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
- An episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has Will wearing a fatsuit when a personal trainer dares him to feel what his overweight uncle feels.
- In the movie Norbit, Eddie Murphy wears a fatsuit with prosthetic make-up to play one of the three characters he plays in the movie, "Rasputia Latimore".
- In three episodes of Monk, the three actors (Adam Arkin, Tim Curry and Ray Porter) who played Dale the Whale wore fatsuits to appear extremely overweight.
- On the TV show Friends, Courteney Cox frequently wore a fat suit as Monica for flashbacks. Once in an alternate reality, Joey is married to Monica and is morbidly obese.
- An episode of George Lopez features Ernie with a fatsuit and prosthetic makeup.
- The 2007 film version of Hairspray has John Travolta wearing a fatsuit to secure the role of Edna Turnblad.
- The Big Momma's House films have been criticized for being a joke about a transvestite fatsuit, and nothing more.
- In Click (2006 film), Adam Sandler wears a fatsuit to show his character Michael Newman in 7 years time after neglecting his life.
- In the TV show How I Met Your Mother episode "The Rough Patch," Neil Patrick Harris wore a fatsuit and accompanying prosthetic makeup to show how "couple spread" was affecting the relationship of his character Barney Stinson with his girlfriend Robin Scherbatsky. Immediately after breaking up, he appears as his normal, svelte self, once again on the prowl for women.
- "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.
- Stuart Heritage (10 November 2010). "Big Momma's House 3: once, twice, three times a fake lady". The Guardian.
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