Fat American raising fist wearing U.S. flag shirt yelling at someone.

Fat American

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About

Fat American, also known as American Shirt Guy, refers to a viral image of a large American protester wearing a United States flag shirt, who is yelling with a raised fist at an Israeli activist. The image is often used to depict in a negative or humorous way what the stereotypical American looks like, appearing in various image macros or reaction images. The cliche and character are also commonly referenced online or in pop culture.

Origin

The image appeared for the first time from the blogging website Lawrence of Cyberia[1] on January 12th, 2004. The title and description of the post were "Ugly Americans" and "Why do they call us that?" Below the image, there was then specified the location and date in which the event took place, which stated, "A U.S. woman and supporter of the Israeli security barrier shouts at an Israeli peace activist in Jerusalem on January 2, 2004. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)" (shown below).



The earliest example of the image being used in a meme comes from a post on November 7th, 2009, on Fark,[2] which was posted in a thread by user qwertypoo. The photo mimics the style of a Demotivational Poster with the caption "America, it's kind of like this" (seen below).


AMERICA It's Kind of Like This

Spread

The image spread around on the Internet, usually featured in a comedic way, in blogs, news articles and imageboards, often with a caption. On August 30th, 2012, the fitness website STACK[3] featured the image in a post titled "America Is Fat, Inactivity Not to Blame." On June 29th, 2015, the website March Matron[4] posted the image in an article titled "The Smell of Freedom."

On January 14th, 2014, another example using the image was shared to 9GAG[5] under the Funny section (shown below, left). On February 20th, 2016, Imgur[6] user iseethrough posted a variant using the photo as a reaction image, receiving over 5,200 views, 1,000 points and 100 comments in four years (shown below, right).


WHY BURGERS ARE GOOD! ARE ALIENS REALLY ANGELS? PG, 3 SKULL OF TESUS SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FOUND IN TEXAS. $4.95 NOVEMBER 2003 www.SCIAM.cOM MULLETS: Harvard: New Reseach The Indicates red stripes increase Aerodynamic vocal abilities. Power house of haircuts! WHY USA IS NUMBER 1! PG.2 Why do Italians make such hand movements when talking? All this and more on our Why do Europeans do weird things edition'. Meeting a foreign person for the first time? Try to imitate their accent while talking to them. It'll make them feel more at home. Proudo to be Americano!

On February 27th, 2018, Twitter[7] user Battle Beagle posted the image captioned "Italian soldier begs American troops for food rations 1944, colorized." The post received over 80 retweets and 450 likes in two years (seen below, left). On August 13th, 2020, Redditor sonda03 posted another example to the /r/FuckYouKaren[8] subreddit, receiving over 1,300 upvotes and 40 comments in two months (seen below, right).


Italian soldier begs American troops for food rations 1944, colorized Deaf people: THIS IS MERICA Karen's: SPEAK AMERICAN made with mematic

Various Examples


** * **** 大 AMERICA F--- Yeah!

ARGUES THAT FOOD FESTIVAL MAKES KIDS FAT FORGETS THAT WE LIVE IN AMERICA quickmeme.com THESE ARENT FAT PANTS! THEY'RE MY FREEDOM BRITCHES!!!

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