.
Simpson’s story has been replayed on news sites across the UK, Europe, the US, New Zealand and Australia in the last day or so, each rehashing the shocking details of her daily dose of delusional noshing.
Revealing the gory details about what she puts in her mouth on a daily basis has unleashed a torrent of abuse and anger which betray a deep and troubling societal and cultural revulsion about fat.
In trawling through comments posted on a number of news websites that carried this story, there is a current of genuine hatred running through them. That so many are blind to her apparent suffering and the abusive relationship she has with food shows not only a troubling lack of compassion but that so many people feel it perfectly acceptable, if not amusing, to write about her as if she is no more than a bestial lump devoid of any humanity save for an all-consuming appetite.
“That 11 stone husband of hers must have the heart of a lion. He deserves a medal for tackling that pile of blubber. I couldn’t, even at gunpoint.”
“Look at the good side. She’d feed a pride of lions, and there’d be plenty of leftovers for the vultures and hyenas.”
“So she weighs the same as two elephant calves now and she wants to weigh nearly the same as a fully grown elephant. Maybe she should live in a zoo.”
“Can someone really consume enough alcohol to make this woman pregnant?”
That people feel emboldened to make these de-humanising and degrading comments about Simpson is a glaring example of the fact that fat has become a moral issue, about which it is still socially-sanctioned to be as foul-mouthed and hate-filled as a card-carrying KKK member.
“Why?” So few people have stopped to ponder this most basic question about this woman and her disturbing ambition. There seems to be an abject lack of humanity or empathy with which people approach Simpson’s record-breaking ambition.
Though Simpson may think her eating is natural and may feel pride in her body, from what has been reported, Simpson appears to suffer from what is known as an EDNOS, or an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
The story that should be written here is one about challenging the culturally pervasive image of what an eating disorder is. After all, EDNOSs are not only the most common eating disorder but the most lethal according to the American Psychiatric Association.
In reprinting time and time again the same horrifying details - all that sushi, all those kilos of pretzels we see her stuffing in her trolley in the accompanying pictures! Simpson’s blatant eating disorder is being made into a freak show for our enjoyment.
Obesity may be the last remaining bastion of socially acceptable mass discrimination. We approach this subject with in-built value judgements about what weight means- lazy, gluttonous. The thing is, it seems it is still OK to judge, if not actively hate and publicly admonish, overweight people.
The Donna Simpson story is not just a story about a woman suffering from an eating disorder, it is a story about our disordered relationship with other people’s eating.
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