Its here! The third edition of the Big Fat Carnival. As you may remember, i asked folks to talk about sex. Well, i got what i asked for. What i found interesting, however, is that most folks talked about theoretical notions of sexiness and beauty but not the actual act of sex. Are we not ready yet to place our bodies into physical context? Perhaps we simply have not done enough collective work yet to heal ourselves from the trauma associated with sex. And if there was ever an area of our lives that needed some serious healing attention, its sex.
Kameron, over at Brutal Women, decides its time to talk about sex. And this is a no holds barred wrestling match. Kameron starts off by getting those plastic surgery tv shows in a tight head lock and giving them a noogie until they shout mercy. I never watch those shows so i learned something reading this post: its important to remove vagina fat if you want to be sexy. Well, at least according to one tv surgeon in Miami. After taking on the television notions of beauty, Kameron gets a little more persynal and talks about sex in high school, shame, associating thinness with beauty, believing being fat meant you had no sex drive, and regaining the confidence to be sexual.
creation and conformity of sexiness
Debbie, from body impolitic, discusses a private post about a private party with very public ramifications. There are very serious differences between persynal attraction and the social marker of “butt-ugly”. Debbie is here to bring those differences to the surface.
Then we have IrrationalPoint, who stands on her Soapbox and talks about That Woman. You know That Woman. That “masturbatory fantasy” that dominates the definition of sexiness. The one that makes everyone else “too fat to fuck.” The one that makes every other non-computer-generated womyn undesireable or unworthy.
Speaking of computer-generated wimmin, a new best-selling game in Japan has met a lot of criticism lately. Maiden Love Revolution, a spin-off of the hit game Dance Dance Revolution, decided to give the world of video game exercising a plot. Uh-oh! The premise is that you are a former beauty queen who now eats a lot and doesn’t exercise. So you are, of course, fat with pimples and food stains. And that means you can’t do what all wimmin must do to become real, get a man. So it is your job to run your ass off (literally) in order to become thin and sexy and be rewarded with a boyfriend. Big Fat Blog gives the set-up and hopes this new game doesn’t make it to the US. Lake Desire (who brought this all to my attention), bounces off of commentary from feministing and 100 Little Dolls and talks about wanting exercise to be fun and the ethnocentrism of some feminist critique.
Property of a Lady takes a look at yet another media medium, movies. In her Monday Movie Review, she takes a look at all the attention that Kathy Bates’ naked body received from that fleeting moment in About Schmidt when her character dares to be sexy. “The way that Kathy Bates is targeted, the way that it becomes okay, in our culture, to direct enormous venom towards a fat woman with the temerity to be sexual, is eye-opening. You may think that ‘fat activism’ is about the images of thin women constantly being paraded before us as the ideal, but it’s much more. It’s about hating a woman for daring to be fat.”
Hugo Schwyzer has a great post on men, women, homosociality and weight. Continuing from the last Big Fat Carnival, Hugo talks about men using wimmin as social status builders (aka Trophy Wives). And the best man will, of course, win by presenting the womyn that fits most perfectly into the homosocial definition of beauty and sexiness. Warning: Some of the comments on this post are very harsh and anti-fat.
Guest blogging over at Body Impolitic, Lynne Murray talks about the magic bullets that are being used in the war on fat people. And in any war, there are bound to be some hostages. The medical industry loves to hold fat people hostage, but, as Lynne points out, its not just humyns that are being held against their will. As someone who cares for and lives with fat animals, i know exactly what Lynne is talking about when she describes this scene from a veterinary hospital on Mother’s Day.
Many in the Fat Acceptance Movement are familiar with the controversy of airlines, such as Southwest, who are forcing people they define as fat to buy a second seat. Redemption Blues discusses more than just the discrimination of airline travel. In a recent article in The Independent, it was asked if the Ostfriesland Hotel’s policy of charging peolple per pound was going to be the future of travel. Redemption Blues describes this new trend as creating “veal crate conditions for the cattle class.”
Roberta uses her voice to talk about an array of topics from the ridiculous definition of morbid obesity to inserting race into Shallow Hal to the “beautiful face syndrome” to sizism as a feminist issue and more. All-in-all, its your basic i-need-to-say-this-before-i-explode rant.
Meloukhia at This ain’t livin’ discusses evolution. The evolution of style and sexiness. In that process of evolution, Meloukhia points out that the style of sexiness has gotten thinner and thinner. One of my favorite quotes from this post is: “Some people claim that fat people are obsessed with food–au contraire, thin people are obsessed with food. They are wrapped up in consuming themselves, and food becomes an all important issue for them, rather than a pleasurable daily ritual.”
On that note, your’s truly talks about how the evolution of sexiness has been about ever greater control over people by creating a collective sense of insecurity through a pathological ideal of sexiness that turns each of us into exploitable objects rather than powerful subjects.
Punkin Dunkin, in her post Sex, Sexuality, and The Fat Girl, has written one of those long, persynal, analytic essays that you can’t seem to stop reading. Its engaging, educational, thought-provoking, fun, angering, and downright sexy. In the final chapter, appropriately named How Many Licks Does It Take to Get to the Center: Reclaiming What is Rightfully Mine, Punkin takes a step into territory that i think we’d all like to visit some day - a place where we are not just comfortable with who we are, but we are also turned on by it.
Zan, over at Butterfly Cauldron, notes that not caring about thinness and finding one’s self as sexy shouldn’t be radical. Commenting on her own post, she says, “It really gets to me how we’re expected to go to such extremes to conform to social expectation that are simply either not possible for us or that we just do not wish to embrace. I’ve gone on diets before and lost significant amounts of weight. I’ve also gained it all back. And you know, I just don’t have the kind of time or energy to devote to something that doesn’t matter to me. I am a beautiful, smart, funny woman. That’s enough for me, why shouldn’t that be enough for anyone else?”
Sage, from Persephone’s Box, talks about the “If Only” song that is sung when describing the beauty and sexiness of others. Its that song that drives us to torture our bodies and minds into eliminating the ifs of sexiness. As Sage experienced, perhaps the best way to counter this damaging song is to model positive body image for our children and others.
A mysteryman named William sent me a great email talking about the need to not only help fat wimmin feel sexy and beautiful, but to do the same for fat men. In the email, he brought up that ever-so-provocative topic: breasts. While i asked and hoped that William would submit a post for the carnival, he did not, but he did send a link to this forum thread which i will share with you. So here’s to giving