Larger women pretty much have two options to choose from, if they want to be in the spotlight:
1. Ashamed, constantly apologising for their weight and doing everything they can to change (think crying on Dr. Phil or being yelled at on The Biggest Loser).
2. Ashamed, constantly mentioning their weight, but funny and always cracking jokes at their own expense (think Rebel Wilson in ‘Fat Amy’ or Melissa McCarthy in ‘Mike and Molly’).
If a fat woman has the audacity to live her life out of the shadows without first changing her body, it always seems to be under the guise of hating herself or making fun of herself.
This system has become so familiar, that when large women are portrayed without any shred of shame or humour at their own expense, it causes international shockwaves.
Case in Point: The Full Beauty Project, a collection of photos by photographer Yossi Loloi. The collection features various women posing nude in a series of beautifully shot photographs. But nude photos are hardly a revelation, so why are the pictures making international headlines?
Because the women posing in them are fat.
That’s it. They’re fat.
There’s nothing different about these nude photos to millions of other nude photos out there, except that the women in them have a body shape that we are not used to being confronted with. Take a look:
Photographer Yossi Loloi has this to say about the project he created, on his website:
In my work I portray what larger women represent to me. I focus on their fullness and femininity, as a form of protest against discrimination set by media and by today’s society.
What larger women embody to me is simply a different form of beauty. I believe we own ‘freedom of taste’ and one shouldn’t be reluctant of expressing his inclination towards it. Limiting this freedom is living in a dictatorship of aesthetics.
I believe there are several ways to what is perceived as beauty, it is not measurable and has not got a standard size.
Predictably, there has been much outcry from those who believe that Loloi is ‘promoting obesity’. He himself has said that the majority of feedback he receives about his models is negative.
But Loloi insists that those people are missing the point of his collection: “I think that whenever someone suggests that I’m promoting ‘fat-ness’, he is heading in the wrong direction,” he said. “What I am trying to underline with my work is any individual has the right to be beautiful, and that beauty does not belong to one category in this world.”