by Sam Manzella 4h ago
Todd Masterson is a Los Angelesbased television writer and stand-up comedy veteran of more than 10 years, but this fall he managed to cut-and-paste himself into a new space: the world of #Instagays.
On Instagram, Masterson is best known by his alias @GayFatFriend, under which he uploads photos and videos of himself Photoshopped onto group shots of muscly, conventionally attractive gay hunks. The posts and their captions are all in good humor, says Masterson. In fact, the gay comedian lays out his mission statement point-blank in his Instagram bio: Ive always wondered what itd be like if these gays had a fat friend, so I added myself to their pics. See? Still havin fun!
NewNowNext recently caught up with Masterson for a chat.
I started doing it as a joke. I see these guys in West Hollywood I just found this group of friends who take all these silly pictures, so I used their pictures to start. Theyre always together and always taking these goofy pictures, and theres never a fat person in sight. And none of them have any fat friends. They dont really socialize with fat people ever. I just thought this joke would be funnyits kind of ribbing them, but also just showing them that, look, theres a fat person in your picture. Its still fine.
[Originally], I was just going to upload maybe one picture a week, and just as a little hobby. And then my friend Eliot Glazer, who was on Broad City, reposted it, and it started blowing up. I got, like, 1,000 followers in one day. So I was like, Oh, this might actually be a thing. Then I started posting like every daywhich I was only going to do for like a week. Because I got so many followers all of a sudden, I was like, Oh, I should probably keep making content. Which is the grossest word ever, by the way.
Yeah. Thats what I do now. I post a picture every day, but its been really fun. It doesnt feel like a chore. Im never bummed or scared that I have to make a picture to post. Im always like, Yay, I get to make another picture!
Oh, all of these muscly, traditionally gorgeous people send me their pictures because they want to be a part of it. Or [followers] send me profiles they found that they were like, This picture would be really funny for your page. Theres not really a shortage of muscly guys on Instagram. Theyre fairly easy to find. But I try to only use ones that are just extra-ridiculous.
Usually, inspiration strikes daily. So, at around eight every night Ill pick my picture or whatever Im going to [spoof], and then Ill grab my husband. His name is Rob; hes my photographer. So Im like, Come on, weve got to go take a picture. And then we run to the bedroom because that has the best lighting. Ill usually strip down and put on a bathing suit of some sort, and then well take pictures.
I will say, besides the original group of guys whose pictures I used, [the feedback] has been 100% positive. Everyone loves it. I have not had one troll comment. Ive not had one person make fun of me or be meannot one. And I get, like, hundreds of messages a day, and Ive gotten 7,000 followers in a month. [The page is] really active every day.
Im never mean. Thats a point I like to make, too: Im just being silly. I dont think these guys are stupid. I dont hate these guys. I literally do want to be their friends! So Im like, This is what it could be if we were friends, you guys. Look at us! Were having so much fun.
I honestly wasnt expecting it. It kind of blows my mind every day that everybody is so kind! Its funny because for meIm going to be 40 next year, and I have pretty much been a never-nude my whole life. I dont even take my shirt off at the beach. But, I dont know, something clicked in the last year, and I was like, Im married. Ive been married for eight years! I guess I just feel like I have nothing left to lose.
Its weird, feeling almost like, You know what? Im going to take my shirt off and show people [my body] now. Im half-naked in all these pictures, on the internet, for thousands of people to see. Its just so crazy to me. But a lot of people message me and are like, Youre the hottest one in the picture, or, Youre the cute one. It made me realize that when it comes to attraction and sexuality, theres a lid for every trash can. My body is hot to a lot of people. Just because Im maybe not attracted to my body doesnt mean there arent a ton of people that are. And thats been really funto become this weird, kind of funny sex symbol to a lot of people.
Oh, yes. Im feeling more confident in everything Im doing now, even when Im on stage doing stand-up. I used to always worry, Am I standing the right way so that my stomach doesnt look so big? Now Ive been so much more casual and relaxed on stage, and Im really liking where my stand-up is.
Oh, my God. I mean, it would have to be candy of some sort because I have a huge sweet tooth. I called out Reeses Peanut Butter Cups [on my Instagram Story highlights]I would totally love to work with Reeses. That would be so funny.
Not to sound cheesy, but just laughter. I hope they laugh. A lot of the messages I get are people being like, Oh, I was having a really shitty morning, and I found your page. It just totally made me laugh. And now Im not so sad.
You can follow @GayFatFriend on Instagram.
Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
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