Fatphobia in the Adult Industry

February 23, 2021

On the weekend I was posted to the official PornHub Instagram account for the first time! I was absolutely ecstatic- I’ve worked incredibly hard on my PH presence, and it is really lovely to see fat representation on such a large platform!

As expected with such a large platform, my post came with an abundant amount of hate from folks who are used to seeing thin or acceptably curvy models. I’ve dealt with my fair share of internet hate, so I’m not too personally hurt by the attention I received. But things were said that were particularly vile, and I’d like to take the moment to highlight how people treat fat people (in particular fat women) on the internet. 

If you’re a thin/acceptably curvy performer, I’d love for you to take a minute to read some of these comments about me and my body and let it sink in. These are your fans, your friends, your family, maybe you! This hatred isn’t just “what you get in a PH comments section” but these deeply reflect how society views and treats fat people.

Hate and “Concern” in the name of Health

From just one (cute) photo of me, people assume my lifestyle, my health and diet. They believe that they know more about my health than my doctor and personal trainer. They expect me to work to get healthier, yet when I say that’s what I’m doing, they demand personal proof, or else I’m a liar. 

Realistically, we’re all dying. “Health” is relative, so specific to everyone’s circumstances. The people who criticize fat bodies almost never consider the various factors – like genetics, race, income, chronic  & mental illness, disability, home environment, trauma – that impact how people gain and keep weight. Most idealized versions of “health” are inaccessible, and were created through a narrow racist lens from white male doctors.

Everyone should be allowed to exist (happily even!) at all states of being – healthiness or lack thereof. “Health” is should never be a prerequisite for respect or opportunity, but it is far too often.

In regards to opportunity, I’d like to speak on specific ways fat models have not been awarded opportunities within the adult industry.

Ways Fat Models are Disadvantaged in the Adult Industry

  • Limited mainstream porn castings for BBW performers
  • Performers who refuse to shoot with BBW performers
  • Photographers/videographers who won’t (or can’t) shoot fat folks
  • More predatory male performers (due to lack of male performers who work with BBWs)
  • The definition of BBW utilized to represent slim but busty models (like Angela White) which often alienates fat models
  • Porn site algorithms that prioritize thin/acceptably curvy models
  • Fat folks targeted more often on social media by algorithms and users
  • Harder to find OF/IG promo 
  • Limited BBW representation on porn company socials, events and promotions
  • Lack of mainstream porn Award nominations (it’s rare BBWs get nominated outside of the BBW category)
  • Non-inclusive company merch
  • Additional online hate comments

Just to name a few!

Of course, this is all only amplified tenfold if you are Black (fatphobia is rooted in white supremacy and anti-Blackness), trans, non-white, or not acceptably fat. I am incredibly privileged in saying that that list is the extent of what I go through. Speaking of which, have you been tipping Black models this month?

What’s additionally disappointing is that this all feeds into each other and directly effects our bottom lines and pockets. As fat models jump through these extra hoops (which we do, because we are determined af), other smaller or conventionally curvy folks get to be steps ahead. We have to put so much more time, energy and money into getting to the same place most other models get access to automatically. We seriously face discrimination in the adult industry, on TOP of fatphobia in our private lives.

Fat performers, what discrimination have you faced in this industry that you’ve noticed? Non-fat performers, did any of this surprise you? What are some actionable things you can be doing to help fat performers?

Relevant resources:

https://www.npr.org/transcripts/893006538

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5951257/

https://www.yourfatfriend.com/

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/fat-is-not-the-problem-fat-stigma-is/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-ending-fatphobia-isnt-enough-we-need-to-stop-pathologizing-obesity/

https://www.instagram.com/ashleighchubbybunny/

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