One of the strangest and most depressing markets in everything

by on July 14, 2011 at 10:18 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

The link is here.  It deserves more than a mere link in a list, yet I can’t bring myself to excerpt from it either, or for that matter to really comment on it.  It is estimated that the woman (the link is safe for work, by the way) earns $90,000 a year, although she denies this.  There’s the consumer surplus on top of that.

For the pointer I thank Andrew H.

Economists Do It With Models July 14, 2011 at 10:27 am

And yet people are having trouble figuring out how to continue to make money from things like music and books. Sigh.

jva July 14, 2011 at 10:31 am

Actually people do not have trouble figuring that out.
What people do have trouble with is figuring out how to continue making billions consistently in rapidly changing market conditions.

Mike July 14, 2011 at 11:30 am

Well, there are tons of authors/musicians, and very few morbidly obese splosh (food porn) fetishists. I suppose if an author was able to carve a niche that far from the norm for an underserved market, he could make good money as well.

Vik July 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

TGS repealed again? So what about prostitutes? That is assuming the non-coerced type.

rp July 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

Thank Tyler.

Now I want to kill myself.

John Glenn July 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

In the Andy Garcia movie “City Island,” one of the characters runs and is the talent in a similar business. See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1174730/synopsis

Hondo69 July 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

Makes me want to go for a jog.

TomHynes July 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

My bullshit detector just went off.

We know that an obese woman put up a web page and is trying to get publicity with the hope that people will watch her eat.

Is there any independent evidence that she is actually making money at this?

Rahul July 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I’ve heard more such weird stories, so this doesn’t seem so unlikely. Apparently there is even a whole porn genre dedicated to this; they are called “feeders”. Don’t ask why I know.

J Thomas July 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Her management team said that all estimates of her income are completely bogus. I did not see any estimate for how much her management team is paid.

Frank July 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I am a memeber of this fetish community. The number seems like total bs to me. Most BBW models don’t make enough to quit their day jobs from what I understand. There is also more compeition than people would assume.

TBG July 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

The thing is this woman and I have mutual acquaintances, and I’ve exchanged an email or two with her. She’s not making this up. *smh* I’m not with it, but it’s a free country.,

Anon July 14, 2011 at 11:39 am

You will be “with” her healthcare though amirite

TBG July 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm

So long as we pay taxes. What’s amazing is that she has a boyfriend that’s with all of this. Ideally, we wouldn’t have government healthcare, but methinks the health bills aren’t affecting her decision either way.

gwern July 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I’d want to see someone run the numbers first. If the obesity kills her quickly, then we might have a situation like smoking – the net effect to the government is saving money because the smoker/fat person is *not* using up decades of health care or nursing homes, and dies more abruptly than usual.

MC July 14, 2011 at 11:37 am

*Dislike*

Thelonious_Nick July 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

Not to my taste, but I fail to see anything truly objectionable here. Yes, what she is doing is not good for her health, but people pay all the time to see others do things that are not good for their health (the NFL, boxing). It is not evident to me that in the absence of the website she would be slim and healthy–rather, it seems like she’s making money from something she’d be doing anyway. And if some find pleasure from watching her eat, I don’t see why that should be bothersome either.

Kinch July 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

This is pretty much right. How is this significantly different from the average participant in the average hot dog eating competition?

Urso July 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I would dispute the idea that the participants in professional hot dog eating competitions are “average” in any meaningful sense of the term.

MetaThought July 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hot Dog eating champs tend to be thinner, thus eliciting less of the *ick* response.

Rahul July 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Watching them eat is enough for my *ick* response.

Mercy July 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm

This is hardly new, there was a time every carnival in America had a woman or man like this. Admittedly a time before the welfare state put a sensible limit on the depths of poverty-enforced prostitution to which a non-addict could fall. And of course it speaks to a rather dark part of human nature on the part of her “admirers”. But the lady no longer has to see them gawking, and can work from home – what an improvement in working conditions! And it’s surely better for her child than to be stuck with relatives, her only contact with her mother a postcard and a few dollars, sent whenever the freakshow pulls into a town with a post office.

TallDave July 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

It wasn’t nearly so much the welfare state as rising productivity.

I read a fascinating study a long ways back, looking at how an early 1800s U.S. welfare state might have worked. They concluded society probably could have afforded to provide something on par with a loaf of bread per week.

Mercy July 15, 2011 at 9:16 am

I mentally associate carnivals with America in the 30s so thought of the New Deal as killing them off. You are correct though they were dying before that.

econobiker July 18, 2011 at 10:16 am

Carnivals with “freakshows” went away only with the rise of universal television adoption and better health care which limited the typical birth defects affected persons who were used in freak shows – mostly declining by the 1960s.

A “fat lady” really was odd back in an era when most people were underweight and shorter in stature.

TallDave July 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Utility is in the eye of the beholder.

Swedo July 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Three thoughts:

Amazing she doesn’t have diabetes.

There is unfortunately no medicine that can cure either stupidity or obesity.

She’s an unfit parent in more than one way.

MyTyrone July 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

She is creating a negative externality but how is this different from homosexuality. Both negatively impact health, homosexuality is a genetic dead end. Male homosexuality causes a negative externality because it causes repulsion in most straight men. It is interestiong at how we treat the 2 things so differently.

Look the other way and live and let live.

JSK July 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

You’re a negative externality.

Frank July 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

There is nothing really depressing about this. The moral “ick” factor is because she isn’t someone most staright men want to have sex with. Plenty of skinny people have destructive habits and die young, but they don’t face the same moralizing.

Frankly, I fancy very obese women and I think she is much less attrachtive then other very obese pin up girls. I would give links but that would likely make me look like a viral markerter or spammer

Octavian July 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

Markets in everything depressing compared to what? Say underage prostitutes in any third world city?

Emily July 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Why is this more depressing than any other kind of sex work? Why is this more depressing than the thousands of women who become dangerously and unnaturally thin in exchange for money/status (or the millions of women who would if they had the time/resources/genes)?

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