The Esoteric Culture of Weight "Gainers"

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I'm sure everyone remembers the recent headlines of the 42-year old woman in New Jersey, Donna Simpson, who is attempting to become the fattest women on earth. While she currently weighs ~600lbs she is hoping to crack 1000lbs eventually. Apparently her boyfriend is supporting the initiative, although her little child is too young to voice an opinion. In order to feed her habit, she raises money through her website which allows random men to watch her eat excessively. While this certainly sounds a bit nutty, and goes against grain of the prevailing dieting culture of Western society, gainers, as they are known, are more common that you may think.

In short, gainers are individuals who fantasize about becoming fat. There is a large sexual component to gainer culture with many individuals being fat fetishists or adipophiles - that is, individuals who find fondling an overweight person's adipose tissue sexually arousing. The presence of such adipophiles may explain how Donna Simpson manages to draw approximately $750/week via her website to pay her hefty grocery bill.

A recent article in the Globe and Mail, interviewed a couple of gainers.

One such male gainer, who blogs on, says the following:

"I love how my weight feels when I run, falling and shaking my body shortly after each step..."

"The only thing I love more than being fat, is getting fatter."

In a recent blog post, he also writes the following:

Lately I've been infatuated with the physics of my belly. I'm starting to notice how it moves with me, how it gets in the way, and it makes me daydream about how it will feel when I'm bigger. The more attention I pay to it, the easier it becomes to imagine sizes like 300, 400. I like to think I don't romanticize it, but I can't help lusting over those sizes.

A Canadian female gainer, supposedly weighing in at over 550lbs, who blogs at Amy's World, and who, according to her bio dislikes dieting, says the following in a recent blog entry:

Happiness: I've had some health concerns in the past. At a recent check up they ran some new tests that weren't available before, and either I've made some astonishing progress, or maybe they were just wrong. I now have a clean bill of health.

You know what that means, don't you?

This fat ass is finally going to get fatter...

There are, in fact, entire websites dedicated to gaining weight, such as GainerWeb, "the premiere website dedicated to the art of growing a bigger and better belly."

I was really hoping for a profound conclusion to this post, but all I can say is: The internet is an interesting place...


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While reading this post, I was reminded of pro-ana sites.

The internet is profoundly interesting, so I think that ending is fair. Nice post

As someone actively researching internet cultures, I can tell you, you don't know the half of it.

The internet is more than just an interesting place, the internet is an astounding place.

I do not find this interesting, I find it disgusting and totally self-centered and irresponsible of the "gainers". Guess who's going to paying the health care bill when these people can't move and need medical attention.

I have to agree a bit with Jennifer. My Paramedic father damaged his back badly lifting a morbidly obese man into an ambulance. We all pay for the heavier duty medical equipment to deal with people of this size.

By Treespeed (not verified) on 19 Apr 2010 #permalink

At first when I read the title of this post I thought you were going to address powerlifters and any other (are there any?) athletes who intentionally gain weight for weight-classed competition, which is also pretty fascinating and possibly not a whole lot healthier than this sort of thing.

I feel bad for Donna Simpson's young child. This woman is creating a hard life for her kid and, I suspect, making him/her grow up too quickly. Aside from the responsibilities of having a mother who canât move around well (much less throw a ball around in the backyard), 600lbs puts a lot of strain on the heartâ¦and I canât see this woman living very long. This child will be motherless by the time he/sheâs a teenager, all because Ms. Simpson decided she wanted to make a few bucks.

Iâm all for being open-minded and getting your rocks off, but when childrenâs lives are affected itâs just not cool. If you want to let men watch you eat cake and try to make it to 1000lbs while youâre single, go nuts. Once a kid is in your life, though, try putting them first.

Perhaps she should set aside some of this money as I hear that oversized coffins can be quite expensive.

I realize I am late commenting on this post, but this story reminds me of a website I came across several years ago. It was a forum for "feeders" and "feedees," as they called themselves.

The feedees did indeed want to become as fat as possible. For a number of them, their real goal was to become infantilized. They wanted to become so fat that they literally couldn't take care of themselves. Their feeders would have to take care of them as if they were 600 lb babies. They were quite upfront about this. It was both fascinating and appalling.

There's a movie about this dealio - 'Feed' (2005).

BTW The child referred to above also has a father, the one who also happens to actively participate in the obese woman's addiction and in fact is a crucial component of it - please feel free moralise about his terrible parenting too!