Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2017-04-17

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: 6 Tips for Reclaiming FUPA, The Fat Upper Pubic Area

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

Two weeks ago I hit the moving jackpot. My partner wanted to send me away during the two day packing and moving process of our home and my friend Katy was in town for a work event (the Victoria Beckham for Target launch party). Katy invited me to come chill in her pet friendly hotel so Biscuit Reynolds, Macy and I joined her. I loved hanging with Katy, as always, and I learned two things of note: Harper Beckham is very cute and the term FUPA.

FUPA stands for Fat Upper Pubic Area. I never knew this was a thing anyone cared about. I had noticed that fat people often have fat pubic mons and I have always thought it was cute! When I was on April Flores’ radio show a couple of weeks ago we were talking about why Fat Sex is so awesome and I instantly thought about how fat pussies are so cute!

Katy, like many of us, had to work really hard to reclaim loving her body, a journey she’s still on. She had to specifically focus on her FUPA to make it a source of pride and not insecurity.

“I had all these milestones with my body. I went sleeveless for the first time, that was a big deal. I took photos of my back fat naked. I finally wore sandals for the first time because I was previously so insecure about my big feet, I didn’t want to expose them.

“My leggings got shorter, my dresses started to reveal skin more and more as I learned to accept and love my body.”

The FUPA was difficult. If you google the term, you’ll see it is usually used derogatorily. It’s not gender specific, all types of bodies can have a FUPA.

Self portrait of FUPA by Katy.

The internet likes to come for Chris Christie and Donald Drumpf about their FUPA. I would like to state for the record that body love is for every person. I think it’s body shaming and lazy activism to target Chris Christie for his weight or Donald Drumpf for his “tiny hands.” There are literally hundreds if not thousands of things to critique both of those people for and targeting the body parts of people you dislike is counter to what body liberation activism is about. It perpetuates body negativity and fat shaming.

People’s insecurity about their FUPA sometimes goes to a place of wanting to get surgery. “When your crotch isn’t how you think it should be it is a disabling amount of preoccupation. I have a D cup for a pubic mons,” Katy reveals.

People who have penises and a FUPA might lose up to an inch of usable length, which is another sort of genitalia difficulty. Just like all other benign human body diversity, genitals come in all shapes, sizes and mechanics.

Like me, Katy was a late bloomer, but she took loving her body and owning her sexuality into her own hands. Katy has a really great Tumblr that’s focused on reclaiming her body and celebrating her sexuality. Lots of nude photos and plenty of FUPA reclamation content!

Here are some ideas I brainstormed with Katy to reclaim your FUPA if you’re insecure about it, or just to celebrate it if you’re already down with your Fat Upper Pubic Area.

1. Photos!

You’ll notice throughout Katy’s body love journey on her blog that she uses naked photos as a means of reclaiming her body and normalizing it for her and her followers. I started learning how to look myself in the eye in a mirror and loved how I looked by surrounding myself with photos of me and my loved ones. Because I already loved those people, that feeling of love would amplify for my own image. This was before Tumblr, Instagram and blogging (actually even before camera phones and digital cameras) so I just used actual printed pictures and put them up around my law school dorm room.

Katy makes art to reclaim her FUPA.

2. Tattoos!

I started getting tattooed as a way to decorate my body how I wanted it. I always wanted to have them work as whole when I’m naked, so it wasn’t so much about my fat body as my fat decorated body. I’m not suggesting you tattoo your pubic mons unless you want to, more like decorating your body to look how you want to curate it.

Katy says, “I got more tattoos to celebrate the small victories of loving my skin. The cool thing about a tattoo is the process makes me love myself. It connects me to my body and can pull me out of depression and remind me I’m alive in my skin.”

3. Genitaljazzling!

What if you decorated your mons? I know sometimes that involves shaving which isn’t comfortable or the right choice for a lot of people, but it is really cute to put glitter, rhinestones, temporary tattoos, or just draw on your FUPA!

4. Extended Worship!

If you have a lover, sometimes extended foreplay where you incorporate yoni/genital area massage, or other forms of worship can help you feel like you are more comfortable in your skin. Says Katy, “Something happens in sex for me where my girlfriend focusing on my pussy as the thing to be worshipped and reminds me that the skin in and around my pussy, including my FUPA, is filled with nerves.”

5. Cannabis!

Katy highly endorses using edible cannabis to relax for sex. “As a sexual assault survivor it is very helpful for me to get out of my head and get more into my body.”

I can also vouch for certain kinds of edibles (I prefer a sativa edible that brings a joy vibration) helping me to drop into my body better. I don’t do it when I teach aerobics! But, sometimes when I am a student, I like to take a tiny bit of edible to get a body high while I’m doing dance aerobics because it helps me relax into my body and get out of my head more. I haven’t successfully done it for sex, I get too distracted, but I am looking forward to experimenting more and exploring what Ashley Manta the CannaSexual has to recommend.

6. Flagging FUPA Pride!

Katy makes these adorable bracelets that have words and acronyms on them. “It’s hard sometimes, especially as a Femme, to let everyone know what you’re down with. I love passive, decorative forms as a means of communicating something about your body that is uncomfortable for you. I made one that had PTSD on it so that i could talk to someone in a certain setting by communicating without having to use my words.”

I hope this post helps reclaim FUPA for anyone out there who is unfamiliar with the term or has insecurities about their Fat Upper Pubic Area. I want to leave on this great quote from Katy about her body love journey.

“Past Katy, present Katy and future Katy are making moves. Even if I can’t see them today as my own healing, every micro step I take is progress.”

2016-12-01

In Response to the Unacceptable Fat Shaming on the Gilmore Girls Relaunch (No Spoilers)

I love Gilmore Girls. My social media followers know I’ve been talking about the impending Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life four episode revival on Netflix for months. I even went to one of the Luke’s diner pop-up events to get in on the fan frenzy!

I identify with all three generations of Gilmore Girls. Like me, Emily Gilmore derives such satisfaction from curating an amazing event. Rory’s place among the strong personality conflicts between Lorelei and Emily is very reminiscent of my family’s dynamic. But it’s Lorelei who I relate to most of all. Her vulnerability that she tries so hard to mask, her fierce (to a fault) independence, her compulsion to make everything as fun as possible. I adore her.

I have been savoring the show’s relaunch since Friday. I finally got to the “Summer” episode and was shocked when the episode opened with Rory and Lorelei fat shaming the people of Stars Hollow at the municipal pool. They sit on lounge chairs and critique fat bodies, including someone they call “Back Fat Pat.” I thought, Surely this is going to be redeemed by some kind of pie in the face embarrassment for the protagonists. The redemption never came.

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In fact, the fat shaming continued in another scene at the pool, this time with “Back Fat Pat” simply appearing in a speedo, his fat body framed in the shot headless–all we ever see of Pat is a fat body in tight swim trunks. He is simply a body for Lorelei and Rory to make fun of for not conforming to cultural body standards.

The Headless Fatty, a term coined by the fabulous Dr. Charlotte Cooper, is a trope that the news loves to use when talking about “obesity” that is incredibly harmful to fat people. It takes the humanity away and reduces them to a body that society labels imperfect. I have rarely seen this employed in a fictional context and was horrified to see the Gilmore Girls relaunch perpetuating it.

It hurt a lot to watch it happening on a show I love. Here’s the character I relate to most ruthlessly mocking fat bodies. It’s never okay to talk about someone else’s body–I like to say “My body is nobody’s business but my own, and neither is anyone else’s.”

bevinshameless2010suitPhoto by Sophie Spinelle of Shameless Photography.

Gilmore Girls has a real shot to be groundbreaking in terms of fat acceptance. Their show ran from 2000-2007 and featured a main character, Sookie, who was fat. Sure, she was the fat best friend, a role fat people have been occupying forever. But she was at least a fleshed out character, with a romantic life and normalized by the show. Melissa McCarthy, the actress who played Sookie, went on to become an incredibly successful movie actress and fashion designer. The series also included a body diverse cast of supporting characters, including Babette, Miss Patty and Taylor. None of these people has been punished or mocked for their size on the show.

In spite of launching the career of one of the most famous fat women in the world, the original series Gilmore Girls was not immune to casual fatphobia, homophobia and transphobia. Season Four was especially ripe with casual fatphobia.

In my house we use a casual call out system to keep ourselves from allowing fat shaming (or racism, slut shaming, ageism, etc…) to become normalized. I don’t ever want to be hypnotized into thinking that any of that stuff is okay or normal. When we see something, we call it out. “Casual fatphobia,” is all you need to say to remind yourself that all bodies are good bodies and what dominant paradigm the show you’re watching is perpetuating.

I couldn’t help but notice that during their fat mocking, Lorelei and Rory are bundled up in caftans and dresses and not exposing their bodies in any way. The fact that they are doing their body shaming at a pool while totally covering up their own bodies is an interesting juxtaposition. I wonder if it is a commentary on Lorelei and Rory’s body images.

roryloreleiwalkThese aren’t the full caftans from the scene but a similar look.

I like to think about judgement as an exponential force–when you point a finger you have three pointing back at you. This is not just a metaphor. Try pointing your finger and notice where the rest of your fingers rest. I wonder if the styling choice to have them covered up while mocking people like Pat who don’t care about their body being exposed was something we could read into their characters? Were the Palladinos intentionally creating this situation as a commentary on Lorelei and Rory? If they did, they completely failed by not later addressing it.

For me this comes back down to body currency, a concept I learned from Jes Baker of The Militant Baker. Body currency is the idea that certain bodies have more value than others. Lorelei and Rory are mocking people based on their perceived lack of body currency by being fat. When you invest in body currency, the self-judgement (whether for that same thing or for other flaws) is exponentially higher. The choice to stay in judgement, stay invested in body currency, means that you’ll never be free. Everyone is at risk of losing their body currency–our bodies are always aging, becoming fat is always a risk. We are literally all only temporarily able-bodied. Giving up on judgement and disinvesting in body currency is a practice that makes your life so much easier to live.

I thought about Lorelei’s mother and Rory’s Grandmother, Emily who is so full of judgment and clearly so unhappy. Though Lorelei eschews everything her mother holds dear, she is perpetuating one of Emily’s worst character traits.

Rory and Lorelei are both impossibly skinny for how much junk food they eat. We all know folks who eat like that and don’t gain weight–a constant statistic that comes up the Health at Every Size Movement. Plenty of fat bodies are more healthy than the Loreleis and Rorys of the world.

Body positivity is having a heyday. Over half of all US women are size 16 and up, in the past two years we’ve had a plus size model on the cover of Sports Illustrated, a size 22 supermodel on the cover of People Magazine, and national ad campaigns that humanize fat people and recognize size diversity as simply a human characteristic.

In this climate of body positivity, the Palladinos choose to perpetuate disgust of fat bodies rather than create something else to show off Rory and Lorelei’s witty banter. A topic that doesn’t alienate half of their audience. They chose to put teens and pre teen audience members at further risk for disordered eating and fat teens at further suicide risk.

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In Drumpf’s America it is so vital that we engage critically with our news and our media. We cannot let these things hypnotize us and we cannot normalize discrimination. To be truly body positive is to work in solidarity with all bodies–ages, races, sexualities, gender expressions, religions, abilities. Thus, we must also resist normalizing racism, islamophobia, anti-semitism, misogyny, whorephobia, ageism, and all other forms of body shaming.Mocking fat bodies is not acceptable, it is not okay that this was happening on the Gilmore Girls relaunch.

These scenes have taken something I had a lot of joy about (they even played one of my favorite Dolly Parton songs over the credits for Episode One) and soured it for me. I still love it, I still cried through much of the last episode, but there’s a pall on a thing I used to love with full fledged enthusiasm.

I wonder if Melissa McCarthy said anything to the Palladinos after watching those scenes with Lorelei and Rory at the pool? I wonder if a body positive ally has brought this up with the Palladinos? I wonder if they would be willing to offer an apology and a promise to not perpetuate body fascism in further Gilmore Girls relaunches?

I believe all bodies are worthy of love exactly as they are. I’m so disappointed that a show that did so much for body diversity on TV does not feel the same way.

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