So, I can't get that orchestral riff from that new Britney Spears song out of my head. (Oh, and don't worry, this is eventually not a post about Britney) That one that gets repeated throughout the song. Its very catchy, since its not like I watch MTV so I had to pick this up from music being played in restaurants or stores, news stories about her, or the occassional few seconds flipping past MTV. Still, its telling that this is ALL I know about the song. While I'm not a fan, I can easily sing the chorus and a few verses of "Baby, One More Time" and the chours of "Opps..." Her more recent stuff, though, has catchy hooks but little else. I know the line "I'm a Slave 4 U" but thats all from that song. Not even words from this new song. Guess she's turning out to be another Debbie Gibson instead of another Madonna. Though she certainly has a way with self-promotion.
Anyway, in the course of the media saturation that enabled me to know that orchestral riff I have caught bits and pieces of her video for the song. She's obviously getting a lot more sexual and there are these scenes of her writhing about wearing some shear, sequined number that had the effect of her looking nude and shimmering. Eh. I'm clearly not the target audience for this, but it reminds me that there aren't images like that which I'm the target audience for. I'd been thinking about this anyone because I've bizarrely started getting Victoria's Secret catalogs. I know a lot of men intentionally get these, but I'm pretty much the wrong guy for that.
That's one of the weird things about growing up a fat admirer. I couldn't turn on MTV and see some cute SSBBW in some slinky number bopping to the music. I couldn't conive my way into possessing a lingere catalog with some size 26's models. It would be realistically impossible for me to satisfy a curiousity for porn. As a result, I think I've grown up with a very different attitude towards sex and sexual attraction than most guys. But, while I think I've gotten the better out of all of this, I know a lot of FA's who seem to have ended up pretty screwed up by this.
For me, this all meant that I grew up without having my sexuality defined for me. As I discovered being an FA, I was able to find what I liked about that. I wasn't just being told to be obsessed about breasts. Indeed, what I am is fairly ambivalent about them. Not like I dislike them, they just aren't something that really motivates me in terms of physical attraction. I was able to discover what I liked all on my own. Its not even just about specific physical aspects I like, but even the activities of sex. I was never told what to like, how to like it, what to expect. These are things men learn from mainstream pornography, but I never watched that. Even now, I'm not sure I've ever seen a proper porn film. Enlightened though I may be, I won't pretend I don't like to view sexually suggestive images, but what I like hasn't been dictated to me.
I'm also really impressed with what has popped up with internet fat "porn" sites in the last few years. What I see is two different approaches. People making ordinary porn with fat models, and people making some unique for the fat community. The latter is my clear preference. A lot of it isn't even porn in any reasonable manner, since many models never post nude. So why is that popular? Well, I think its because its filling a gap. People who like thin women take for granted that they will see countless images of attractive thin women all day. Just open a newspaper, turn on the TV, look at the K-Mart flyer. Its a given. It isn't porn, either, but it plays a part in sexuality nonetheless. FA's don't get that. We get little bits here and there. We get to watch trashy talk shows in the hopes that their might be a fat guest today. We get the occassional guest spot by designated fat actress of the moment. (currently Lindsay Hollister, recently seen on L&O:SVU) We get the even more occassional fat regular character, often cast with an incredible shrinking actress. And forget about seeing any "skin". The best you'll get is some woman on Jerry Springer whose shirt rides up when she inevitably starts pounding on some other fat woman who stole her man.
I have to think this really screws a lot of guys up. Its all those things "normal" people take for granted that really makes the impact. The ordinary images of what you find sexually attractive. I think some guys respond by obsessing over what images the see. They fixate on them in an unhealthy way. Others, turn to mainstream porn to fill the gap. I worry about those guys the most. Aside from how restricting it is for guys who are into thin women, the way mainstream porn treats fat women is beyond disgusting. It makes their ordinary debasement of women look downright civilized. Fat women are treated like a freak show, dehumanized to an unprecidented extreme. And that's what is teaching some of these men how to be an FA.
So, I really think these "ordinary" images of fat women can have a positive influence. I know some women who have sites like that, and I know they do it for themselves more than for anyone who may be watching. Its a way of celebrating their bodies, their sexualty, on their terms. Its not about mimicing mainstream porn or mainstream images. Its finding something of our own. What's important is that it remains expansive and doesn't just develop its own restrictions on what is allowed to be sexually attractive. I'm hopeful that it will mean more FA's will grow up and not be quite as screwed up as they could be in a culture which has blacked out images they are attracted to. And of course, that more fat women can be allowed to celebrate their bodies and beauty as they see fit. If it all works, we can develop something in the fat community that's really better. But, that might be overly optimistic of me, and I might be seeing what I'd like to see. Well, a guy can hope, right?