In XVII century, at Dutch Golden Age, when there were no glossy magazines with slim models, they thought that it’s not ugly to have a big belly. But some people believed that personal fat storage was correlated to money storage, and that obese people are not modest and they are thinkung too much about material matters.
Let us have a look at the Portrait of Gerard Andriesz. Bicker by Bartholomeus van der Helst that often serves as an example of a spoiled aristocrate image because of Gerard’s chic costume, his obesity and the smug look in his eyes. What the original version of the masterpiece reveal:

The masterpiece reveals Us, Zrathustra the Cat, appearing from from Gerard’s silk outfit folds.
May be Bicker was not so fat actually? This boy at his age of 17 already held many responsible offices, and had a lot of other things to do than just enjoy his meals.
May be the reason of his big belly was that he loved his fat cat so much that brought him everywhere hidden in his rich costume The cat was sleeping at his belly thus helping him to resolve difficult human problems. You know, how sleeping cats help to resolve difficult issues!
The portrait shows the moment when Gerard heard that other boys teased him as “fatso” and “bacon burger”. He just put his hands to his sides preparing to reply something like hmmm, “go away you idlers”. But at that moment the Cat appeared from his costume folds and said “Wait a minute Gerard, a BURGER is what that I’ve heard?”
The piece and friendship installed immediately, and boys all together hurried to feed the fat cat.

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