Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Loving Fat

Debbie and Laurie say:

We really liked Zuzu’s comments on Josh Max’s piece on loving fat women in Salon. (It’s Salon: you have to watch an ad or subscribe.)

Although we agree with Zuzu that he is a little too pleased with himself, we’re always glad to see opinions like his in the world.

In our experience with Women En Large, many people who love fat women (or fat men) have an intense and overwhelming need to believe that other people see the beauty they see. When we did the work, we were thinking much more about the models and women who could relate to the models; we had no idea how many lovers, partners, brothers, sisters, and spouses of fat women were hungering for someone else who believed the people they loved were beautiful. The grateful mail we get sixteen years later still reflects this, as do the books people buy for their lovers and family members.

Zuzu goes on to talk about her dilemma as a fat woman, with fetishists on one side and fat-haters on the other, and how hard it can be to find the “normal guys.” Every fat woman, including Debbie, can relate to this one. What it brings up for us, though, is that the fat-haters and the fetishists are also making it hard for the fine folks who just appreciate what they see. Like Josh Max, they have to gird their loins to argue with the bigots. Meanwhile, fascinating and attractive women like Zuzu take themselves out of the game because the fat-haters are far too cruel and the fetishists are just too irritating.

<br /> <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/feminism" rel="tag">feminism</a><br /> <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/women" rel="tag">women</a><br /> <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/fat" rel="tag">fat</a><br /> <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/body+image" rel="tag">body image</a><br /> <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/fetishism" rel="tag">fetishism</a><br /> <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/Body+Impolitic" rel="tag">Body Impolitic</a><br />

6 Responses to “Loving Fat”

  1. Patia Says:

    I’m so glad I saw this post. Although I am a Salon subscriber and get their RSS feeds, I somehow missed Josh Max’s story. Thank you!

  2. Josh Max Says:

    “Although we agree with Zuzu that he is a little too pleased with himself, we’re always glad to see opinions like his in the world.”

    What should I do? Say, “Life is sweet with this woman, but, you know, I have halitosis and boogers up my nose!” ?

  3. Patsy Nevins Says:

    I enjoyed the article, Josh, & appreciated you speaking up about your love for your wife & your appreciation of fat women. I know that it is not easy in this culture for a man to openly love fat women, harder, I think, than it is generally for a woman to love fat men, since we seem to expect fat men to pair off more easily, though it is certainly not always true.

    I am disturbed by the attitudes of so many fat women themselves toward men who find them sexy & desirable & I encounter these attitudes in virtually every “fat-positive” space I visit on the Internet. I see so much of that old attitudes shown in the Groucho Marx quote, “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”, translated to, “There HAS to be something wrong with any man who would find me (or any fat woman) sexy.” I know that there are creeps & users out there, opportunists who prey on those who have low self-esteem & may be desperate for affection, & I will grant you that I am not at all comfortable with the Dimensions crowd & their feeder frenzy, but I appreciate & respect good men who just genuinely prefer fat women & who truly see our beauty & love us for who we are. I don’t want ANY man to love me just for my body & how I look, but it is wonderful to love someone who enjoys & appreciates me as I am & doesn’t want to “fix” me.

    It takes a great deal of self-confidence, courage & strength for a man to openly, honestly love a fat woman & share his preference with the world, to share his life with the woman of his choice, since there are so many people at every turn ready to discriminate against him, limit his professional opportunities, & tell him repeatedly that he is a loser & he must be crazy. I would like to know why it is any more “abnormal” for a man like Josh to openly prefer & enjoy fat women than it is for someone like Leonardo DiCaprio to go to Paris fashion shows to look at those walking coathangers they call models. They look as if they should be on posters with the caption, “Feed the hungry”, & this is what it is considered NORMAL for a man to find desirable?!!!

    I have seen the negative reactions from women who doubt that they can be loved for themselves & believe that any man who shows interest is a freak, a loser, or some kind of psychopath, I have seen the reaction especially strongly from women who are or have been part of NAAFA, which was largely controlled by Conrad Blickenstorfer & his crowd for some years & is now working so hard to distance itself from the feeders that it is going in the opposite direction, supporting “healthism”, yapping about teaching fat people to “eat right & exercise”, since most of us do not know how, etc. People with ANY preference MAY have a fetish, they may be users or creeps in some way. However, everyone who is attracted to fat people does NOT have a fetish & should not be automatically distrusted & dismissed. When we do that, we give validation to the culture’s belief that only CERTAIN people are attractive & desirable, & we say that we believe we are NOT attractive & desirable & that we do not deserve to have full, rich, rewarding lives which include love & passion just because of the size & shape of our bodies.

    Thank you for writing the article, Josh, & my best wishes to you & your wife for a long & happy life together.

  4. Donna Jones Says:

    I enjoyed reading this. I am 51 years old and have been married for 35 years, We have always had a good sex life and he has always told me that he loves me and my body. I have never been able to believe him when he tells me he loves me. I have never been able to believe that I deserve to be loved or cared about. I wish I could feel worthwhile.

    Thank You
    Donna

  5. Debbie Says:

    Donna,

    This makes me extremely sad to read. I know just from reading this much that you deserve to be loved and cared about, and you are worthwhile. Whoever told you otherwise was wrong.

    Your husband is telling you the truth, both with his words and with his physical response. Lots and lots of men are attracted to fat women; many are not as courageous as he is about admitting it.

    I hope someday you can believe him.

  6. Donna Jones Says:

    Thank you Debbie.

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