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April Flores, flame-haired vixen of the new porn order, is one of the most striking examples of the new sexy, from her work as a BBW adult film star to her unrepentant feminism and body-positive smashing of stereotypes. Flores has graced the covers of Bizarre and AVN magazines, been featured in several fine art photography books, and appeared in adult films in every genre of the porn industry. April lives and creates in Los Angeles with her husband, artist Carlos Batts. G rowing up, I was always larger than most of my classmates. The word used to describe me then was chunky. I wanted nothing more than to be thin. I spent my teenage years believing that my life would be a thousand times better if I was skinny. In my early twenties , I lost a lot of weight and became thin. Yet I was still unhappy. I realized that life is the same no matter how fat or skinny you are, and that happiness is a choice. Once I understood that, everything changed and my confidence grew. In 2000, I met photographer and director Carlos Batts. He expressed interest in shooting photographs of me in a bikini. I was apprehensive. I had never done anything like that, but I didn’t want to let my inexperience get in the way of trying something new. I was also flattered and excited that I had inspired an artist. During our very first meeting, he said that we could change the world together. We did the photo shoot, and I remember waking up the next morning with an overwhelming feeling of empowerment. Being able to put aside my self-doubt and trust the artist I was working with gave me a tremendous sense of satisfaction. I modeled for still photos, continuing to work with Carlos and a handful of other photographers, for several years. Carlos had taken to calling me “Fatty Delicious” as a term of endearment. When it came time to create a stage name for my website, Fatty D. seemed like it would work nicely. After working for a while in photography, Carlos and I decided to Being Fatty D: Size, Beauty, and Embodiment in the Adult Industry April Flores use video as an alternative artistic medium. We wanted to document our lives. I began masturbating while Carlos filmed it. My first solo performances were eventually included in our first distributed film, Alter Ego. In 2005, I met the porn super star Belladonna; she saw photos of me in Carlos’s book Wild Skin, and invited me to do a scene with her in one of her movies. I was drawn to the offer. She was warm, friendly, and sexy. I had made out with women before, but she was the first woman I had sex with. I was very nervous on the day of the shoot, but it went beyond my expectations in the best way possible. We shot in her studio, and the only people there were the two of us, her husband, who ran the camera, and Carlos. The environment was relaxed, perfect for a first-time shoot. I was able to fully focus on the performance and my connection with Belladonna . I thought performing in porn would be a one-time thing. But after that shoot, I was invited to work with other directors. Everything grew from there. You don’t see many women like me in porn (or in mainstream media, for that matter). We are not entirely invisible, but, like other underrepresented identities, we’ve been confined to the mostly fetishized subgenre of BBW (Big Beautiful Women) porn. BBW was coined in 1979 by Carole Shaw when she launched BBW magazine, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for plus-sized women.1 Although BBW was adopted mainly by folks used to self-identify or declare their admiration for plus-sized women (as in personal ads on the Internet), it is now a widely used umbrella term that may have different connotations depending on the context. The adult industry uses it to describe porn that features bigger women. Some BBW porn is rooted in a celebration of our sexiness from adoration to explicitly fetishizing our size. But too much of it crosses into not so thinly veiled degradation and shame: titles like Cash for Chunkers, All Ass No Face, Double Dipped Fatties, and Fat Cocksucking Whores are meant to cast us as sexual freaks to be ogled and laughed at. And it’s implied...


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MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
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