ALMOST 700,000 online viewers have watched “A Fat Rant,” a YouTube sermon that dares fat women to stop obsessing about how they could look and start feeling good about the way they are.
And if you’re one of them, you will understand the brazenly self-righteous appeal of “A Fat Rant’s” creator, Joy Nash, talking to the camera, tooling around in her convertible, West Adams in the background, and walking through the rose garden at Exposition Park.
Other performers may try to reform America’s attitude toward fat, but Nash wants to reform fat people’s attitude toward themselves. “We need to expand our souls,” she says, “and I think there are a whole lot of fat people out there who can use a whole lot more self confidence. Stop putting life on hold.”
Off-camera and sitting down for lunch at the Eat Well diner in Silver Lake, Nash orders a turkey club sandwich and green salad. She will tell you that she first wrote “A Fat Rant” as a monologue for a USC drama class, and that although she’s performed it live a few times, “if it wasn’t for YouTube, hardly anyone would’ve seen it.”
Stylish in her Target jacket and her Pepe jeans from Marshalls, Nash succeeds on the merits of the in-your-face persona she has developed. Doctors have called her “moderately obese,” but at 224 pounds and 5-foot-8, she will tell you that she is fat but couldn’t care less. Which is entirely the point of “A Fat Rant.”
“If you ask the fashion industry, I barely deserved to be allowed to wear clothing. And I’m definitely, definitely fatter than the girl who should not be wearing that,” she pronounces to the camera in a droll parody.
Since “A Fat Rant” first hit the Web, it has touched a nerve. With close to 60 video replies, it was one of the most replied-to videos on YouTube last month. What makes it stand out in the YouTube crowd is the outpouring of emotion it has generated from viewers. Nash has received more than 2,500 e-mails, 20 of which were marriage proposals.
At 26, Nash has a day job as a personal organizer. She may have ambitions for television, but for now, it’s the video that has given her a platform to voice her indignation toward the slim-obsessed America — and her exhortation toward the fat of the world.
“Don’t buy any more clothing in sizes that are too small — clothing that will ‘motivate you to get slimmer,’ ” she chides in the video. “And throw out the stuff that doesn’t fit anymore. It’s just taking up space and .” Nash continues on, colorfully, but you’ll have to go to YouTube or latimes.com/fatrant to hear it.
Heavier women just don’t like to shop as much as their skinny counterparts, she contends. So they spend less money and, as a result, the clothing industry tends to overlook them.
The video is “about convincing fat women that they’re good enough, right now, to look good, right now,” she says. That way, once they start buying more clothes, they’ll have more to choose from. “A Fat Rant” has inspired more than 690 pages of debate in its comment section, one of the largest tallies in the history of YouTube’s popular entertainment category — almost 7,000 individual comments. Inevitably, some have been mean-spirited. “Face it,” wrote one anonymous user, “There will never be a fat president.”
But Nash laughs it off.
“I got living to do, baby,” she says.