While on my Friday night prowl of Channel 4′s online catch-up service, 4od, I saw a new documentary had been uploaded. My Big Fat Fetish seemed like the kind of light-hearted fluff that I could cope with before an early night. I’d seen a few tweets about it and gathered that women were being paid to sit around in their underwear, eating and chatting online – aka what I do for FREE every evening. The blurb starts off:
Many people try to lose weight; My Big Fat Fetish is about big women who are happy with their weight and some who want to get even fatter.
Magazines and online websites featuring big beautiful women – also known as gainers – have become more and more popular. These women love their fat bodies and there are millions of men around the world who admire them and are willing to pay to watch them eat online.
Until finishing those paragraphs, I thought “fetish” had been used purely for purposes of alliteration, not realising the extent to which the weight and appetites of these women had been sexualised. This fetish manifests in extreme binge eating and is done with the intent of gaining massive amounts of weight. The women dedicate their entire lives to getting bigger, some do so until their are in need of constant care; the largest woman on the show needs to be washed, toileted and given food by her son. She can’t walk at all without supporting herself on the walls and requires a mobility vehicle to go any further than a couple feet.
I didn’t think I could widen my eyes any more until one of the women admitted that her fans want her to eat until she is entirely helpless. Apparently, taking care (I use that term very loosely) of a woman and feeding her is their number one fantasy. Not a mention was made about their concern for the woman’s health – indicating that there isn’t any.
Frankly, I felt very upset after watching this. I don’t pass an ounce of judgement on the women, it just makes me worry. Did you catch the programme when it aired? What was your take on it?
Image from Channel4.com