Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.
“Life in the Fat Lane,” the third chapter of media studies professor Laura Kipnis’ 1996 book Bound and Gagged, juxtaposed the dilemma of fat fetish pornography and how popular culture confront the issue of fat and desire. On one hand, obese porn, a niche in the vast porn business, is an absolute revolt against the dictatorial and incessant aesthetic of thinness. On the other, the images of these chubby women–often 44-35-44–entice desires that contradict and challenge prevailing cultural norms.
Yet over the past decade, the fat porn market has grown tremendously as acceptance of full size women becomes the norm. At least in the porn industry. Once a province of cheap production titles, big studios have been producing lavish titles with more budgets. The advance of web technology has allowed better quality for those choosing to self-published. Even the nomenclature has changed–the category is now called BBW or Big Beautiful Women. Hardly anyone ever mentions “fat porn” in an age where the “deviant” bodies of April Flores, Karla Lane, Kelly Shibari and Bonnie de la Cruz–some of the industry’s stars–are becoming household names.