A fatsuit is a bodysuit-like undergarment used to thicken the appearance of an actress or actor of light to medium build into a heavy-set or obese character, in conjunction with prosthetic makeup. Other spellings include fat suit and fat-suit. Fatsuits worn by characters are either deliberately visible or mainly concealed. Most are intended as unseen body padding beneath a costume (e.g., Rosemary Shanahan in Shallow Hal, and Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor), others appear as realistic flesh and are viewed directly (e.g., Fat Bastard in Austin Powers, and Les Grossman's hands in Tropic Thunder). A fatsuit is often used to provide comedic effect, as in "Weird Al" Yankovic's music video, "Fat" and the video "Keine Lust" by the German band Rammstein.
Experience of obesity
Fatsuits may also be used to impart the experience of being obese to the wearer, not just the appearance of obesity to their audience. The suit in this case is weighted, as well as padded. Where the intention is to impart the experience of being seen as fat in a community, its appearance must also be realistic and so a fatsuit rather than just a weight belt is needed. Several celebrities noted for their slimness have worn such garments and recorded their, and others', reactions as documentary of social attitudes to weight.
Fatsuits in media
|1994-2004||Friends||Numerous episodes||Courteney Cox as Monica Geller||Monica and others numerously reminisces about the times in which she was a 255lb obese teenager. Chandler calling her "fat" eventually encouraged her to lose weight.|
|1994||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Season 5, Episode 11||Will Smith as William "Will" Smith||Uncle Phil's personal trainer Susan Powter forces Will wear a fat suit so he can experience what it's like to be obese.|
|2000||Big Momma's House||Movie||Martin Lawrence as Malcolm Turner disguised as Hattie Mae Pierce (Big Momma)|
|2001||America's Sweethearts||Movie||Julia Roberts as Kathleen "Kiki" Harrison||Only in the flashbacks does she wear the fatsuit. She has "lost 60 pounds" in the present day scenes.|
|2001||Friends||Season 7, Episode 16||Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani||Chandler learns that Monica was actually planning on sleeping with Joey the night they first got together. This leads to Monica wondering what would her life have been like if she was with Joey. In the next scene Monica is cooking lots of food and calls Joey. Joey comes out of the bedroom to the table now being morbidly obese. Monica has to help him reach the table where he states his favourite food is "fried stuff with cheese".|
|2002-2008||Monk||Numerous episodes||Adam Arkin, Tim Curry and Ray Porter as Dale The Wale||Dale is a client of Mr. Monk. He used to weigh over 900lbs but slimmed down to 800lbs in the first episode.|
|2004||Fat Albert||Movie||Kenan Thompson as Fat Albert|
|2005||Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps||Series 5, Episode 8||Will Mellor as Gaz Wilkinson||Six months after splitting up with Donna, Gaz now weighs more than 18 stone (the maximum weight on his scales). He started to eat junk-food to fill the hole in his life and claims the lack of sex cause his weight to balloon. He eventually loses all the excess fat by three months of excessive masturbation.|
|2006||Click||Movie||Adam Sandler as Michael Newman||Michael Newman is fast-forwarded to 2017 where he is finally CEO, but now a 400lb junk-food addict who can't stop eating Twinkies. He eventually has numerous liposuctions and tummy tucks after hitting his head and have a heart attack during chemotherapy.|
|2007||Hairspray||Movie||John Travolta as Edna Turnblad|
|2007||Norbit||Movie||Eddie Murphy as Rasputia Latimore||Rasputia Latimore is the morbidly obese wife of Norbit who will do anything to stop him from leaving her.|
|2008||Tropic Thunder||Movie||Tom Cruise as the middle-aged hot-headed studio executive Les Grossman||It was Tom Cruise's idea to give the character large hands and have the character dance to "Low" which ending up becoming the film's most popular scene.|
|2008||My Big Love||Movie||Sam Milby as Macky Cordova|
|2009||How I Met Your Mother||Season 5, Episode 7||Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson||After finally getting into a relationship, Barney stops caring about how he looks and eventually gains a lot of weight. He then would rather eat than make-out with his girlfriend. He loses the weight after eventually breaking up with her.|
|2010||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1||Movie||Harry Melling as Dudley Dursley||
Harry Melling who had lost so much weight needed to wear a fatsuit in order to portray the role of Dudley Dursley in the movie since his last appearance in the role.
- "Actress Meg Ryan, in and out of character during filming with a fatsuit". The Daily Mail. 25 July 2008.
Hollywood sweetheart Meg Ryan gains ten stone... after donning a fat suit
- "Tyra Banks Ex". November 4, 2005.