The news that IMG had introduced a plus-size male division with the 40-inch-waisted Zach Miko — his body type dubbed by the agency as “brawn” — as its poster child instantly spawned an Internet dialogue, with the reaction generally being one of praise for IMG on expanding beauty ideals and promoting a body-positive message of acceptance. One full-figured man, however, was none too pleased.
“What I didn’t appreciate was the press referring to him as ‘the first plus size male model,’ when that was most definitely me,” The Fat Jewish (né Josh Ostrovsky) wrote in an e-mail over the weekend. The Instagram sensation reached out to WWD to defend his title.
The Fat Jewish: I was incredibly proud. Being a beautiful girthy man should be celebrated, and it’s nice to see the media beginning to shine a light on us so that we can inspire others to celebrate their Shreklike figures. That Zach guy is hot — I would probably have sex with him after three margaritas. I’m not even gay, I just know how to appreciate a nice looking man. What I didn’t appreciate was the press referring to him as “the first plus-size male model,” when that was most definitely me. I was approached by Scott Lipps of One Management in a hydration tent at Burning Man over two years ago, and he told me I looked like a beautiful adult bearded baby. I’m the Magellan of plus-sized male modeling, charting a new course for the future of male body standards.
WWD: I think this can only be settled in the streets. Would you challenge Zach to a Zoolander-esque walk off?
TFJ: Walking is cardio, and I’m not really that into cardio.
WWD: As a plus-size man, does your figure present issues, fashion-wise?
TFJ: I have nothing against big and tall stores, but all of my clothing is now made custom because I refuse to be seen in garments that anyone else owns. One time I walked by a guy wearing the same jacket as me and I immediately took it off and gave it to a homeless man because I couldn’t be seen like that. Also, now there’s a homeless man walking around in a Saint Laurent trenchcoat, which makes me happy because I imagine that he’s in the streets looking fierce AF.
WWD: How do you maintain your plus-size figure? What’s your diet like?
TFJ: I don’t start eating until after sundown, and then I consume complex carbohydrates until I pass out.
WWD:Your face is your livelihood. Tell me your beauty secrets. Do you using antiaging creams or deep condition your dread?
TFJ: This may sound crazy, but it’s all about keeping your skin young, and the best way to do that is dolphin semen. A well-known female beauty expert who used to write for the New York Times told me about it, it’s illegal to obtain in the United States, so she has it sent to her illegally from the Dominican Republic. It has rejuvenated my skin.