How many famous fat people from history can you name off the top of your head? I get stuck at around four (Mama Cass, Queen Victoria, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry VIII). Fat people, generally, are forgotten, the ones who are remembered often ridiculed for their size or eating habits. This is why my current favourite Instagram account, @HistoricalFatPeople, is so important.
This isn't just because I'm bad at history (though I am, honestly, quite bad at history). It's because our history is written by those in power, and how we learn about it is shaped by modern standards. The lack of physical documentation of people before the late 19th century, paired with the idealised, revisionist vision of period dramas, could easily lead you to believe that fatness is an exclusively modern phenomenon.
But while there were certainly far fewer fat people in the past, it's not like "there were zero fat people", as the anonymous person behind @HistoricalFatPeople told me. We just didn't see them. Or if we did, we quickly forgot them. And so their account was born, to make sure that people "see that fat people exist and have always existed".
Click through to hear what they have to say about filling Instagram with real body diversity, why they feature fat "bad guys", and who their favourite fat figures from history are.