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I Went Old, Fat, Black, and Cripple for a Day

Society is cruel when you're not an able-bodied, middle-class Aryan.

Turns out delusional, right-wing journalists do MySpace legs, too

I'm sure you've already seen it, but earlier this week Voldermort Liz Jones (pictured above) wrote a fantastic piece for the Daily Mail in which she bravely faced her fears of growing old and went out dressed as an old lady for a few hours. Like everything in the Daily Mail, it was very well written, and not at all patronizing ("If a child were out alone, cold and frightened, questions would be asked in Parliament. But when this happens to an old person, we think it’s normal.")


This is me. As a fashionable, middle-class Aryan livin' in the First World, I, like Liz, haven't felt the sting of persecution all that much. So I too decided to go out to see what it would be like to be one of you minority-types.

Below are my efforts. I know what you're thinking, but don't worry – like Liz, I enlisted the help of trained professionals at every stage in this highly important scientific process. In an attempt to get a real, quantitative handle on this topic, I also rated how difficult life is as each minority out of ten, using those uncontacted Amazonian Tribesmen as a visual rating scale.

Sadly, the results of my experiment were so brutally stereotypical that it was as if I had been taking part in some kind of parody. Or satire, even.


With the help of a special effects makeup artist who put some flour in my hair and drew some lines on my face with a pen, I magically transformed myself into a 90-year-old man. After a class on how to walk like someone whose body is about to shut down for good from acting coach Niamh McKernan (he also taught Liz Jones how to walk old), I was ready to hit the town.

I pretended to struggle with a Tesco bag in a loop around my local park for about an hour. During that time, not one person came over and offered to help me. I also tried to cross a very busy road, and no cars stopped to let me cross. I had to walk down to the pedestrian crossing, almost 100 feet away. As I neared my front door, I began to cry. Does nobody in this world care about the elderly?


Liz Jones was right. Being old sucks.

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I had a professional prostheticician come over to my house with some pillows and stuff them inside the only clothes I could find that were big enough to cover my newly disgusting body. I was then taught how to stare at food like a fat person by my acting coach, before heading out into the city as a fat guy.

I went into my local shop to buy a sandwich, and was met with confused stares by everyone present. Were they judging me because I was fat? Worse, as I was walking alongside the busy main road you see in the photo above, somebody leaned out of their car window and shouted "Twat!" – with over 50 percent of the UK population now overweight or obese, this kind of persecution is truly worrying.

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After dressing in some non-flashy clothes and getting a quick briefing from my acting coach on how to sit still, I tried out my next minority look: a differently-abled person.

Unfortunately, I didn't have access to a real wheelchair, but I was able to fashion a very convincing one using things I found lying around the VICE office. Once again, everywhere I went I was met with stares. Stares that seemed able to pierce my fragile outer shell and glare at my very soul itself. One person even took a picture of me with their phone.

Accessibility was a huge problem too, with me being unable to get into Pret A Manger to buy lunch. When the professional actress I hired to play my carer asked a staff member for some help, they just laughed. I can't imagine how it must feel to be trapped in one of these things all day long :(


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After a few hours in the makeup chair and some tips on how to walk with "swag," I hit the streets as a black guy.

I have to say, the way I was treated was completely appalling. Everywhere I walked, people stared. And I was met with constant, unrelenting hostility. Even from other black people. When I went to my local train station to top up my Oyster, someone actually came up to me and said: "What the fuck do you think you're doing out like that?" Do black people not have a right to be out in public, too?

To make matters worse, when I went back to my house, my own dog attacked me. Is my dog a racist? This is something else that I have to deal with now, but it troubled me to think that black people might not even be safe in their own homes.

What the fuck is that about, society?

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To conclude, Liz Jones and The Daily Mail were and always have been totally right: It's lonely and pointless being part of anything other than the majority. I think the world needs to be a bit more tolerant. We should all look past things like race, size, age and walking ability, and try and see people for what they really are; lorry drivers, street magicians, mums, mixologists, sons, bloggers, yoga instructors, friends

Send Jamie abuse on Twitter if you don't like satire: @JLCT