Skepticism

Is The “Fattest Woman on Earth” a Hoax?

This story has been making the rounds: a 42-year old woman who is eating thousands of calories a day to reach her target weight of 1,000lbs. But is it really true? Short answer: no.

Even though she’s from New Jersey, it seems to have started with England’s famed and justly popular Daily Fail in an article titled The super-sized 43st mother who is determined to become the world’s fattest woman. Some choice quotes:

“The 42-year-old from New Jersey, U.S, is set on reaching the 1,000lb mark (71st) in just two years.”

“Ms Simpson already holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s fattest mother, when she gave birth in 2007 weighing 38stone.”

“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.)”

“To fund the massive $750 weekly food shop, she runs a website where men pay her to watch her eat fast food.”

The story was reprinted around the world, and got a link from The Stranger’s Slog, where readers were quick to point out that things didn’t seem quite right. For instance, Guinness no longer awards world records for fatness, and besides, heavier women have already given birth. Also, searches for Simpson’s feeder site turned up empty.

Last night, America’s shitty tabloids struck back at The Daily Fail when the New York Post published this typo-ridden counter in which Simpson clarified:

“This whole thousand-pound goal has gotten blown way out of proportion,” Simpson said of her pie-in-the-sky dreams.

“This is a fantasy of mine. It’s not reality, yet everyone takes this and runs with it.”

Simpson claims she only wants to be recognized as the heaviest woman to ever give birth.

The Post also contacted a spokesperson from Guinness to learn that “Guinness is thinking about creating a biggest birth mom category and considering Simpson’s application to be named largest living woman.”

So those are a few of The Daily Fail’s mistakes corrected, but what about Simpson’s web site where men pay to watch her eat and wash herself? The Post didn’t get any clarification about that. The first person to find it wins, and by “wins” I mean loses.

And for the record, Dan Savage is wrong to suggest this woman should have her kids taken away. Smokers, daredevils, snake handlers, creationists, anorexics, cancer patients, fishermen, and bomb disposal experts are free to have kids and so are people who eat a lot. Life’s unfair, get over it.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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8 Comments

  1. ‘So those are a few of The Daily Fail’s mistakes corrected, but what about Simpson’s web site where men pay to watch her eat and wash herself?’

    I just pictured that Simpsons episode when Homer wanted to receive worker’s compensation and Bart imagined himself as morbidly obese: “I wash myself with a rag on a stick.”

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