Spoiler alert: The social media star is actually funny.
The Fat Jewish (given name: Josh Ostrovsky) is the embodiment of the 21st century. A social media star who leveraged his influence on the Internet to launch his own brand of rosé, pen a book and sell a whole lot of branded merchandise, Ostrovsky is very well aware of his business trajectory. “[I’m an] adult baby with a vertical ponytail,” he jokes while at the BUILD Series event hosted live at the BUILD Studio in New York City.
In case you were wondering, Ostrovsky is just as funny in person as he is on his laugh-out-loud hilarious Instagram account. Don’t believe us? Read on.
1. His Parents Wanted Him to be a Podiatrist
“Who would have thought?” exclaims AOL Build’s host right off the bat. “Right? Not my parents!” jokes Ostrovsky. “They were like, ‘Be a podiatrist’ and I was like I’m going to become an adult baby with a vertical ponytail. The future is fucking weird, man!”
2. There Are Three Reasons Why He Decided to Release His White Girl Rosé
When asked about the inspiration behind his rosé wine, Ostrovsky lists three catalysts: “One, I wanted people to be like ‘why?’ Two is because everybody loves rosé and it’s delicious and it’s kind of the slutty cousin of wine and three is also that a few years ago there was a rosé shortage in the Hamptons, and it was really scary.” Yes, that last one was a joke.
3. He Signed a Plus-Size Modeling Deal
Ostrovsky suggests that he likes “to be where nobody really expects me. […] I want you to be confused at all times.” Case in point? “I signed a plus-size modeling deal, I was the first plus size male model.” He also mentions teaming up with Tommy Hilfiger on a project. Interesting.
4. His Ideas Aren’t Always Great
After chronicling the variety of odd requests for endorsement that he has received throughout the years, Ostrovsky shares a strange idea for a product that he himself has come up with. “You know when you are going through a car wash and the high-power blowers split all the water off the windshields?,” he says. “I was like, why can’t we have that in cars? Then we won’t need windshield wipers anymore!”
5. His Uber Once Got Chased by Another Uber
Reminiscing on the time, a few years ago, when the Internet accused him of stealing jokes and building his brand in non-ethical ways, Ostrovsky remembers: “That period of time was crazy,” he says. “It was kind of hot […] [for example] my Uber got chased by another Uber that a reporter was in, I felt like Matt Damon! It was terrifying but also kind of in a good way, I got a fear boner. The thing about that was: I love the Internet, genuinely, and it was basically a giant conversation [between] two schools of thought. There were like 16-year-old Koreans being like ‘Do you really need to [credit] everything that you use? We’re in an economy of sharing on the Internet.’ And then there were 38-year-old writers being like ‘You need to find out where everything came from and attribute it.’And there was this giant screaming match on the Internet with me sort of in the middle of it.” The result? He now quotes and credits every post properly.
6. Although He Loves the Internet, He Wishes People Would Get Out More
“I’m doing a lot of different stuff besides this,” says Ostrovsky while referring to his White Girl Rosé product. “I throw a lot of live events now to try to get people off the Internet because I feel like generally kids aren’t doing cool shit and they’re like ‘Why go to the party when you can just look at what happened at the party later? Why actually leave your house?’ So, I throw events to facilitate poor decision making. You got to get out there!”
7. Out of All His Famous Followers, He’s Most Excited About…
…Brooke Shields, possibly. “One time I was in the West Village and I was eating brunch and someone came up behind me and put their hands over my eyes, which is pretty wild,” he recounts. “And they were like: ‘Guess who it is?’ And I had no idea. Then I turn around and it was Brooke Shields, the famous actress, and I was like: ‘Oh my, it’s Brooke Shields!’”
8. He Once Hung Out With Former President Barack Obama
“It was so sick!” Ostrovsky says about spending time with Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. “That dude is so awesome! First of all, I shook his hand and then I smelled my hand and my hand smelled incredible. His hand smelled incredible!” He then goes on recounting how Obama complimented his hairdo (the “hairerection”) and joked to wife Michelle that, once out of office, he might consider going for it as well.
Photo Credit: Jammi York/BUILD