Pop Culture, Fat, and Feminism (and all that's in between)
More Cushion for the Pushin’
I’ve heard this rumor time and time again, and you might have, too.
Apparently, fat women are supposed to be freaks in the bedroom.
It’s just a thing you hear around, an urban legend, like the myth that men with large hands and feet are supposed to have proportional genitalia, or that Jews are supposedly cheap. It has been brought to my attention over the past couple of years by a number of people, ranging from a (and I hate to use this term) BBW cousin of mine who swears that “fat chicks do it better,” to my best friend, whose cousin claims that “only the fat chicks get action” on his campus (University of Maryland at College Park, by the way.)
Does this come as a surprise to you? I mean, heavy women are most often portrayed as gluttonous or just plain obsessed with food. They usually come across comically, even absurdly, voracious, with a deep-seated hunger. Sometimes a hunger for food, other times a hunger for sex.
The same way they clamor for gastronomic satisfaction, they hunt for sexual gratification. Some may dismiss the offensiveness of this pairing by chalking up the correlation between food and sex in portrayals of fat women as just being a natural tie-in of two basic needs that are intrinsic for our survival. (Though, funny, I never see fat chicks depicted with a particular craving for sleep…go figure.) I, on the other hand, find it absolutely ridiculous. Just take this Doritos commercial featured during Super Bowl XLI this past January (and thanks to Objectify This for bringing it to my attention.)
So, besides the whole “insatiable appetite” hypothesis, I’ve heard another theory as to why fat chicks are supposedly so good/exuberant in the bedroom:
Apparently, it is so rare for heavy ladies get any action in the sack, and especially rarer that they will be able to find a good-looking guy willing to be with them, all their energy builds and builds until they become ravenous for sex, and sex with anyone.
Another way to think of it is that because it is “so difficult for them” to find sexual satisfaction, they need to (literally) jump on whatever they can get. This is exemplified in one scene from the cult classic teen comedy Road Trip (2000), in which a virile heavyset African American woman (I won’t even get into the implications of race and sexuality in this one) seduces a young nerdy virgin.
So, as you can see, popular culture does indeed provide evidence towards this long-held myth of fat female sexuality. So what is the truth?
Well, according to this article from Dimensions Magazine, heavier women are actually more likely than anything to be timid in the bedroom, not bold, because of “fear of rejection, fear of not meeting the partner’s expectations, and fear of not being able to perform.” Thought it’s a bitter pill to swallow and something that needs to change, this view of fat female sexuality seems much more valid and realistic than the idea that heavy women are like modern-day versions of satyrs trying to chase down and assault any available man as thought he were a ripe young sylvan maiden.
Again, I’m not condoning that women should feel anxiety when it comes to intimacy, I’m just reinforcing that this feeling or attitude is probably much more common than that of, “anywhere, anytime, anyone.”
Finally, so far, the only real-life support I’ve found that may provide evidence towards the truth of this stereotype comes from this article by Dr. Ian Klein of overweightdate.com, which suggests that there may be a biological basis for the idea that larger women get more enjoyment out of and thus seek sex. It seems plausible enough, but the science of this is so new and questionable that I can’t make a claim one way or the other to whether these findings are more accurate or speculatory. I suppose time will tell.
With that, I leave you with the most famous example of naughty thick women in the media, Queen’s “Fat-Bottomed Girls”, a song that has no doubt become an anthem for heavy women everywhere who wish to flaunt their sexiness and their curves (without, of course, becoming cartoonish stereotypes of sex-crazed fatties.)