Actress Makes Big Waves on the Net With 'Fat Rant' Video

The Internet's latest starlet, Joy Nash, can count herself among its heavyweights.

"A Fat Rant" — a video that urges chubby people to embrace their weight — has made the 224-pound aspiring actress a sensation since it was posted on YouTube this spring.

"I'm fat, and it's OK," the vivacious Nash says in her clip. "It doesn't mean I'm stupid or ugly or lazy or selfish. I'm fat."

The 7 1/2-minute clip has generated more than 812,000 views since it hit the Web on March 17. The success has floored the 26-year-old, who works a day job as an office assistant in Los Angeles as she waits for her big professional break.

Click here to view the clip.

"I figured that some people would identify with it, but I had no idea that it would become so far-reaching," she told

Nash wrote the monologue six years ago for an acting class at the University of Southern California. At the time, her best friend was dying of brain cancer.

"It made me angry when I would hear myself and people around me making excuses as to why they couldn't do things, when my friend — who really can't do things — is never, ever taking no for an answer," Nash said.

So the 5-foot-8-inch student penned a love letter of sorts to her body size, which doctors have categorized as "moderately obese." Nash filmed "A Fat Rant" six months ago as a clip for her acting resume.

"I'm not saying we should all be sitting around, patting ourselves on the back, cramming ourselves full of junk food with our sweatpants stapled to the sofa — obviously diet and exercise are vital," she says in the "Rant." "I am saying that if you do those things — eat right and exercise — and you still aren't thin, your life is not over."

The actress — who says she eats healthy and exercises regularly — rallies instead against those shops and designers that refuse to make clothing in her size, 18.

"Protest with your pocketbooks, people," Nash says in the monologue. "Shop at stores that sell halter tops in Triple X."

The low-budget video has elicited nearly 8,200 comments and 58 video responses, as well as mentions on "Entertainment Tonight" and in the Los Angeles Times. Last month, the New York Times dubbed Nash the de facto leader of the YouTube "Fat Rant" tribe.

"In general, the video-responders are profoundly moved by 'A Fat Rant,' and take Ms. Nash’s video as an occasion, paradoxically, to expose their bodies, as if inviting comment," the Times wrote on May 27.

The rant's positive message may be a hard pill to swallow for those who've grown up striving to be thin, said Sharlene Hesse-Biber, a sociology professor at Boston College and author of the book "The Cult of Thinness."

"You're in this land where many people are striving to lose weight," Hesse-Biber said. "And the kind of irony of all of it is the thinner we try to get, the fatter we become as a society. We have a Big Mac in one hand and a Splenda in the other."

The "Fat Rant" does give overweight women an important message of hope "to stop concentrating on your body and just live your life," Hesse-Biber said.

Personal e-mails have been overwhelmingly supportive, but online responses have been about 50 percent positive, Nash told

"I appreciate you saying that your weight is never an excuse to do anything," Cutekittygirl wrote. "You'd be surprised how many people think this way. I like your positive attitude, and you are beautiful."

Others are less kind to Nash.

"Obesity is epidemic in this country," Podiscrer wrote. "The fatter people get, the more excuses they create."

Nash says the reason she writes material like "A Fant Rant" for herself is there are not a lot of roles for fat women.

"I would love for that to change and be able to perform other people's work," she said.

Until then, she'll revel in her 15 minutes of Internet fame.

"Life starts now," she said. "This is the only chance you've got. Do something with it."