Step aside, infamous Indonesian smoking baby, there's a new gross-you-out and get-you-incensed Internet sensation in town. It's the obese Chinese toddler!
Perhaps you have seen photos of Lu Hao, a 132-pound, 3-year-old who eats three bowls of rice at a time and refuses to walk to school. It's compelling stuff, the swollen kid crammed into a raft, floating in a pool, the massive baby gnawing on a chicken bone or being hoisted by his sweating, regular-sized dad as his girth tests the tensile strength of a T-shirt.
If you see the story anywhere online, don't even bother reading the comments section. This is very predictable, the kind of kid story that causes parents to do one of two things: A) lots of pontificating about how mom and dad need to take charge and are actually abusive in their neglectful/idiotic parenting or B) feel sorry for the child and post about their pity, which causes group A to attack group B. These two groups will go round and round while missing the point: This fat baby is onto something, and I don't just mean a steel-reinforced Bumbo chair.
I don't know exactly what Bethenny Frankel does or is, but I know her name, I know she has written a couple of bestselling books, and I know she regularly trends on Twitter and has been featured on five reality shows, two that focus solely on her life.
Forget about the Strasberg Institute or the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. Skip Juilliard, practicing your guitar, attending classes at Second City or even going to culinary school.
Just have yourself some brawls like the Desperate Housewives or the cast members of Jersey Shore. In other words, embrace your total lack of impulse control, and you will be on the road to fame and fortune.
If you find you can't keep your mouth shut, you might end up getting punched like Snooki and become an overnight sensation. If you can't restrain yourself -- from toppling a table at a party, screaming, conniving, drinking, vicious gossiping, smoking, having inappropriate sex, having a zillion kids or, in the case of little Lu, eating -- we are going to be very interested in you. You could be five bowls of rice from your own series.
Discipline gets plenty of lip service, but if you want to "trend" in our culture, don't call a therapist when you can't control your impulses. Call CAA. I think they are opening a special "Impulse Control" division because that's how profitable it is to completely give in to your urges, at least if there's a camera there to capture it. Only suckers bother with training, practice and long, boring, expensive educations that mainly lead to working mundane jobs while hacking away at manuscripts that will never sell. You know who sells books? The Situation. He sells books, and last I checked, he hadn't "paid dues" or "even read a book" himself.
If TLC doesn't get a hold of this obese baby, they are missing out on a chance for a docu-soap that could fit nicely into their lineup, the way Lu's diaper fits perfectly over a queen-size bed. Little People, Big Baby could be the story of two little people struggling to raise a giant child. Look out for The Littlest Biggest Loser, in which Lu competes in weight-loss challenges with other chubby babies from around the world.
Lu could move in with the Duggars or be disciplined by Jo Frost or perhaps team up with the smoking baby (who has finally quit smoking, by the way) to live in a house on the Jersey Shore with Bethenny, her new family, a few MTV Teen Moms and an aging Puck from The Real World. A swirl of ids could provide new catchphrases, books, spin-off shows and viewing parties.
This fat baby is already learning something important about making his mark. The only thing he really has to worry about? The next 500-pound, 4-year-old knocking him off his top spot. Or the smoking baby picking up again. Fame is a hard habit to break.
Teresa Strasser is an Emmy-winning television writer, a two-time Los Angeles Press Club Columnist of the Year and a multimedia personality. She is the author of a new book, Exploiting My Baby, the rights to which have been optioned by Sony Pictures.