Can an obese man enjoy the Los Angeles nightlife? Robbie Warren says yes, yes he can. And he does!
Los Angeles, California – Robbie Warren goes shopping at the local Whole Foods Market twice a week. He doesn’t buy sweets when grabbing his groceries, nor is he a regular at Krispy Kreme. Every once in a blue moon, he grabs a burger at McDonald’s or a burrito at Taco Bell. On his birthday, he buys himself an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen.
While he is borderline type 2 diabetic and his cholesterol is hovering at the 150 mark, he’s watching what he eats so he doesn’t get too unhealthy. He is, on paper, your average American thirtysomething with a business degree, an office job, and a decent apartment in Echo Park.
But when Robbie makes an appearance in the social scene, people seem astounded.
“Ain’t never seen nothin’ like it, man,” said Alfonzo Gutierrez, a young Uber driver who frequently gives rides to drunk clubbers. “He just got in like he knew it wouldn’t be a problem, you know? All cool and stuff.”
Gutierrez’s shock is shared by others who find it unbelievable that Robbie Warren, all 423 pounds of him, is self-assured enough to go out in public. Despite being an obese man – some doctors would say a morbidly obese man – he has the fearlessness to take part in the Los Angeles nightlife, and a refined boldness for such a large man to fold himself into Alfonzo’s tiny Ford Focus.
“He wasn’t wearin’ sweats or nothin’ like you expect chunky guys to wear,” Gutierrez added. “Like, he had jeans on, and a nice shirt. Looked relaxed. I was all, ‘Yeah, dude! Be your own bad self!’.”
None can argue that Robbie is his own bad self. Despite his obvious obesity, he is relaxed. In fact, he appears so comfortable in his own skin – and fat – that some folks find it unnerving. Rhonda Nichols, back out on the singles scene after a divorce at thirty-two, sees Warren a couple times a month at Boulevard3.
“The first time I saw him, my jaw just dropped. I was all, seriously? Fat men don’t club,” she said. “But he wears confidence like an Italian suit and his positive attitude is infectious.”
When asked about Robbie’s appearance in the social scene, club-goers have expressed a wide array of responses, from astonished support to confusion to outright anger. One particular group of carousers took a page from Westboro Baptist Church’s book of tactics. expressing their frustration in the most public way possible. When Robbie Warren arrived at Boulevard3 last Friday night, half a dozen protesters stood outside carrying signs reading “Fatty Go Home” and “Don’t Damage the Dance Floor.”
For his part, Robbie remains undaunted. He loves going out and meeting people, and while he recognizes his weight as a health risk, he exhibits no compulsion to hide himself away, to become a recluse. Several fellow club-goers have befriended him and, more importantly, he’s become something of a legend among those who have spent their adult lives watching TV or playing World of Warcraft on Friday nights rather than going out, all because they don’t feel comfortable in their own bodies.
“He’s a hero,” says Melissa Durant, a young woman who identifies as a ‘curvy BBW’. “I mean, getting out there like that, shaking his thing, doing what he wants to do. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all do that without being afraid?”
For Robbie’s part, he just wants to have fun, and do so while making new friends.
“I love people,” he said. “Taste like chicken.”
After an awkward moment, he added, “That was a joke.”