|Occupation||Model, photographer, hospitality worker|
|Known for||Successfully pursuing a plan to increase her weight to 200 pounds and posting photographs documenting her progress to the Internet|
Cherries, also known as Cherriesthegainer, is a pseudonymous web model who, prior to her involvement in paid modelling, successfully strove to increase her weight to 200 pounds. By 2013, more than 97,000 users had viewed the DeviantART account of her weight gain and more than 900 had signed up as watchers. Cherries explained her motivations and interests thusly:
|“||The most popular question I seem to get is "what got you into gaining?" The answer is, my boyfriend. He told me about a year ago that he liked bigger girls, and at first I thought he was joking. Then I realized he was serious and I thought he was weird. He would show me videos on youtube and random girls he found online, as well as the Fantasy Feeder website. He would tell me how I need to gain weight and that I was too skinny, but I just wouldn't listen. Until just recently, that is. I started going on the Fantasy Feeder website myself just to check things out and see what it was all about. I decided to give gaining a shot for him. After all, it couldn't hurt. If I really didn't like it I could just stop and loose the weight again! I started gaining on October 17.||”|
Cherries only posted photographs with, at most, a few words of explanation; she did not take part in any of the lengthy discussions that followed her photo postings, other than to state, on 24 December 2009, "The reason I haven't replied to anyone is because they are all making bad comments. I don't want to comment back to them." Cherries' known online accounts went inactive circa 2009, and her present whereabouts, condition and doings were unknown for years. Nonetheless, users continued to offer opinions about the wisdom, or lack thereof, of her weight gain, in hopes of influencing other viewers.
After hundreds of posts, allegations were made in February 2013 that the owner of the DeviantART account from which the photos had been posted was not actually the real Cherries, but rather some other person who had posted her photos. The site http://www.bigcuties.com/cherries was brought to users' attention, which led to debate as to whether she had simply opted to make a career of her fatness. As of October 2013, the Twitter account
Cherriies had recent and frequent activity and more than 5,000 followers. She has a DailyMotion account with 14 videos that, in aggregate, have been viewed more than 400,000 times. She also has a spring.me account whose archives contain more than 2,000 of her responses to fans' questions and whose most recent activity was 6 June 2013. The spring.me messages tend to corroborate the details of Cherries' weight gain story as originally presented at the DeviantART site. Her shopping hobby and movie preference stated in her profile was also corroborated by other sources. On March 13, 2014, she announced her retirement from BigCuties, but she would be willing to return if she found extra time.
spring.me messages and DailyMotion Q&A
Cherries says that she lives in Bergen County, New Jersey. She describes herself as a "lover of food and cuddling." On her Tumblr account, chubbycherries, she describes herself as "Lover of cats, Top Gear, sushi, red pandas, laughter and sex."
Cherries met her boyfriend in a sophomore-year high school chemistry class. She graduated in 2006. Two or three years into the relationship, her boyfriend told her that he liked bigger women. He had, prior to that, frequently subtly hinted at his preference, e.g. by touching her stomach and telling her that she should eat more, but she had brushed it off. When he told her, it took her a long time to believe it. On 27 April 2012, she indicated, "I still go on top and have no problems with it. Plus my boyfriend loves it ;)" On 8 May 2012, she indicated that she has had three sex partners. On 7 June 2012, she answered "Yes" to a question, "Are you shaved downstairs?" On 11 July 2012, she described her parents' reaction to finding out about her site, "I don't even have words that would express how disgusted they were." When Cherries had been originally gaining weight, her parents had not known she was doing it on purpose, and her mother had told her that she looked bad, needed to lose weight, and should eat more healthily and go to the gym more.
On 28 July 2012, Cherries stated that she is 5'4" tall. On 18 September 2012, she described her boyfriend as a feeder. On 25 September 2012, she stated that she plans on getting married. She also implied that she was leaving it up to her boyfriend to decide when. On 31 December 2012, she noted that she enjoys beer very much.
On 3 January 2013, she wrote, "My boyfriend would like me to get to 250, or even a bit more but I don't really know what weight I want to be. I'm happy with where I'm at right now so I'm just enjoying it right now." On 10 February 2013, she wrote that her boyfriend "told me that he wouldn't mind if I was 300 but I've told him it most likely won't happen". She said that the number 300 sounded scary to her, but so did 200. She said that 280 was a possibility, but it would depend on her appearance and other factors as she gained weight. On 16 March 2013, she mentioned that she lives with her boyfriend and that she enjoys that many men fantasize and dream about her. That day, she also explained how she gained weight without attracting opposition from her parents by saying, "In the beginning I just started eating more around them and they didn't care, or notice, and then I had to hide snacks in my room and car and eat fast food almost everyday so they wouldn't know what I was doing."
She stated on 10 April 2013 that she enjoys working in the hospitality (hotel) industry. That same day (and also earlier, on 16 March) she confirmed that she originally began gaining weight to fulfil the wishes of her boyfriend, who has a fat fetish. She stated on 11 April 2013 that she had taken some community college courses but dropped out because she didn't like it, and that her bra size is 38D. She went from a size medium in shirts and 5/7/9 (mostly 7s) bottom to 18/XL or XXL dresses and size 18 bottoms, with XL, sometimes 2X panties. She has at times had red hair.
In a DailyMotion Q&A, she noted that she did not remember what inspired the name "Cherries," but that it was a gaming name she had come up with. She also described constantly (and sometimes subconsciously) touching, rubbing and playing with her belly, which she said was her favorite part of her body "because it's just squishy and fun and I just really like it." She also said that she liked her eyes, which are blue. When asked what she likes about being bigger, she said, "I'd say, being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want and not caring that I put on the weight. I just like being bigger. I just like the feeling of it and it's just fun to touch my stomach, and just... I just like it all around, I don't know. I don't mind it."
She said that she missed fitting into her old clothes, but other than that, there was nothing she missed. She said that she used to watch Scream over and over and that she used to be a World of Warcraft player but switched over to Horde. She named Guitar Hero, Day of Defeat and first person shooters in general as among her favorite games, and said that Call of Duty was definitely her favorite. She said, "I will try any new game really."
She said that she definitely did not feel she had become a sex symbol, "but I guess if I have, that's kind of nice, I guess." She also stated that initially, she had thought that she would want to lose the weight if she ever broke up with her boyfriend, because she had thought no one else would want to date her. But she had since decided that she liked the weight a lot. She said that she likes to ski in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Cherriesthegainer initially posted 18 photographs of her body, documenting her weight gain from 18 October 2008 to 7 December 2009. Her belly is exposed in all of the photos, and in six of the poses, she is using her hand to squeeze or pinch some of her belly fat. Her face is visible in 12 of the photos. Cherries' later, chubbier photographs tended to be more likely to be added to users' "favorites"; as of 23 October 2013, the totals were:
|Thumbnail||Image date||Cherriesthegainer's weight,
|Number of users who added|
the image as a favorite
Gallery of progress
This gallery shows Cherriesthegainer's progress to 200 pounds.
Most of the public feedback about Cherriesthegainer's endeavors was positive, with viewers' comments typically praising her efforts; complimenting her on the results she was getting; encouraging her to continue gaining weight (sometimes stating preferred target weights); offering advice on how she could gain weight (e.g. suggesting consumption of sticky rice or ice cream); voicing admiration for her confidence, "free will," "spirit," and love for her boyfriend; and expressing how her photographs stirred their desires. Some women explicitly expressed jealousy at Cherries' attractiveness.
Her belly was the focal point of many favorable comments, which complimented the beauty of her navel and general shape of her midsection. Her squeezing of the belly fat was deemed to demonstrate and emphasize the size, suppleness, and other pleasing qualities of her love handles. Some users were particularly impressed by the proportionality of her weight gain and how she carried the fat. They were of the opinion that her belly was growing into a shapely muffin top that nicely complemented her swelling face, arms, rear, thighs, and so on.
panos16 commented, "some people on weight gain they only gain fat on their belly... Cherries over here gain everywhere and thats what making here very beatyfull... The person who is with you must be the luckiest person on earth".
She attracted a cult following, with some users referring to her as a goddess and themselves as worshippers. Some fans asked her to start a YouTube channel. Blackpool, England-based painter
keironusmoronus indicated an interest in drawing a nude portrait of her. The praise for the changes in her appearance was not unanimous; a few people said that she looked better before she gained weight or said that she looked disgusting at her new weight.
Critics ridiculed others' admiration of her as a "deviant artist," claiming that her photographs, although a form of self-portraiture, should not be considered legitimate art photography since any person can take a photograph of his belly. They argued that the photo quality would be better if she would try blank or natural backgrounds (as the indoor/closet look allegedly seemed "MySpace-y"); that the photos contained distracting elements such as a plant, decorations in the mirror, light on the side, etc.; and that finding a different setting on your camera would help with the lighting and sharpness, and eliminate blurring. Cherries' defenders howled that the critics' proposed changes would be unfaithful to Cherries' artistic vision and spoil the whole effect Cherries was aiming for; e.g.,
Toxxistorm remarked, "But then it's not art, then it is porn if you only care about how sexy she is, not technique, effort or skill."
fatzilla1000 rejoined that the photos' being used as porn did not preclude their serving other purposes.
Some users, believing Cherries was gaining weight for her boyfriend rather than for herself, expressed sadness that he did not accept her as she was, or predicted that he would leave her and she would find herself struggling to lose the weight. Some objected to her flaunting her weight gain, saying that it showed lack of self-respect. Others voiced concerns for her health or for the health of viewers who, influenced by her glamorizing obesity, might seek to emulate her.
deviatedlotus argued, "This is how girls ruin their lives. They go way too far for a guy who probably won't even be their man in a couple years. Even if they do stay together, he's clearly a selfish asshole to push her to cause this kind of damage to her body just to suit his tastes. You 'supporters' are short-sighted morons who ignore the deeper, more important root of this particular girl's situation."
lucydowning101 argued that "what 'Cherries' is doing is showing obesity in a good light, just as fashion magazines show being underweight in a good light. I don't believe either of these things is right but I cannot oppose popular culture. However, I can oppose obesity. Maybe some woman will feel better about themselves, but maybe some will look at it and think that it's okay to be obese, when it isn't."
Some critics questioned the reversibility of her bodily changes, with
LittleRedShany warning that Cherrys' liver, heart, kidneys, veins, blood, lungs, and other organs had become "layered and smothered in fat" and that "if you 'just lose the weight later', think of the lovely stretch marks and extra skin flapping around on your legs and arms cuz it stretched so much from your great amounts of gaining. Just 'food for thought'. A healthier food at that, I hope." However, some users complimented her on her stretch marks, which oddly enough do not seem visible in the pictures. She stated on 12 July 2012 that she has a few stretch marks, but "luckily there aren't too many". In her Q&A, she described having stretch marks on her stomach and legs that she did not like.
Cherries' fan group often dismissed critics' concerns as the result of cultural "brainwashing" and failure to think critically and independently. They accused the critics of making questionable assumptions and overgeneralizations. E.g.,
LIKESEMBIG123 wrote, "More thin people than heavier people have higher blood pressure. Skinnier people are also found to get sick more often. Just because someone is gaining weight, or already fat, doesn't mean they have health problems. If she was like 400 plus pounds, and completely inactive, then I'd worry because muscles would be deteriorating, and her health most likely (although not always) failing. I know plenty of people 250-300 pounds who are active and have good numbers."
The defenders further argued that Cherries could break up with her boyfriend if she felt pressured to do something she found unpleasant. Some of them expressed disgust with what they perceived as arbitrary double standards; e.g.
Solar-Prower argued, "People change their bodies all the time for sex and eroticism and do you even take them into account? Breast implants. Intentionally making yourself skinny."
Chaos-Shadow-Ex expressed similar sentiments:
|“||Why do you (if you do) smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol when it's gonna cost your health? Why trade health for stress relief? Everybody every day makes choices that impact their health. Even vegetarians are taking a health risk. Sure they get some protein from some veggies they eat. But not enough. The lack of meat in ones diet can lead to serious protein insufficiency. But it doesn't happen alot. The point is, why target this one kind of person for intentionally gaining weight? There are plenty others making health risk choices more dangerous than this one. Better yet, don't question ANYONE's lifestyle choices. It's their life, let them handle it the way they want.||”|
Some critics of Cherries' actions accused her encouragers of selfishly seeking their own aesthetic enjoyment at the expense of her health. They saw gaining weight for sex appeal as misprioritization, with
argle01 arguing, "Life goes on after sex is done" and saying that the encouragers did not care, because they would move on to the next fat woman.
Myrth1 wrote, "she will die and you will be able to masturbate over her photos . . . . The real problem is that such freak is encouraging this girl to keep harming herself. And all I want is to stop him. Because why someone is suppose to suffer only because that guy is aroused by obesity?" In response,
clubjunkie wrote, "What a horribly condescending and judgemental person you are. . . . . Who mentioned masturbation? I defended this girl's right to do what she wanted with her body and said she was beautiful. . . . . Plenty of people (men and women) find this erotic and sexy. And few would have the guts to even post these kinds of shots on here . . . ."
When Cherries reached her target weight of 200, there was an outpouring of congratulations, although some expressed regret that she was stopping there.
bob2356 wrote, "yay now the next 200". She was described by others as a "vision of voluptuous plenty," a "handful of plump sexiness," and "200 glorious pounds of pure beauty."
spantherix, a particularly ardent defender, wrote in response to a comment that unhealthy people promoting obesity are the last thing we need:
|“|| "The last thing we need!" are people like YOU who think they have a right to decide what's good and what's not! In past history chubby people were the norm and thin people were targets to laugh about. Now it changed to the opposite so extreme, that we get girls thinking size 0 was perfect and starve to death!
People like YOU are the problem, who think they can decide for others! Leave people alone and take your ignorance with you! If YOU have a problem with obese people, YOU are the problem not them! They live happily without trying to force others into their own lifestyle! -.-' . . . .
You're talking plain bullshit! It's disgusting how people all follow this lemming like new age medicine publications without looking behind the scenes! Fact is, all this "turn slim" crap is only made to earn money on fat people by selling pills to them! As long somebody is not "extremely fat" life is NOT in danger at all! And this girl on picture above here is NOT! "Too fat" is something we can say about people who can barely walk and don't fit out of the door anymore. But spreading this false information at this picture here is just embarassing misinformation! This girl is anything other than "too fat"! Only because she has a little belly doesn't mean anything at all! Nature even made us like this to store energy inside our bodys! There are "slim" people much sicker than some big people, who can be very healthy! Your cheap shot "obese = sick" makes me sick since it's just WRONG!
Your calculation "being obese = unhealthy" is just bullshit and it's sad that you really believe this... There are so MANY other facts not mentioned inside this big topic. I know about many big people having a long and happy life while others thin as hell suffering to death being sick. People who are big can turn older than people who are too thin and THAT'S a fact! Being too thin and having too little reserves means that if your body needs energy but gets none, THIS is bad! Having some overweight but not extreme means nothing bad! Some people are obese but still their doctors say they are completely healthy and fine, including myself! It's riddiculous how humans think they do know everything about life allready, so they start to talk about such topics as if they knew all facts... While there are still things NOT known and we do NOT know everything at all! So many questions still! We in fact can't just say being obese is bad since we still don't know enough about our own body! . . . .
Do you know what's unhealthy too? It's unhealthy if you're not happy about yourself! And that's true! If you're sad all the time and unhappy about yourself or life, your psychic state can lead to ways of physical body illness! Chubby humans who just don't care as much you do and just enjoy life, are happier than you, since they care less about every little crap. This means their happiness expands their lifes! And psychological effects on lifespans IS a fact proven allready! So go on counting your salad leafs, while others just enjoy life. It's YOUR health not theirs...
|“|| Cherries is not "advocating" obesity, she's not telling anyone else to start gaining weight. Just like people doing extreme sports do not usually "advocate" doing extreme sports. . . . . I think being chauvinistic about your own preferences and patronising towards those who don't share them is much worse than "advocating unhealthiness" (hey, have you seen all the adverts in the TV with Cherries asking people to live in an unhealthy manner? Yeah, me neither!). Do you hold the same attitude towards gay people? . . . .
You know what else kills people? Living. You can't avoid the death that comes at the end. Sports are also dangerous. Crossing the road is also dangerous. You are risking your life by living and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. What's wrong with sacrificing your health for the sake of enjoying yourself, or as you put it, "laziness"? Are you just jealous that people like Cherries are happier than you are, even though you are presumably a Playboy role model weighing 10 kgs? I cannot see another reason why you would be so concerned how others live their lives. . . .
|“|| I don't see any ethical differences between girls forcing their bodies to be skinny and girls forcing their bodies to be fat. Of course, there's a sociological difference — one is considered "normal" and the other "weird", but the truth is that they're practically the same (and I find them both a little silly).
The critiques here in the comments have always something in common — their authors are shocked that you're proud of something they consider shameful, cannot imagine a person would actually want to gain weight, automatically connect it with being unhealthy and dangerous or even self-mutilation (when losing weight can often get just as dangerous). They are insulted that while they live under the pressure of "have to be thinner, have to stay thin", you don't. And then, because that's the only coping mechanism they know, they join the society in shaming you and calling you names.
In my case, I'm chubby and I'd like to be less chubby, so I don't really share your opinion on this, but for fuck's sake, I have a brain and I'm not using it for dumb prejudices. It doesn't really take that many brain cells to imagine a man or a woman whose beauty ideal is fat instead of skinny. . . . .
Many skinny people are naturally skinny — and those don't have to possess strong will or resist temptations. The greatest eaters I've ever encountered were skinny people with quick metabolisms who ate unhealthy food all day. Some of these people actually want to get more fat under their skin because they're technically underweight which bears its own share of health issues (or girls want to have more curves) — but they can't.
And then you have skinny people with tendencies of gaining weight who watch their diet all their life in order to be skinny. I don't worship any of these body types, but I respect them. . . . .
A huge percentage of skinny people (I wonder if it's even over 50% — but it really depends on the country and on the age group) are naturally skinny, and can be as lazy as their chubby counterparts, so there's nothing to reward.
Beauty ideals are not formed by shady logic. They're often laughably irrational. Sometimes they do have one thing in common — but it's not rewarding hard work, it's rewarding inaccessibility. In ancient Japan/Egypt, it was white skin that you could afford only if you didn't work outside, in modern first-world countries it's the perfect balance between skinny and curvy that naturally skinny and naturally chubby people can hardly achieve. Really skinny people are just lucky that their body type is easy to mistake for the ideal — it's easier to overlook a thin arm than a fat roll. That's it. Tadaah. There's not much logic here, or not the just kind that you were looking for. . . . .
[T]he current beauty ideal isn't being as bony as you can. It's about being the perfect balance which is hard to achieve for both naturally skinny and naturally heavy people. Some of them can reach it if they "work for it" . . . but most of them can't. And then there's the lucky few who were born with the perfectly balanced body type who get all the "glory" for nothing.
The beauty ideal is not really reward-based, it's inaccessibility based. I guess if you're a shallow enough person, you can devote most of your free time to maintaining the ideal body and get a few pegs higher on your social status, and in that case you could call it a reward, but that's just pathetic.
Oh and show me the studies that say that most skinny people have to work for it, please . . . .