Yeah there’s lots of yelling back and forth about body image. I get tired of yelling at the people going on about “Real women” this and that when they mean “women who don’t look like photoshopped models” or “anyone but a woman we have arbitrarily labeled a skinny bitch.”
In the kink community, slender Caucasian women are still the gold standard for what is beautiful. We’ve made some inroads, but not many. When you look at the images that hundreds of people vote as beautiful or eye-catching, they’re rarely of fat people and even more rarely of non-white people. Despite my own, fairly minimal body image issues, I made a point of seeking out and asking photographers I admire if they’d like to work with me. And sometimes, I am approached by photographers who want to shoot me. And you know why? It is because they have a hard time finding fat people who pose like they have a right to be there. Like they’re beautiful. It is a tough thing to do when the messages you get from everywhere all of the time are not so bloody supportive if you loving your body as it is, right now, today, regardless.
On FetLife, for example, most of the fetish photographers feature photos of slender white women. And that’s their choice. HOWEVER, Of those photographers, I’ve only personally seen one who specified that his models HAD to be slender. I’ll give the others the benefit of the doubt as to whether or not they’d work with a fat person. But I know it IS tough to find fat models who can sell it. Projecting confidence is tough, period. Add to that struggling to feel sexy in a world where you are told you’re lazy and ugly and lack self-control? Tough as fuck. Modeling IS a skill set, and not everyone has it. And when you are taught you are ugly because of the size of your thighs? You ain’t gonna have the advantage of popular opinion to fuel your fabulousness.
The fact that the overwhelming majority of photos that are voted on by site members as “Kinky & Popular” on FetLife are of slender white women supports the idea that “this is what the public wants.” And sure, it fulfills a palate that has been trained to crave a certain look. And it also helps fuel feelings of invisibility among those who don’t fit within this narrow band of beauty. Those of us who aren’t slender. Those of us who have skin tones that aren’t light.
All this is to say…hi, fat people. We need to represent ourselves, and accept ourselves, too, if we crave acceptance. It is tough to stand in the face of hateful, belittling comments. Believe me, I know this firsthand. But for every asshole who posts “Ew, disgusting! Who let the beached whale in front of the camera!” there are a thousand people who enjoy the photo, who feel empowered, who experience joy..
These pictures are by Don Sir, who I’d admired but didn’t see any pics of fatter women in his portfolio. I write to him, a couple years back and said “Nice work, you ever shoot fat chicks?” and a few hours later there were several really stunning pictures of plump and sexy women up on his FetLife profile. Seems he just hadn’t posted those yet. And then he said to me “Hey, you wanna shoot, look me up if you’re ever in LA.” And I did, and there it was. Makin’ it happen is the best way to change things.So yeah, here I am, fat and happy because I love being tied up. And I love sharing that bliss with other folks.