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“Fat Kid Dancing” is a meme based around acquired footage of a dancing, 230 pound, five year old Jessica Leonard from her first appearance on daytime talk show Maury in 2002.
Jessica’s weight loss
According to an article in Woman’s Day magazine by Graeme Culliford V (reposted on Bodybuilding forums) Jessica’s weight problem had become life-threatening, made her unable to walk, and caused severe respiratory and circulatory issues.
In October of 2005, a stranger had called Children’s Services to report their concern for Jessica’s well-being, prompting a 19 month stay at a specialized obesity clinic in Virgina, where the eight year old successfully got her weight back down to 110 lbs. Diet and exercise are credited as being the method of weight loss, although she has undergone other surgeries to correct other related issues such as excess skin and bowed legs.
A flash video featuring a loop of Jessica dancing set to the song Shake That Ass, Bitch by Splack Pack was posted to the Ebaum’s World forums in 2004.
The earliest result for “Fat kid dancing” on YTMND results in a site created on June 1st, 2005. ytmndwhore’s Fat kid with an iPod is a spoof on the iPod dancing silhouette commercials, derived from the Jessica gif. The site has over 27,000 views and an average rating of 3.69 stars, making it the most viewed YTMND within the meme.
There have been 29 additional “Fat kid dancing” YTMNDs created between 2005-2007, none in 2008, and one in 2009. Click here to see up to date statistics on YTMND.
On December 23rd, 2007, years after the animated GIF made the rounds, the video was reuploaded to Youtube by xboxthreesixty. The video has over 18 million views. Right from day one, the video began to get referrals from already popular searches for “fat kid dancing.”
Google Insights for Search
Searches for “Numa Numa” dwarf searches for “fat kid dancing”, although the shape of the trends coincide strongly. It seems that searches for “fat kid dancing” may actually reflect a segment of the population seeking out Numa Numa without knowing the proper title, or a general trend of searching for unspecific dancing fat kids.
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