Anti-Obesity Drive? Not For These Ladies: It's a Living

Donna Simpson says she's not aiming to become world's fattest woman.

March 16, 2010 — -- Donna Simpson's livelihood depends on staying fat.

At 600 pounds, Simpson is a successful "model" on, a Web site for men who like large women.

"I have fans who send me baklava and cheese cake and everything else you can imagine," says Simpson, a pale brunette with slicked-back hair. "I'm heavy and I wouldn't mind being heavier."

Simpson attracted intense scrutiny this week, after the UK newspaper Daily Mail ran a story about her alleged quest to gain another 400 pounds and become the fattest woman on earth. But Simpson, a stay-at-home mother of a three-year old girl, says the Mail twisted the truth.

"The whole thing about the 1,000 pounds is a fantasy I provide to my fans," she tells, upset about the exaggerated coverage.

Husband Supports Donna Simpson

Simpson first fell under the spotlight three years ago when she became the world's fattest woman to give birth at 530 pounds.

Her husband, Philippe Gouamba, told ABC he stands behind her.

"I support her because I enjoy it," he says.

Like many men, Gouamba says he finds his wife's weight sexy.

Plus-Size Models Face Health Concerns

Though Simpson is not aiming for a world record, many BBW or Big Beautiful Women, as they are known, concede that the weight carries significant health risks.

The government says that obesity increases the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even some types of cancers, and First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced her battle against Americans' childhood obesity is her top priority this year.

But Mikey Garcia, owner of Mikey's BBW (Big Beautiful Women) Club in Waterford, Mich., points out that many thin women are also in poor health, because they are often dieting or smoking.

"Just because a woman is a bigger size doesn't mean she's not healthy," says Garcia.

Garcia, who weighs a buff 195 pounds says it took him years to admit his preferences, and didn't "come out of the closet" until his 30s.

"A lot of guys are into bigger women, but in our society it's not acceptable," says Garcia. "It's the last socially accepted form of discrimination. It would have been much easier to tell my family I'm gay than to say I like bigger women."

Positive Attention

The women of Supersized Bombshells, many of whom were mocked in school, and are now shunned in public, relish the admiration.

Priscilla Bell, a 26-year-old who weighs 355 pounds, says modeling for men allows her to be herself -- a self confident young mother. She says she receives hundreds of e-mails from her fans every day, and makes about $600 a month from her postings.

"There are men who look at me, and say I'm as beautiful as Tyra Banks or Heidi Klum," says Bell, whose best-selling video shows her cooking naked.

Bell says she likes to eat salads and protein bars and walks several miles a day to make sure she stays healthy.

"As long as I take care myself, I think it's OK," she says, admitting that her doctor is never pleased when she tells him she wants to remain above 300 pounds. "They don't like the weight gain, but I've always been overweight and I'm happy."

Big Business

Despite health concerns and supposed social stigma, Big Beautiful Model business is booming.

Men pay a $14.99 monthly subscription to see photos of Simpson wearing a Santa hat or posing in bed. For more cash, they can watch a video of Bell taking a bath or eating pizza. Fans often shower their favorite stars with gift-cards to Lane Bryant or restaurants.

Scores of start-ups around the country are cashing in on the attraction between men and women who weigh three or four times much as they should.

Stewart Hall, who started three years ago, says he now gets 3,000 hits a day and makes almost 1,000 new sales a month.