Archive for the 'Sex' Category

World’s fattest woman?

You may remember a story from the Daily Mail last month about Donna Simpson, a New Jersey woman “determined” to become the world’s fattest woman.

The Daily Mail isn’t exactly a bastion of media integrity. It is a conservative, reactionary British tabloid that has been involved in a number of notable libel cases. All of this was noted in an excellent post by Charlotte Cooper of Obesity Timebomb, who questioned whether the article was just “journalistic spin on running a random stereotype-filled story about a superfat woman on the eve of bikini season – always a crowd pleaser”.

In spite of the Daily Mail’s track record, many did take the article at face value. Donna Simpson’s alleged goal inspired some pretty visceral reactions from people: that she is the antithesis to fat acceptance, that she is eating herself to an early grave, that she is a bad mother, that she is selfish and – horror of horrors – that poor old Joe Six-Pack will be saddled with her ever-increasing hospital bills.

As it turns out, Daily Mail did twist Donna Simpson’s words in order to turn her into a big fat freak show.

As was gleefully pointed out in the article, Donna Simpson is a model on the fetish website Supersized Bombshells (“she runs a website where men pay her to watch her eat fast food”). Like all models on all sexually explicit websites, she provides very obvious fantasy for her subscribers. Her ‘goal’ of eating 12,000 calories a day to reach 1000 pounds? All part of the act. The mind boggles at the idea that a journalist could take information from Treasure Bombshell’s profile – who is essentially a fictional character – and attribute ‘her’ words to Donna Simpson.

Internet porn is nothing new and gainer/feedee websites – like all fetish websites – have long been a part of it. Despite this, because of the attention the Daily Mail received as a result of their article, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story on gainer blogs. Predictably, the story speculated at the undiagnosed mental conditions these craaaazy gainers could have and noted their inevitable death by fatness.

The media’s portrayal of fat people forever feels like one step forward, two steps back. Just when it seemed like progress was being made – with plus size fashion and health at every size getting more and more attention – fat people are objectified as mentally ill sexual freaks that market their bodies to perverts.  Spectacular.

After all this, what I’m really curious about is what premise Donna Simpson was given to get her to agree to the interview with the Daily Mail in the first place…

Fat Admiration and Fat Acceptance

I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this for months, but was given a kick in the pants by a post on Big Fat Deal titled ‘Fat Fetishists on Tyra’.

First of all, we need to work out our definitions. There are very clear differences between fat admiration (a preference for fat people), fat fetishism (can only be aroused by fat), and feederism (actively wanting/making your partner fatter). People have used these terms interchangeably and they shouldn’t.

More than anything, my problem with the whole Tyra thing (that bastion of media integrity) is that those who are attracted to fat women are considered so odd, their preferences considered so bizarre, that they have a whole segment dedicated to them. Really, Tyra? REALLY? You wouldn’t base a segment on men who prefer blondes, so you’re revealing yourself to be incredibly judgemental by treating fat admiration as an ‘issue’ to be dissected.

Straight up: I have no problem whatsoever with fat admirers. I was introduced to the online fat admiration scene by a boy. At that time, my self-esteem wasn’t the best – I tolerated my body, but I certainly didn’t love it. I figured guys were attracted to me in spite of my body, not because of it. As taboo as this is to admit in the Fatosphere, it was a huuuuuuge revelation to find that people not only thought I was sexy, but preferred my fat self.

Don’t get me wrong – some guys on those websites are creeps. I’d get ridiculous messages that were obviously written with one hand. And I am not defined by how many people find me attactive. Having said that, realising that there were people out there who thought my body was perfection meant that I could finally let go of all the ‘my body isn’t good enough” bullshit that I had held onto for years.

I’m not saying that external validation is the only measure of worth. But I can’t ignore the fact that fat admiration was a significant part of my fat acceptance.

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