The Other Side of Obesity: Big Girls Go Nude (NSFW)

I fervently agree with that theory which states that under the banner of fashion and art, you can sell pretty much anything to the masses. I’m the kind of girl who enjoys reading magazines; not because I am that bored with my life (sarcasm) but because I know that between those glossy pages, you can find a variety of petrifying anecdotes you just don’t hear about on a normal day at the office.

So on a sunny day of April, I was going through the South African issue of “Marie Claire” when I came across a very interesting post : “Resizing beauty: can fat be seen as beautiful?”fullbeauty7

FullBeauty is the project of Yossi Loloi, an Italian photographer who wants to show the world how beautiful overweight naked women are. “Essentially I am praising difference. What I am trying to underline with my work is that any individual has the right to be considered beautiful. And that beauty does not belong to one category”.

I would like to underline the “right to be considered beautiful” part of that statement. Now, beauty is subjective. Could you actually have the right to be considered beautiful by other people when it is entirely their own opinion? Could you change the mind of someone who thinks obese is unattractive by uncovering the nakedness of obese people?fullbeauty2

In spite of the “harsh criticism” and “vile comments” his work brought up, Mr Loloi remains stoical. To those who argue that he is “elevating unhealthy life choices and supporting obesity”, he replies that his models say he is doing the right thing and that “We all have to be appreciated the way we are. There must be no dictatorship on taste.” Amen to those last two sentences!fullbeauty8

You know that strange feeling that arises when you know that almost everybody is supportive of a cause and you are going to be called  ‘hater’ or ‘narrow-minded’ or ‘intolerant’ because you don’t join? Well I’m NOT experiencing it right now because even if I’m not a plus-size woman, I lived with one almost on a daily basis for a year. A sweet and courageous girl, but so lonely… Another friend of mine almost starved herself to death because some random oblivious girl laughed at her notably curvaceous body. So yeah, I kind of know what I am talking about.

Truth is, ‘overweight people’ are ordinary folks like you and I and most of them are a thousand times more genuine and loving than the majority of ‘normal’ ones. But labeling readers’health concerns as ‘vile’ is pushing the victimization scheme too far. I am sorry sir, but obesity is a disease and a serious one! People are dying from this and it is affecting millions of lives today. I’m watching Fashion TV while writing this post, and I don’t think most oversized women are different from the emaciated models that parade on my screen. fullbeauty9

I’m not saying that overweight women should not feel proud and good in their own skin and I see where Mr Loloi is trying to go with the whole ‘Big girls you are beautiful’ strategy. But I personally think that a crude nude photoshoot session-which some may justifiably call porn- was not the right thing to do, because what I and the people who saw those pictures around me felt, is that those women were craving for acceptance. Which is normal, knowing how prejudiced our society is about appearances, but was this the right way to make such statement? I live in South Africa, Dotters, and  what I appreciate here is that curves are almost part of the cultural heritage. No matter what their race is,Black, Indian, Colored or White women carry their “big girl status” with pride and boldly showcase it… with their clothes on 😉fullbeauty6

Finally, I asked myself: “would people love me more if they realized that once naked I could look like a model if I wanted to?”.  I hope no, because if this is what it takes to feel welcomed, I’d rather be an outsider. However, if the results were genuinely positive for Mr Loloi’s models, I couldn’t be happier for them.fullbeauty1

For years the media have spread that galvanizing “Beauty is skin deep” mantra, while endlessly redefining beauty according to their own criteria. It’s a vicious cycle: they visually assault you with concepts, celebrities and styles which specify what is beautiful,what people you look like and from time to time they raise a Yossi Loloi to make you think that we live in a balanced world where everyone has equal chances to succeed no matter how they look. Well, if it were the case, shows like “the biggest loser” would not be so popular and anorexia would not be such a prevalent disease in our society. Maybe it’s time to start thinking by ourselves instead of using public opinion as some sort of basis by which we should judge people.

I may be wrong, I may be right, but that’s my take on the matter, Dotters . What’s yours? Do you think of Yossi Loloi’s project as a hit or a miss?

 

credit photos: fullbeautyproject.com by Yossi Loloi

 

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5 responses to “The Other Side of Obesity: Big Girls Go Nude (NSFW)

  1. Many may not agree with his approach, but standards of beauty vary from culture to culture. Then again there’s a difference between feeling beautiful and being healthy. Most people would focus on the health part and see this as wrong. But the focus of discussion should be on what these women feel about themselves and their image. By the look of these pictures…I want to say they look pretty confident.

    • thanks for your insight…
      I am actually watching a show about that right now on BBC lifestyle: my big fat fetish… But the episode I’m watching is about models. The ones on the sexy side, you know. It’s an interesting lifestyle but I still don’t think that (in the case of Mr Loloi’s) those women had to undress to convey their message.it’s too extreme and people could get the opposite idea. And please let no one tell me it’s not about what people think.

  2. Je ne commenterai pas le travail de M. Loloi dans le sens extrême, c’est à dire s’il est bon ou mauvais… Mais je crois qu’au-delà de vouloir donner l’impression que “Big is or can be beautiful”, il voudrait avant tout vulgariser cette image de femmes obèses pour un comportement plus rationnel vis-à-vis d’elles. Et c’est là que je te rejoins quand tu dis qu’il serait peut-être temps de penser par nous-même et d’arrêter de formater notre cerveau aux diktats de l’opinion publique. Cool post anyway 🙂

    • Thanks for your contribution, Elodie! Nous sommes rendues a la meme conclusion et c’est le plus important 🙂

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