Thursday, September 18, 2008

Queerness, freakness and fatness.

I have been running around the internets today, mostly going to some of the queer oriented places I like and stumbled on a bi/lesbian/other lady loving female identified type thing.

I am not very comfortable and will probably unjoin.

The clear aesthetic is very thin, tall, white and the fairly ubiquitous ideals of what "hotness" are.

I am fat black and short.

I got this impression browsing the forums. Having a looksy at the photos and general um, internet ambiance.

Being that I don't frequent nor have I been to LA (until next week) in years and years is this what's going on these days? Or am I just having one of those days when presentations of the usual just aren't doing it for me aesthetically or intellectually?

I am there today.

Most of the sex blogs I read (and please this is not a insult to those bloggers or their tastes mmkay) are often visually about the same.

Give or take some piercings or boobage.

I don't know what it is exactly I'm trying to say here.

I wonder if there is room or desire for images of the extraordinary.

I feel like I'm reaching for something and there is the problem. I have an idea of what would thrill me but no idea where to go to find it.

VonLivid (who is smart and excellent) wrote this really interesting article about women of color in the fetish world.

This bit from the article struck a chord with me.

When I entered high school, Janet Jackson had just revealed herself to be a nipple-pierced, rubber catsuit-clad kink kitten on her album The Velvet Rope, and I envied her.

I am a little older than she is I believe. But I entirely feel somewhere in my wee black heart I know that feeling and that envy.

For years and years I was often the odd girl in the crowd. The only brown face at a show or event, or with a lot of other brown folks but the only one wearing bondage pants. You get my drift. So as I began to explore and then finally learned to fly my freak flag proudly a whole other issue came up.

Unlike VonLivid who is tall and modely gorgeous. I am not. Even when there was no issue of color in my circles there was often the discomfort of being the fat one.

Or when I was thin (and very very thin) I still did not have that archtypical body that is presented in kink circles.

On one hand, there were the people I frolicked with who were like me. Stretch marks, saggy boobs, hairy buttcracks etc. And the fetish art I was into at the time, was just about as diverse.

Then move ahead a few years and I found the internet.

You'd think there would be a plethora of this kind of beautiful diversity.

I'm talking about high quality beautiful images.

Mostly when I do stumble on something that gives me a visual happy it's a hometown photographer, or some other photographer I stumble on.

I used to frequent a (then) well known scene gossip site and you would think that any model or scene figure over a size 8 (being generous there) killed everyones puppies. Or did some other personal damage.

And a lot of that was aimed at women who were not even at all fat.

As someone who's mostly lived the freaky life in private, that kind of applauded attitude makes me think twice (or thrice) about joining, taking part in or otherwise engaging.

Locally I've heard that the scene is not like that. That's great but still.

It's a daunting thing.

Which I don't expect those who fit in the parameters to really get it and that's OK.

So yeah.

It's such a strange feeling for me to be so angsty about representation. I'm not sure what my deal with that is exactly. Aside from yanno I like things that give me a tingle in my special place.

In other less cranky news.

I am SO excited to go on vacation.

I cannot wait to See My Cookie.

Also I seriously have a crush on Arlan.

Anyway homo Out.


Integgy said...

RE: LA. To me, it's always been this way. If you're not tall, pretty, blond, and white, you're not worth anything. Oh, sometimes the hair color changes, but the general aesthetic doesn't. I've been here all my life, and from what I've seen, the general public finds that appealing. Then again, I'm also on the coast, so it could be that the bodies in fashion here, differ from what's actually in fashion in Los Angeles. I also can't speak for what's in fashion in fetish, or queer circles in LA, since I don't frequent them, I can only speak to my experience. :)

And, it's kinda funny that you're coming to LA right after I leave it for Oregon. xD

Wants a cracker said...

you are my ideal woman. brains, beauty and a little twist...
(and i'm not the only one)

DiosaNegra1967 said... said a mouthful! the more les/bi sites i stumble across...the more i find myself backing's almost as if they've joined in the continuous drone of "tall, white, blond and thin..." (no offense to anyone who fits that, but you know)

i would like to lay the blame for part of this at the feet of "the L word", but i've already been met with horrific stares after i mentioned that i don't necessarily care for the show....

oh, and add to your previous descriptors (fat, black & short) ....not over 30! (i'm waaaay over 30, mmmmkay?) so, i feel ya, big time!

it's one of the reasons i stopped going to fetish events/play parties....there's no room for (ugh) diversity in body size or makeup....i fear the goth scene may be doing the same...

..and even attending the fat-girl centered queer events left me wanting, as there's a major hierarchy there...but, you mention it and 10 people will pop up and tell you that there isn't one. (sorry for the mini-rant)

i wanna venture to LA LA land soon, but would prolly cause a lot of "the pretty people" to have a complete conniption should i walk down a street with my FAT inked arms exposed with my head held high! *evil grin* and that's something i currently delight in doing in Philly!

teh hipsters just can't stand anyone (really women) without arms that resemble spaghetti!

and, yep those who fit those narrow parameters don't really notice how they affect the rest of us....until they no longer fit said parameters. or worse yet, even though they no longer fit those parameters.....they become ENFORCERS of said parameters, which is even uglier.

sometimes i believe the internet has helped humankind...other times, it's helped to drive us even further apart....damn.

Piffle said...

I'll echo diasonegra in a minor key, I don't do visual porn, or fetishy stuff; pretty much whitebread vanilla monogamanous, that's me. However, I do like romance novels; and it's really hard to find a good one that has a heroine that is either fat or over forty. Given that I'm both, that irritates me. I'm also sure that if I had to add being lesbian, black or disabled, that would shrink it to nearly impossible. I'd have to write my own, which would be lots of work.

My only suggestion is to search the homegrown porn sites with great mastery of google-fu. Or maybe join a board and ask what other people might know? This post is sort of that, but surely there are forums devoted to kinky stuff where you might have a deeper pool of knowledge to dip into when you ask where you can find what you want?

spacedcowgirl said...

I am white, so obviously I defer to others on the issue of underrepresentation of WOC in various photography, etc. But I can at least comment on the focus on the thin and "perfect." IMO this seems to be weirdly magnified on the internet as a whole as opposed to other forums. Even leaving aside specifically sex-related sites, photography, comments, etc. you can't find a discussion about a female celebrity (say, on television or gossip sites) without people absolutely shredding her to bits. Any perceived weight gain, mildly bad outfit choice, skin that shows a hint of being something other than perfectly smooth, hair that's something other than straight and flat, and the comments are absolutely cruel and unforgiving. No wonder all celebrities end up looking roughly the same, because if you don't, you quickly get pounded down until you learn your lesson.

The thing that makes it weird and sick and bewildering to me, rather than just mean, is that you KNOW the majority of the folks making the comments look like me. Or at least are certainly not "perfect" enough to throw the kinds of stones they throw, because nobody is. You also know that many of them are partnering or sleeping with and being attracted to people who look... kind of like me. Or like you. But somehow they don't see the huge disconnect between the standards they hold the women in the photos to and the standards they exercise in their own lives. It just contributes to this giant, swirling, dangerous mythology that only a very narrow subset of people is at all beautiful or desirable, when in real life it is nowhere near that binary.

I think it has something to do with being able to hide behind your monitor, and what makes it damaging is that the more these cruel comments persist, the more the photographers or women themselves are inclined to shy away from displaying anything other than impossible perfection, and the more you can point to this impossible perfection as some kind of attainable, reasonable ideal because of course there aren't any images of anything else. So of course the self-fulfilling prophecy becomes that the airbrushed size-0 large (but not too large)-breasted blonde archetype is what "everyone" believes is beautiful. And the whole thing continues to get narrower and narrower and reinforce itself with every comment thread. It's really scary.

Acceptable said...

I see what you mean. In the kinky circles I run in it's hugely white (though not so much with the tall and thin at least). I went to a femdon club last night and saw maybe a dozen PoC (in a large club in London). One of the women in my group is Bengali and got particular attention from lots of the men there because it's so rare to any non white women. I think there were maybe two black doms there, at least one of whom is a pro (who is fat and generally a lovely women when I talk to her) and I'm pretty certain the other was her apprentice.

I can almost never find kinky pictures that appea to me, it's full of tall, thin, white women in uncomfortable costume and no men for looking at (unless it's gay porn). And I like to look at the women, sometimes even thin, tall, white women, but only if that's not all there is.

You're in Seattle, right? I don't know anone active in the scene at the moment but I do know a couple of people who've just moved there and they'll be trying to get started there soon. I hope it's nice though.

Perhaps I'm lucky that most of my scene activity is real life (favourite hangout being a kinky cafe) with a variety of body sizes being accepted, so I've had no problems myself. I can only speak from a white experience though. Sorry for the ludicrously long comment, hope it was okay, I think you're awesome (it makes me so happy to see someone in the fatosphere talk about kinky things!)

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