Big Beautiful Woman?

I would like to follow up on the topic of being fat vs. skinny. As we all know, our generation is widely influenced by the flood of images of perfection promoted by the mass media. That’s why everyone wants to have a perfect life and of course a flawless complexion and an appealing body. We see photoshop pictures of skinny models, diet pill advertisements and hear about cosmetic surgery and a wide variety of diets every day. Magazines tell us what should we eat and wear, how should we look. However a pretty and attractive body doesn’t necessarily mean a skinny body for everyone. There is a certain group of people who find obesity sexually arousing.

The acronym BBW stands for Big Beautiful Woman and it is a term used in the context of sexual attraction to plus-size women. Within this topic we can talk about different types of sexual fetishism, such as fat fetishism and feederism– an underground fetish which involves one partner – known as the feeder, feeding the other one – the feedee, both to obtain sexual arousal and to encourage weight gain in the feedee. The reason why feederism is so controversial is that many people believe that feeders use coercion to get the feedees eat more and it undermines the validity of the Fat acceptance movement which is attempting to change the attitude of society towards fat people.

There are different variants of the BBW fetish, for example BBBW which refers to Big Beautiful Black Woman or SSBBW which stands for Super-Size Big Beautiful Woman. And it’s not only about women – some people are interested in BHM (Big Handsome Man), sometimes refferred to as Big Beautiful Man (BBM). Big beautiful women love their bodies and enjoy being fat. The internet is full of websites about them. The abbreviation BBW is often found on online dating sites and sites dedicated to pornography and fashion. Fashion designers responded quickly to the rise in popularity of plus-size models and in 2010 the New York Fashion Week featured the first ever plus-size fashion show. But is the skinny finally on its way out? I don’t think so…

This July’s issue of the Italian edition of Vogue was different than usual. It featured Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine and Robyn Lawley – three plus-size models in their underwear on the cover of the magazine in order to campaign against pro-anorexia websites. As the editor of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani says ‘A growing number of readers are now asking to see – even in fashion magazines – a real world, made of real people who are not obsessed with staying thin, but are able instead to naturally accept and respect their bodies as they are.’ I agree with accepting and respecting our bodies but is this the way how to do it? Talking about ‘real beauty’ and propagating overweight bodies because we are fed up with seeing skinny models everywhere?

On one hand there are a lot of young women who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, on the other hand you have obese people who enjoy being fat, eating as much as they can and being proud of their ‘supersize sexiness’. So is it possible to find a compromise between these two extremes and be simply ‘normal’ and happy when we’re under such pressure?

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