An undercurrent of sex does resonate through some of the eating videos posted on You Tube by BBWs

An undercurrent of sex does resonate through some of the eating videos posted on You Tube by BBWs

Just as the BBW above said of her Dr Pepper that she could “take it,” others talk of being “filled” in a way that folds food into an imaginary of penetrative sex

Defined by Robyn Longhurst et al. as “the sensations, moods and ways of being that emerge from our sensory engagement with the material and discursive environments in which we live” (334), viscerality has been argued to be a way in which to reflect on identity and power by paying attention to the materiality of everyday experiences (Hayes-Conroy and Hayes-Conroy, taste and visceral). It attends to the simultaneity of politics and intimacy as social relations are forged “at the level of the guts” (Probyn 1). In turn, recent attention to eating has suggested this to be an act that forges social connections at myriad scales (see Abbots and Lavis) as people, places and objects are brought into encounter by ingestion and digestion.

An attention to what eating is and does in these videos therefore recognises power dynamics between BBWs and viewing Others, whilst also not taking these to preclude other modalities of agency. It elucidates the co-production of bodily materialities and lived experiences, whilst also tracing the multi-directional slippages between consuming and becoming the Other. Engaging with affects and socialities set in motion by eating offers up a vision of this as an act that ong bodies in ways at once disembodied but visceral.

The homepage of a pornographic website describing itself as “the home of BBWs” suggests that the viewer click on links to see women

Furthermore, to shift our analytic positioning for a moment, it is clear that the BBWs in these videos are regarded as sexually desirable by viewers

diving into the kinkiest fetishes and activities you’d ever want to see BBWs do! From face-sitting and squashing, to eating anything and everything, these big fat chicks do it.

It goes on to state that “these girls are massive, like their stomachs and appetites” and, illustrating assumptions regarding whose gaze is turned on this page, that “your dick won’t know what to do with itself!” The juxtaposition of the seemingly mundane, and also individual, activity of eating with overtly sexual and corporeally social activities such as face-sitting, suggests that to think through BBW videos focused on eating and trace their divergences from porn, we perhaps first need to attend to this wider landscape in which eating features as “kinky fetish”; it involves recognising intersections as well as disconnects.

Although women are clothed and no sexual activity takes place, many of the titles contain the words “sexy BBW.” Likewise, the language used by participants to talk about their bodies during or after eating is often sexually inflected. Bodily boundaries are also shown to be porous in further ways as fat is described as “bursting out of trousers.” A woman eating ice cream directs the camera downwards, saying, “look at that, my underwear’s rolling right down […] my tummy cannot be contained anymore.”

Hello beautiful, I wish that I was there so I could do the fondling and caressing of your beautiful, fat belly while you just concentrated on eating your food.

This contrasts to other viewers whose derogatory comments range from the denigrating “you are so ugly and disgusting” to the rather less articulate “eww.” These clearly highlight the “derision and even repulsion” (Lupton 3. See also Cain et al., Erdman Farrell) often directed at, especially female, fat. In contrast, by establishing a fat female – and indeed eating – body as desirable, these videos instead denote themselves as spaces of fat acceptance.

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