700-Pound Woman Makes a Career Out of Eating -- a Lot
Donna Simpson, a single mom in New Jersey, weighs 700 pounds and is trying to gain an additional 300 pounds so that she can claim and hold the Guinness World Records' title of World's Most Obese Woman. She says that she couldn't do it without the help of her 4-year-old daughter, who shops with her, helps her prepare food, and feeds her so that she can pile on additional pounds.
How does someone who relies on a 4-year-old and a reinforced scooter to get around make a living? Online, of course. Simpson pays for her $580-to-$750 per week eating habit plus other expenses by, basically, being overweight. She has a website, OfficialDonnaSimpson.com, geared toward "fat admirers," where people pay to see her eat and flaunt her flab.
She claims that she has 7,000 paying fans, and makes nearly $100,000 annually from the site, according to the Daily Mail. A three-day membership to her site goes for $7.95, and a one-month membership costs $19.95. For that you get to see videos like "Squashing," "Blue Dress" and "Eating a Pie" plus access to more than 270 photos. She believes the record she holds as Heaviest Woman to Give Birth sets her apart from other big women with similar sites.
Apparently, there are a lot of people out there who enjoy watching Simpson eat. She says that they even send her fattening food like protein shake powder to help her beef up quickly. "It makes people happy, and I'm not harming anyone," she says.
Except herself: She suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, plus it's very difficult for her to go anywhere. And then there's the example she might be setting for her daughter, Jacqueline, who Simpson claims prefers healthy foods, like salad, and is active in sports.
You might wonder about the birth of her daughter. It took a team of 30 medical professionals to deliver her during a high-risk Caesarean. She is the daughter of Simpson's former long-term partner, Phillipe Gouamba, from whom she recently split. Simpson told the Daily Mail that she's looking for a new partner to help feed her the 15,000 calories per day she requires, so he can relieve her daughter of those weighty responsibilities.
Simpson has been married before and also has a 15-year-old son. She says that both her partners loved her largeness, and did their best to contribute to it. Her first husband was a chef who brought her leftovers when he came home late at night, according to Wikipedia. Her next partner, she hopes will be "handsome, slim and at least 10 years younger than me," she told the Daily Mail.
Don't be surprised to see media-hungry takers who fit those requirements lining up for the position. They might well appreciate the television face-time they could get from a reality show that could be in the works any minute now.
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.