Monday, March 15, 2010

Woman Determined to Become Fattest in the World: Why Not?

Via wesmirch, a story from the Daily Mail about a woman from New Jersey who is determined to become the FATTEST. WOMAN. IN. THE. WORLD.
Donna Simpson already weighs 43st, but she is determined to nearly double her size to become the world's fattest woman.

The 42-year-old from New Jersey, U.S, is set on reaching the 1,000lb mark (71st) in just two years. Remarkably she insists she is healthy, despite now needing a mobility scooter when she goes shopping.
Because the Daily Mail is a London paper and website, the article is full of the oddball weight measurement "stone." I am not sure of how many "stones" make a "pound" (the American unit of weight measurement, not the British currency), and I am too lazy to look it up, but we can guess at the conversions based on the article's assertion that Ms. Simpson wants to hit 1,000 pounds, which it claims is 71 stone.

That means that it's 71 into 1,000, which is about, um, 60? So that means that one stone is about 60 pounds? Or is it the other way around, and 60 pounds is one stone? Or is 60 stones one pound? That one can't be right.

Did I do that right? I am not a mathematician.

The point is, this woman's goal is to become the world's fattest woman. My first reaction is to shrug. Everybody should have a goal, and lots of people have goals that I think are ridiculous. Politicians, for example. No reason why anyone should want to be a politician; I will definitely take Ms. Simpson over a politician any day.

My second reaction is, Somebody has to be world's fattest woman. So why not Ms. Simpson?

As you can tell from the two paragraphs I cut and pasted from the article, the author is oozing with contempt for Ms. Simpson's goal. A number of the comments on the story are downright vituperative in their condemnation of the woman.

So who is egging her on in this endeavor? Well, for one thing, it's a British-based "records" book, The Guinness Book of World Records:
Ms Simpson already holds the Guinness World Record as the world's fattest mother, when she gave birth in 2007 weighing 38stone.
I don't know if Guinness has a category for "World's Fattest Woman" (which would be sexist), but they do have a category for "world's fattest mother" (also sexist). So maybe there is some kind of record.

And why shouldn't Ms. Simpson go for it? Unless her family is opposed?
You might expect her long-term partner Philippe, 49, to advise her to slim down, but instead he encourages her to eat more.

He met Donna on a dating site for plus-size people and is a self-confessed fat admirer, although he himself only weighs 150lbs.

'I think he'd like it if I was bigger,' said Donna.

'He's a real belly man, and completely supports me.'
First of all, why does the article, which has been using "stone" to measure weight up until this point, suddenly revert to "pounds" to describe the much thinner partner Phillippe? Unless the British don't have a way of expressing "150 lb" as "stone"? (By my calculations it would be just under three stone, by the way.)

Second, she found a man who likes her the way she is. Isn't that what everyone is looking for? As Billy Joel famously sang, "Don't go changin', to try and please me." Everyone tells their kids, and we see it all the time in movies and television, Find someone who will accept you for who you are. Well, this woman seems to have done it.

Good for her!

That said, I do find Ms. Simpson's quotes to be a bit schizophrenic. She says "I think he'd like it if I was bigger" (has she not talked about it with him?), and then says he "completely supports me." She thinks. Maybe.
To achieve her goal, Donna says she will need to eat up to 12,000 calories a day (the average woman should consume only 2,000.)
That "average woman should consume only 2,000" calories is booby-trapped. According to whom, exactly? And would you or anyone consider Ms. Simpson to be "average"?

Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer, famously consumed 12,000 calories a day while training to achieve his goal. Why not this woman?

Oh, because her goal is completely insane? Because it's ludicrous to want to be FAT like that? Because she is damaging her health and needs help?

Again, says who? It's her body, right? Doesn't a woman have a right to do with her own body whatever she wants?

But how is she paying for all this?
To fund the massive $750 weekly food shop, she runs a website where men pay her to watch her eat fast food.
Oh, wow. People pay to watch her eat fast food. What an amazing world we live in, where an enormous woman can find people who are willing to pay to watch her eat! Where men who enjoy watching an enormous woman eat can do so!

Donna Simpson, enjoying some McDonald's fast food. Apparently, there are men who pay to watch her eat. I'm not sure if I would, but to each his own.

Sometimes I love the world, and this is one of those times. I mean it; there is something for everyone out there.

Ms. Simpson seems genuinely happy now that she is so large. Apparently, her mother fed her and her siblings lots of fattening food, but when her mother died her father remarried, to a woman who put her and her siblings on a diet:
'I used to steal food from the cupboards, which were still full because my mum used to store food,' she said.

But as she got older, Donna began to worry about her weight and started taking diet pills.
Between the ages 14 and 18 she slimmed down to 11 stone, but was still unhappy.

'Dieting just made me miserable because I was thinking about food all the time.,' she said.
She tried to conform to society's idea of what a woman should look like. It made her miserable. She accepted herself. She is happy now.

She is happy as an obese woman. Good for her.

I've already written a lot about overweight people, and the unfairness and scorn to which they are subjected because of things (biology, genetics) that are completely out of their control. I still don't understand why it is that we're motivated to judge as insane someone who is certainly swimming outside the mainstream, but isn't really hurting anyone else.

But, as some of the comments on the Daily Mail point out, Ms. Simpson has a daughter. She holds the Guinness record for being the world's fattest mother. So isn't her daughter suffering as a result? Define suffering. After all, she has a happy mother. Who wouldn't want to be raised by a happy mother?

Other than that, we have nothing about how she's being raised. Is she being fed fatty foods all the time? What is she was? Are you going to take her away? What about kids who are allowed to play video games or watch TV all day? Or surf the internet without every stepping outside? What about kids who are only given some fatty foods?

And if you don't like this woman's beliefs about food, what are you going to do about parents who raise their kids to be devout Christians? Vegans? Environmentalists? What about parents who drink even a little alcohol in front of their kids? Barack Obama smokes cigarettes; should his daughters be taken away from him? He's certainly setting a bad example.

Ms. Simpson isn't making the choice that I would make, and she isn't doing with her body what I do with it (that sounds dirtier than it really is), but it's not any of my business. That's why I wrote this blog posting about it. To prove how I don't think it's any of my business.

The pic came from the original article, which can be read here.

6 comments:

shampoo said...

I don't know if she can get as fat as she wants without dying. but, maybe she just made up that goal to get hits on her site?

if you don't eat fastfood, it's kind of hard to eat 2000 cals/day every day. 12,000 is a horror thought (to me). even with macdonald's it seems like she'd be eating all the livelong day. so, I wonder if she really will even do that.

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Anonymous said...

if you don't eat fastfood, it's kind of hard to eat 2000 cals/day every day. 12,000 is a horror thought (to me). even with macdonald's it seems like she'd be eating all the livelong day. so, I wonder if she really will even do that.guild wars 2 gold
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