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Spanish Town Mardi Gras - Fat suit fools.jpg

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.[1]

Experience of obesity[edit]

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.[2]

In media[edit]

Year Program Episode Person Synopsis
1994–2004 Friends Numerous episodes Courteney Cox as Monica Geller Monica reminisces about the time when she was a 255lb 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 to wear a fat suit so he can experience what it's like to be obese.
1998 Goosebumps Season 3, Episode 18 Patrick Thomas as Greg Banks Greg finds the supernatural camera from Say Cheese and Die! and plans to use it for his failing English project. After a fight with his friend Shari, with them snapping a picture of each other, Greg wakes up the next morning to find that he has become fat. Shari, however, loses weight constantly.

Greg gains more weight throughout the episode, growing fatter until his belly is exposed. Greg learns that he will explode and Shari will vanish if this isn't set right. Shari and Greg go to his brother Terry to reverse the photos. Greg grows fatter still and nearly explodes when he and Shari are returned to normal.

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".
2001 Shallow Hal Movie Gwyneth Paltrow as Rosemary Shanahan Hal Larson Jack Black has a history of dating only women who are physically attractive. Tony Robbins (playing himself) convinces Hal to see the inner beauty in women, which convinces him obese Rosemary has the same physical attractiveness Hal is really looking for.
2001 Love on a Diet Movie Andy Lau as Fatso, Sammi Cheng as Mini Mo Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng both play obese characters.
2002–2003 Mi Gorda Bella telenovela and numerous episodes Natalia Streignard as Valentina Villanueva Lanz / Bella de la Rosa
2002–2008 Monk Numerous episodes Adam Arkin, Tim Curry and Ray Porter as Dale The Wale Dale Biederbeck is a client and antagonist 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
2004 Little Britain Numerous episodes Matt Lucas as Bubbles DeVere and David Walliams as Desiree DeVere
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
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.
2010–2011 Llena de amor telenovela Ariadne Díaz as Marianela Ruiz y de Teresa Pavón de Sevilla / Victoria de la Garza Montiel (numerous episodes)
Valentino Lanús as Emanuel Sevilla Pérez (episode 202)
Azela Robinson as Fedra Curiel / Juana Felipa Pérez Fernández "La Reina" (episode 202)
2014 The Gifted Movie Anne Curtis as Zoe Tuazon/ Joey

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "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
  2. ^ "Tyra Banks Ex". November 4, 2005.

External links[edit]