December 8, 2006
Little Fatty, China's Unlikely Cult Hero
What would it take to become a cult figure? Some people work hard at it to seek publicity. But for 19-year-old Qian Zhijun, it was kind of accidental. Qian has become a sensation in China with his pudgy face appearing everywhere online.
The overweight teenager from Shanghai, who works as a gas station intern, has become famously known as "Xiao Pang" or "Little Fatty." The China Daily newspaper described Qian as "the face that launched 1,000 clicks."
Not that Qian liked it when he first discovered that some Adobe Photoshop smarts had posted his porky features on the Internet in 2003 by superimposing his image onto movie stars and politicians. He was really upset and felt hurt.
Qian's superstar status shot up as his large head started appearing on the shoulders of famous names like Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe, Jim Carey, or even Mona Lisa! Witty webizens are having a field day using Photoshop's image editing ability to manipulate his image.
You can see Qian's face superimposed as the Roman general Maximus in Russell Crowe's Gladiator. a Brokeback Mountain gay cowboy and a roly-poly Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.
One of my favourites is the hilarious image of Qian sitting next to President George W. Bush, holding up his two fingers behind his head.
"Xiao Pang" has a website promoting him at www.xiaopang.cn. He's now being managed by web designer Gao Feng who was himself once overweight.
P.S. The news about "Little Fatty" has been circulating online for sometime now and I couldn't resist not posting it here for those who may have missed out.
For more on "Little Fatty"...
> Little Fatty's spoofs gallery
> How Little Fatty made it big
> "Xiao Pang" tells of growing pains