From the serie "GLOBESITY"
Donna painting her toenails in her bathroom at her home on April 2011.Donna Simpson is an American 44-year-old woman from Old Bridge, New Jersey. She already weighs 602 pounds and has expressed a desire to attain a target weight of 1,000 pounds. Donna already holds the Guinness World Records as the "Heaviest woman to give birth”, when she gave birth to Jacqueline in 2007 weighing 532 pounds. She maintains a website where fans pay to watch her eat and access photos of her body. Some fans send her food, she also receives hate mails.
The transformations Donna choose to make with her body bring up a lot of questions about our bodies. I think her experience and voice are important in my Globesity ’s project. Few people understand the causes and reality behind obesity, and different cultures regard weight and size differently. In the US, many people think being fat is a choice or a sign of laziness, ignoring research that shows that most extremely fat people suffer from an underlying genetic, mental-health or medical issue. Although the US is one of the fattest countries in the world, obesity is highly stigmatized. Donna has had a lot of psychological trauma in her life, and I think her desire to keep gaining weight was a reflection of this abuse. It was also her way of being both fat and proud by taking her weight to the extreme. She told me once that she also wanted to show that “an obese person can have a family, have a good man and live a good life”. You don’t have to agree with her choice, but I do think it is important to be tolerant of the choices people make in their life and to understand them. A few years ago, Donna decided to make some drastic changes and lead a healthier life. She turned away from the fat fetish world, replacing videos of her eating with a blog about her journey to health. She decided to go on a diet in order to become more self-sufficient and to be able to do a better job of raising her children.
DONNA SIMPSON, United States
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