The VICE Guide to Fat People
If you're fat, your life probably went something like mine:
Once upon a time you were eight years old. Your parents got divorced. You moved schools. You didn't talk to anyone for a few weeks. But then, magically, you got over it. How did you get over it? Spaghetti hoops and sausages in a tin, no exercise and Monster Munch. Your journey had begun.
By the time you were ten, the world was laughing at you. And why not? You looked like a condom full of Play-Doh that came alive and grew some hair. Your parents fitted plastic locks on all the food cupboards, but you destroyed them easily with your massive hands. Your friends became bullies and your teachers became friends. How did you try to fix the situation? Fish fingers and mash potato x 1000.
So now you're a grown-up fat person. Congratulations, you are part of the most successful and fastest growing (LOL) demographic in the world. You're also using up more resources than is necessary, contributing disproportionately to global warming by expelling more gases than cattle and indirectly murdering millions of starving children in Third World countries across the planet. Give yourself a round of applause!
But, as all daytime talk show enthusiasts know, life's not always such a peach for the rotund. In fact, sometimes, it's pretty damn shitty. So, for all you who, like me, are proud, First World fatties, here's some gemstone advice to help you through your significantly shortened lives.
FACIAL HAIR ♂ / MAKEUP ♀
When you're a child, disguising the fact that your neck long ago enveloped your jawline is not easy. However, sexual maturity offers you a get out of jail. Careful grooming of a beard (an actual beard, not soul patches or those bullshit pencil-thin Jersey Shorelines) not only creates the illusion of a jaw, but also lends a sense of masculinity to a blotched, swollen face which, frankly, belongs on a pregnant alcoholic. Ladies, unhappy you can't beard up like your pudgy brothers? You can achieve similar effects by using subtle shadings of blusher and foundation to draw on a chin somewhere in that pile of flesh that goes from your shoulders to your lips.
If you believe American television, then fat people, much like black people, seek each other out romantically. Obviously, this is not the case. Just because you're fat, it doesn't mean you fancy other fat people – you're fat, not a chubby chaser. Fat people fancy the same people as everyone else: Ryan Gosling and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, we just have even less of a chance of actually sleeping with them. Fat people tend to settle for fat people; and then we compliment each other, we feel good about ourselves, and the world inches towards being a better place.
You might be a looker. Fuck, you might be David JFK Clooney Beckham, but no one will ever know, because your face is hidden behind two inches of meat. The average person doesn't want to make out with a plate of sausage filling. But, hopefully you've been paying attention to the hilarious insults everyone's been throwing at you since year dot, because you're going to need to be funny. Charming as well. Seriously, you have to be twice as charming as Hugh Grant, because he's really skinny. But get it right, and you'll be able to fuck right out of your comfort zone. Sixes. You can get sixes. Which, let's face it, is great news.
Alternatively, if you're gay, you lucked out. Hot, skinny lesbians, who – on planet hetero-norm – would be screwing Jared Leto, LOVE big girls. And if you're a fat gay guy? Well, things couldn't be easier; walk into any bear bar and prepare to feel all those years of feeling unattractive washed away in a sea of cum.
As a large person, a lot of your life is spent trying to avoid breaking a sweat or running out of breath. Sadly, you're gonna fall short of this ambition several times a day, every time you see a flight of stairs, in fact. Unless you live in an air-conditioned elevator wonderland (Selfridges is fat guy heaven), you're going to have to deal with stairs ALMOST CONSTANTLY. Toilets, bedrooms, balconies, viewing platforms – all of these bastard things are upstairs and by the time you get there, you're going to smell so bad the paramedics will probably refuse to treat the enormous heart attack going on behind your fat ribs. Also, the temperature in your crotch has just gone up by about 15 degrees in under 60 seconds. Fucking stairs.
LOSING YOUR DICK ♂ / NO PERIODS ♀
It's common knowledge to any portly man that the two inches of flesh surrounding your body does no wonders for the perceived length of your dick. Yes, your dick looks tiny. BUT IT'S NOT. I SWEAR, IT'S THE SAME SIZE AS EVERYONE ELSE'S. It just looks small... Well, try telling that to the six you just brought back who's starting to question how horny she really is as she stares into the abyss of your abscess. Best to try to hide what's going on down there, turn the lights out and get motoring away. Oh, and definitely don't take your top off unless it's initiated. You don't know what they're into yet.
If you're female and have been overeating strongly enough for a sustained period of your life, you might have successfully stopped bleeding out of your vagina every month. Convenient maybe, but, ultimately, symbolic of some nasty shit going on beneath the surface: You stop ovulating, risk becoming infertile and cease producing all those hormones that prevent you from growing excessive amounts of facial hair (which, I guess is good for the chin problem). This has a similar effect on any potential mating partner's libido as fat-man's shrink-cock syndrome; so go see a doctor, I guess. He'll give you pills and then tell you to lose some weight :(
CROWD SURFING AT GIGS
Don't do it; it's not for you. It's like when white people dagger at Notting Hill Carnival. People want you to fail.
In fat culture you're not short of people to look up to. Fat men and women who have paved the way for you and are among the best-loved humans who ever lived. You have a heritage of warmth, hilarity and kindliness to emulate: Rick Ross, Rosie O'Donnell, John Belushi, Nina Simone, Santa, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Henry VIII, Beth Ditto, Buddha, Oprah, Matt Lucas, Alfred Hitchcock. As "the fat one" you'll always have all the pressure and all the rewards of being "the most loved". Just remember, you are standing on the shoulders of giants (literally).
Know your limits. Look for the solid chair without arms. If you can't get two spots on the sofa at BBQs or family gatherings, just opt for the floor. You can't break the floor. And you're gonna end up there anyway when you flatten the host's flimsy plastic garden furniture. Seriously, who designed those pathetic pieces of shit? They are worse than useless, their design is a clear exemplar of the overfejudice in the product design industry. (Seriously, there are some showers I can't even fit in to – I know they're doing it on purpose.)
It took me until I was 22 to find a pair of jeans that fit me properly and now they don't again because my weight fluctuates with the tide. Nice clothes are simply not made for people of ample size. You can blame the thinazis who design clothes, but presumably, fat people could design clothes that fit them if they wanted. No, the problem is that humans don't get fat in uniform shapes. We are each beefy in our own way. Each beautifully unique in our volume. Bellies, thighs, cankles, arms, neck-chins, back fat, ass fat, back-ass fat; what genius designer could account for so many variables? Essentially you have two choices when it comes to clothes: baggy or stretchy. Take your pick and live with it. Oh, and wear a lot of shorts, obvs.
The seats on planes are insanely small seats, you might have to ask for a seatbelt extension, you're barely going to fit into the toilet, and when you walk on people look at you like they'd rather sit next to Richard Reid. Also, being in a confined space for a prolonged period of time really brings out people's inner asshole. A fatty friend of mine won't get on planes any more because there have been TWO occasions when the person seated next to him has asked the stewardess (in front of him) to be moved to a different seat.
It's not just the exhibition of other people's sublime flesh that is the enemy. If you live in a temperate climate the effects of summer heat on a well-insulated body are about as pleasant as laying strips of raw bacon on your skin and rolling around in sand. The quantity of sweat is simply unfair. All your white clothes will be stained a yellowy hue from all the toxins your body is constantly expelling in a bid to lower your temperature and it'll look like you pissed your armpits. Your bed will look like Indonesia after the tsunami.
You need to drink several gallons of water an hour during the summer months too or you'll dry up and die. To us, a short commute on a hot summer bus is the equivalent of a skinny person in a suit sitting under a magnifying glass in the Sahara. Hydrate, hydrate and rehydrate. (Also, fat people in really hot countries are a myth, it is simply impossible to survive in those conditions. Samoans, I'm calling bullshit on you.)
DON'T BE SO SENSITIVE
Everyone needs to chill the fuck out. YouTube trolls aren't worth getting upset about. Feel some pride and laugh at yourself, because fat people are fucking funny. Have you ever seen one fall over? We barely resemble humans and it's absurd that we even wear clothes.
But, ultimately, a childhood of humiliating memories has left you with a chip on your shoulder, so from time to time, you're gonna think of thin people as "The Man". Rather than get all teary, express yourself by taking your top off a lot in public parks and bitching about how shallow everyone who can't enjoy a roast dinner for breakfast is.
And always remember…
IT IS OK TO HATE SKINNIES
You know who was thin? Hitler. You know who was fat? Churchill. Clearly skinny-bashing should be encouraged. Thin people suck. Get over yourself twiglet, no one wants to be like self-centred, image-obsessed You. We're sick of putting up with your shit our whole lives. Besides, it's a fact that skinny people either subconsciously, secretly or openly detest all fat people and find them physically abhorrent. So fuck you: We hate you too. Why wouldn't we? You've been pummelling our self-esteem with films, music videos, advertising, magazines and basically everything else, for years.
Just don't hate on skinnies who are skinny because they're poor. You don't have the best hand of cards to play in that game.
FEAR OF DEATH
Denial is a basic part of human survival. If we acknowledged all the perils facing us we would simply not be able to function. That's why we get in cars and fly in planes and smoke cigarettes.
At some point, there'll come a time a loved one will notice how avariciously you love to throw a triple cheeseburger and fries sandwich down your throat for breakfast, and gently say, "You know, sometimes, I worry about you." The sun goes out, the walls of reality cave in and for a moment you are aware that you are pointlessly killing yourself and actively reducing the collective worth of humanity. You are a fucking disgrace and everything that is wrong with the world.
In these instances, don't take it out on the people around you. Simply look your loved one in the eye, smile broadly and remind them, "Remember Elvis? Remember Biggie Smalls? Everyone loved John Candy and he was a big fella, wasn't he?" Life's good, let's not ruin it with regret.
Although if you have to stop to brace for the occasional clenching sensation behind your sternum, I guess at some point you could finally consider…
This is the end to all your worries and the beginning of you being a smug douche, forever. Do you want to take that risk?
VICE got <3 for fatties.
It's not just the obese we have some words of advice for:
We sat down with Russell Brand to discuss his grand vision of revolution.
His post-prison conduct isn't working in his favour.
Meeting co-founder Keith Reilly on the 15th anniversary of a London institution.