by Monica Stancu
In The Desirable Body, Bound and Gagged and Sex for Sale, Jon Stratton, Laura Kipnis and Ron Weitzer offer a critical analysis of the commodification of the body, especially the female body within the capitalist American society. Thanks to the advent of mass reproduction techniques such as photography and video, the public can buy easy access to images of female sexuality. The female body has been transformed into a spectacle for the male gaze in exchange for money. Furthermore, these new technologies have served to promote and impose ideals of beauty by transforming women into docile bodies whose social and financial success depends on being able to conform to these standards.
However, pornography can also be used as a tool to cater to the people whose tastes and bodies do not reflect mainstream standards. “Fat porn” is a form of sexual expression through which non-conforming bodies are celebrated. For instance, the website http://www.porncity.net included the self-portrait of a naked chubby woman. While she may be ignored or stigmatized because her body type does not conform to contemporary ideals of beauty, in the virtual world, her body is potentially desirable. In fact, the word “fat” is not used: instead she is described in more positive terms: she is called a vixen with “naughty curves” and a “huge rack.” Moreover, the website where more of her pictures are posted is called www.mebeautiful.com. Continue reading “Fat Porn Breaking Beauty Ideals”