Life With The Fat Jewish: On his obsession with the TSA and what pairs best with White Girl Rosé
Josh Ostrovsky is AKA The Fat Jewish on Instagram and was already named one of the most influential people on the Internet by TIME magazine in 2015, alongside Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, to name a few. The social commentator's Instagram following has more than tripled since then and he's added a wine brand — Swish Beverages — to his list of accomplishments, which also include child actor and plus-size model (according to his wiki).
He's an impassioned speaker and member of the Jewish community, which is why he's coming to Montreal for Exponential: Redesigning Community, a 4-day summit that begins today featuring brilliant leaders in business, technology, entertainment, food, philanthropy and architecture.
We caught up with Ostrovsky, to find out what he's impassioned about right now and, of course, what pairs best with his famed sipper, "Family Time Is Hard Pinot Grigio".
What would you say you're most passionate about in your life right now?
I feel like I've somehow fallen into a role which I didn't really intend to. People look to me for escapism whether it be through the Internet or through parties I throw with lots of wine. We've reached a fever point with everything being so intense, especially in America, that me giving people a good time and giving them some memories and time to not think about that stuff has kind of become my main passion.
Given the current political climate, what do you think has become the responsibility of people like yourself, with large social media followings, to speak out, and what's the right way to do it?
I don't think that anybody has to take any responsibility if they don't want to. I started a motorcycle club called "Mazel Tuff USS" and although the biker gang doesn't do particularly badass stuff, we mostly go to brunch and antiquing, we've been talking about punching Nazis for a while. I feel personal responsibility for it because I feel personally come-for but, I don't think anybody with a large platform has to. We're mostly here for brunch, but, if it comes down to it, I can also punch Nazis directly in the face.
So, comedic relief in the face of a really serious situation?
That's always been my modus operandi, for better or for worse. I'm super impassioned by the issues but I don't want to beat you over the head with them. A lot of people make the mistake of really politicizing their feeds and though I want a peppering of that reality, because I really care, I also still want to make fart jokes because that's what people look to me for.
You're a winemaker now. What are some of the pairings you would make for "White Girl Rosé"?
Pairs best with string cheese, flaming hot Cheetos, questionable decisions and sleeping with your ex who you admittedly hate but it's just going to happen anyway.
What about "Family Is Hard Pinot Grigio"?
Pairs best with being passive aggressive with your mom and her being passive aggressive to you, your family not understanding what you do for a living, people asking you when you're going to get married and probably turkey and stuffing.
What is your secret internet obsession?
The TSA. If you follow them on Instagram, they're putting up all the crazy stuff that people try to bring on the plane and some of it is so ridiculous. There was a guy who tried to bring a falcon on the plane — a falcon — and multiple people with ninja stars. It's unbelievable the things people think they can realistically bring on a flight. The TSA puts it all out there on the internet.
You have a weekend to binge watch Netflix, what's it going to be?
Probably non-stop Gilmore Girls or The Bachelor because I'm a huge, huge superfan. I take that stuff very seriously, I'm watching it while simultaneously hanging out on message boards.
What's your signature dish that you cook?
I actually do a really nice Chilean Sea Bass with a saffron risotto. I like to sear some ramps on a bed of corn compote and drizzle it with a raspberry lime vinaigrette. It's a really nice dish, you should try it. Delightful.
What's your poison?
Four Loko. I have a bunch of it hoarded and if you drink 2 cans of Sour Apple you'll end up trying to hook up with your own dad by accident. That stuff is really potent. You'll wake up in a shrub in Tampa.
Do you believe in aliens?
Definitely. First of all, they walk amongst us. Second of all, aliens are really chill. I believe in chill aliens smoking weed and stuff, the super laid-back namasté aliens you rarely hear about. But they're out there.
What posters did you have on your wall when you were a teenager?
I had an autographed posted of Usher and he was shirtless in the rain. Here's the thing about me, I'm actually aging in reverse. When I was a teenager, my room was really, really nice. I had an accent wall, a black-and-white photo I took on a trip to Tuscany with my family — it was nice. I was wearing khakis and hung out with my mom a lot, I was like her little best friend. I was also super judgmental and would say things like, "what's up with her shoes?" and now I'm regressing into a giant adult baby. But I did also have that shirtless Usher poster.