Have you heard of FatBooth? It’s an iPhone/iTouch/iPad app that lets you take a picture of your face or someone else’s and make it fat.
Ohhh, hahahaha, oh boy! How funny! What a brilliant use of anyone’s free time! Let me go run out and get an iPad right now so I can make people fat.
This app has been out for a month but I don’t have any of the above products so I was unaware of it until it was recently reported that Whitney Port (of The Hills and The City) posted a FatBooth photo of herself.
Ms. Port wrote on her website, “Seriously every time I look at this photo I giggle uncontrollably! [. . .] What do you guys think of my extra chins? Is it a good look for me?!”
Somehow I don’t think she’d be giggling uncontrollably if she woke up that size one day. But if you do a quick Google search about the app, you’ll find a large number of reviews or informal postings talking about how funny this app is. One blog post wrote, “Whether it’s your own picture, a friend’s, a family member or anyone it’s hilarious to see them obese. Though I must add it’s much more humorous when the person is thin.” This is then followed by a picture of a hamburger saying, “Yum Yummy.”
Oh, yes. Boy am I laughing now. Hilarious, indeed.
The post also mentions the “Aging Booth” app which is basically the same thing except instead of making you look fat, it makes you look old. Oh, those jokers! Is there a FatAgeBooth where I can make my friends old and fat? Because that would be hysterical!
Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything inherently wrong with being fat or old. What makes me angry is using these states of life for entertainment – or, more specifically, the idea that they’re to be avoided at all costs. The joy with these apps seems to come from the fact that you can delete that picture. That it isn’t what you look like. But what if it was? It reminds me of the Think B4 You Speak commercials that work to make people understand why it’s not okay to use words like “gay” as a casual insult or comment, as in “That’s so gay!” To make the point, in one commercial someone says, “Oh, that is SO Emma and Julia” as a way to demonstrate that we wouldn’t like having our identity used as a synonym for dumb or stupid.
So when I see this app, all I see are people saying, “Ha ha ha, boy wouldn’t it suck to look like you! But it sure is funny!” Again, fat and age are some of the last acceptable things people are allowed to publicly make fun of. My size does not exist for your amusement. My grandmother’s age does not exist for your amusement.
Are the FatBooth and Aging Booth apps just harmless entertainment? Is there anything to be learned from them? Or are they just a waste of digital space? And they cost $.99 each. Okay, so that’s just some spare change – but it’s going somewhere. Should money be made off this entertainment?