Donna Simpson, the 600-pound woman who has claimed she is on a quest to reach 1,000 pounds, now says that she just tells her "fans" about that lofty goal in order to sweeten their fantasies about her.
Simpson says she likes being overweight and continues to state that she wouldn't mind being heavier. Her partner supports her decision because he enjoys her size. He, like Simpson's other fans, find very big women very sexy.
While Simpson is by no means the only obese woman who claims to like being fat (a whole supersizedsubculture exists), her case is representative of other groups, too-those who suffer with addictions and those who suffer with severe obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
See, Donna Simpson isn't cute or funny or just "different." She is psychiatrically disordered. She is addicted to food the way some people are addicted to heroin. She also shares the pathological obsession with her appearance that afflicts those with body dysmorphic disorder, whose lives are ruined by dwelling on minor facial characteristics as ugly or disfiguring. She is Michael Jackson, but needs no plastic surgeon, because she can blow herself up as big as a balloon all by herself.
The fact that Simpson's partner is her cheerleader in disfiguring herself and leaving herself vulnerable to hypertension, diabetes and sudden cardiac death means he is willing to sacrifice someone he "loves" to his sexual desires. He is no different than a man who might fantasize about an anorexic woman and help her starve herself near death. He is no different than a man who might like the sex he has with his cocaine addicted girlfriend and keep her supplied.
The fact that the Simpsons are raising a 3-year-old daughter makes the fact that they embrace their psychological symptoms even more dicey. Watching your mother put herself at risk while her partner fuels her pathological quest is exceedingly unlikely to lead to self-esteem or a sense of safety in life. We are living at a time and in a culture when few among us are willing to state the obvious. We seem so worried about unfairly judging others that we tacitly endorse their pathologies as quirks or oddities or sacred manifestations of free will.
Well, this one psychiatrist, this one time in Donna Simpson's life, is prepared to simply tell the truth: Being 600 pounds is abnormal. Wanting to be heavier is a psychiatric symptom. Having a partner who urges you to keep gaining weight is proof he likes hurting you. And having your 3-year-old daughter watch the whole dark drama is reprehensible.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatry correspondent for FOX News Channel and a New York Times bestselling author. His book, "Living the Truth: Transform Your Life through the Power of Insight and Honesty" has launched a new self-help movement including
. Dr. Ablow can be emailed at