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the hypersexualisation of fat bodies and the modelling industry

It’s Fashion Week in Berlin and plus sized brand Navabi has pulled a stunt that will surely get them worldwide attention. I’m talking about it and I’m seeing people on Twitter talking about it.

They sent a model, walking the streets of Berlin, not in their clothing, but nude.

Like a fat Lady Godiva, without the horse.

My thoughts are torn on this. On the one hand, I love the statement that every body is a good body. Of course I agree with that. But on the other, for a Fashion Week where the focus is supposed to be on the clothing? I don’t know if I can get behind it.

Fat bodies are either completely ignored or hypersexualised. This is true for fat model bodies as well. I can’t think of one plus sized model that hasn’t done a lingerie or nude shoot. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; straight sized models do lingerie and nude shoots as well. But it seems to me that every plus sized model absolutely has to have a nude or lingerie shoot in their portfolio. I’ve not seen the same stipulations for straight sized models.

The hypersexualisation of a fat body is nothing new. BBW (Big Beautiful Women) and “fat admirers” are two subsets that glorify the naked body. For someone who has always been taught that their body is wrong, gross, disgusting; to have people actually worship it and love it can be an exciting change.

But my problem with it is when the body is reduced to the sum of the parts. When the body is ALL there is to a person. I’ve often heard, ‘Well, at least she has huge tits’; ‘Damn, look at that arse’; ‘She’s fat, but she’s got curves in all the right places.’ She, she, she.

And that’s my issue with this stunt. If every other brand has their models in clothing, then to me, this just comes across as attention seeking. I mean, plus sized women already have enough issues with clothing that fits, looks awesome and is well priced and made. Now we’re being told that we might as well just go naked? That we might as well just get used to the staring? That our bodies are all we’re good for? No thank you. I love my body. I enjoy seeing other people’s bodies. But that’s not all I am and that’s not all they are either.

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One thought on “the hypersexualisation of fat bodies and the modelling industry

  1. I know! I buy Burdastyle magazine in part because they provide plus size sewing patterns along with the ‘regular’ sized patterns, but the plus size photoshoots swing from month to month from baggy, shapeless bags to deep cleavage, bra exposing raunch. Now, I’m feeling like a prude for saying so, and I’m not against getting a lil cleavage out and feeling sexy, but it’s really getting up my nose the way in which those two (covering it all up, or getting it all out) are my two fashion options.

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