Josh Ostrovsky on #babesofmissguided, body positivity, championing canned wine and his sleepover with Madonna.
Even if you’re not one of Josh Ostrovsky’s 10.5 million Instagram followers, you’ve definitely either laughed at – or been savagely mocked on – his page. Over the past few years NYC-born Ostrovsky, aka “The Fat Jew”, “Juther Vandross”, “The Fat Jew of Liberty”, or @thefatjewish to Insta, has infiltrated every social media feed and WhatsApp group chat going, pioneering a fast-paced, Internet-fuelled brand of relatable cultural commentary.
Championing everything inclusivity – from body positivity to his own iconic canned wine company – Josh’s now teamed up with Missguided on a campaign for their #babesofmissguided movement, joining ranks with the likes of Pamela Anderson and internet personality Baddie Winkle.
We caught up to talk becoming a Babe of Missguided, body positivity, meeting the Obamas and his slumber party with Madonna…
How are you doing? Happy International Women’s Day…
Yeah, Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s celebrate, what are we doing?
A glass of wine ASAP?
It’s 10am here [NYC]. I will drink wine whenever… If you say it’s cool, I will have a glass of wine right here. I just need the co-sign of a woman.
Do it, I fully back you. So why were you drawn to working with Missguided?
Everything about it is honestly so me. I’ve never found a brand that was all about the same stuff I’m about, which is full out not giving a fuck, loving your body, living your actual best life. Once I met the team I realised we’re all into the exact same thing, so this is a perfect fit… I’ve kind of been accidentally inspirational to some, in that I embrace my kind of like Shrek-looking body, and I think a lot of people feel empowered by that.
How does it feel to be joining ranks with Pamela Anderson as a Babe of Missguided?
Pamela Anderson should be on Mount Rushmoor, she’s a full-blown icon. No joke, I’ve been planning on getting a tattoo of her face for a long time. I basically have been getting famous blondes on my back, like Anna Nicole Smith and Paul Walker. She’s a living legend, so anything that she’s been in, I’m down to be involved.
How do I become a Babe of Missguided? Or is it open to everyone?
It’s honestly everyone. As long as you straight up love your whole shit, straight up living your whole truth. It’s fully inclusive; it’s a party for everyone. And if you’re not feeling yourself talk to me – I’ll help you feel yourself.
If you could pick one woman to join you in the campaign, who would you choose?
I’ve actually become pretty close with Madonna, she’s the most chill. We had a sleepover at her house, and she’s Madonna, so she had a whole team put it together. There were snacks! But she really doesn’t care, she fully embraces her shit. We’re just such unexpected best friends. It’s honestly kind of like the exact thing of this campaign – people you just wouldn’t think just coming together.
So the campaign’s all about self-love – how do you practice self-love?
I feel like in 2019 I’m on some real next level shit. When I see my friends I’ll kiss them on the lips, or if I see a horse, I’m riding it. I’m basically doing whatever I want. I’m trying to make everyone feel good out there in the real world, getting off the internet a little bit – even though the internet’s like the greatest thing that’s ever happened and I love it more than my family…
In the campaign video you’re wearing a satin robe and pink shades… Do you dress this extra IRL? What clothes make you feel really confident?
I like to keep people on their toes, you know. If people think I’m going to come through looking wild extra, I’ll come through in like a turtleneck with a trench coat to a rave with Balenciaga boots on and everyone’s like woah, I didn’t see that coming. And then I’ll show up to a lunch in some pink leather.
Another key message in the video is staying humble. With 10.5 million Insta followers, how do you stay humble?
I just honestly don’t take anything seriously. All of what I’m doing is not nearly as important as what some other people are doing – any teacher in the world, they’re doing some shit that’s probably more important than me. I’m basically down with everybody. I don’t want to do exclusive shit. People are taking themselves mad seriously and they’re caught up in their own echo chamber, but at the end of the day, we’re just kind of grains of sand on a beach that stretches all of eternity, you know.
Has finding inner confidence been a journey for you?
For sure. It comes with age a little bit – when you’re younger you have a lot more fucks to give; your fuck bank is just a lot more full. And then as you get older, you start to have a fuck budget and there aren’t enough to give for what every person thinks, so you have to allocate your fucks. And then eventually you hit complete fuck insolvency and you have no fucks left to give. At that point, you’re totally and completely liberated and you can basically do whatever you want. It’s fuckenomics, man.
Amazing. So what else are you up to?
So I have a wine company, which has become the number one canned wine in America. And actually, the wine was built on the same premise as this campaign is. It’s for everyone. Wine was annoying and obnoxious. Who knows the name of a wine? Noone’s smelling the notes. We’ve tried to change it to make it more inclusive. We started throwing wine raves with slip-n-slides covered in Rosé and we’re going to throw some more crazy parties, kind of making it up as we go along, right? It’s 2019, anything is possible at this point.
And what’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you in your career so far? Obviously, the sleepover with Madonna’s probably up there…
I met Obama at a White House Dinner. It was right before he left office, so he was at his most loose. I walked in and I had my hair up, and he was like who’s this guy? So he kind of rolls up to me and he’s like “Michelle, should I grow one of these when I leave office?” And she’s like “Please, don’t”. And then Jeff Goldblum is there being like “Yeah, grow it!” And then I’m like yo, am I in the middle of this? Then I basically just went for it, and I was like yeah I think you should grow it – by the way, I call it the hair-ection. And he genuinely laughed. He actually genuinely thought that hair-ection was funny, and I was like I do not believe Obama just laughed at that…
What could beat that?
And then next month I’m going to speak at Harvard Business School… Honestly, I’ll probably pull up in a women’s swimsuit, and I’ll be the first man to ever speak at Harvard Business School in a Missguided swimsuit. I’m just paving the way for very bizarre shit that nobody knew they wanted to do.