Posted by: Ophelia | May 14, 2009

“Roll Reversal” it’s like a pun or something

Over at Shapely Prose, Kate Harding speaks about the sound byte stylings of traditional media shown in an article from Philadelphia Weekly.

Affectionately titled bigbooty

Affectionately titled bigbooty

So what do you think of the image they chose to demonstrate “big girls basking in the summer sex appeal”?

Is this meant to imply that this is what a sexy fat woman looks like? Is it meant to show what the average fat woman looks like? It doesn’t seem subversive in the slightest since there is the presumption that it is more acceptable for black women to be fat than any other women. Additionally there’s the tried and true presumption about black women’s hypersexuality–does it get anymore obvious than a bethonged, nipple showing, big booty woman casting a seductive stare over her shoulder?

Also, is being mostly butt now considered plus size? Or is it just illustrated that way because of the fetishization of the black woman’s butt, so surely any heavy black woman must have a preposterously sized bottom?

Magazines don’t generally pick their images willy nilly, so clearly they want to communicate something with it. But with so many choices, which reading should the reader take away, really?


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