I recently noticed that two commenters on my “Too Fat to F*ck” post expressed dismay at the idea of seeing ANYONE displaying sexual affection in public, not just fat people. I want to address this because that was not the point of the post. When I talk about bringing fat sexuality out in the open, I’m not talking about encouraging fat people to go have sex in a crowded parking lot. However fun that might be, it’s not really effecting change to just have mass displays of public fat sex. I’m talking about not excluding fat people’s sexuality in discussions about and representations of human sexuality. I’m saying the sexuality of fat people should neither be reviled nor ignored.
You can’t say that the media doesn’t sell us sex and sexuality 24/7. We’re exposed to it in every form of pop culture. In the post I previously referenced I mentioned the show “Mike and Molly” and Marie Claire columnist Maura Kelly’s disgust over the show’s display of two fat people kissing. Positive representations of fat sexuality are few and far between in the media, and when we try to include them, we get responses like Ms. Kelly’s. Talking openly and often about fat sex destigmatizes it and opposes the idea that fat sexuality either does not exist or is disgusting as compared to the sexuality of “normal weight” people. It’s confrontational, and a form of resistance. In that sense I think it’s more important to promote the display of fat sexuality—maybe not buck naked in public, but at least in our media. We need to get to the point where seeing fat people kissing is not cause for alarm.
Just as queer folks fight for their right to express their particular sexuality, fat folks need to fight to not have their sexuality erased by the dehumanization fat people are subject to on a daily basis. This is more than bombarding the world with excessive PDA. Demanding equal representation in discussions and displays of popular sexuality is one of the keys to fat acceptance and body love.