Monday, March 5, 2012

Fat Hungry B-tch: Feederism, Sexism and the Black Female Body

I have a new piece up at Clutch magazine

A parody of Tyga’s Rack City – Fat Hungry Bitch –has recently gone viral on YouTube. Unfortunately, Fat Hungry Bitch builds upon the misogyny of the original and adds fat phobia into the mix.



The so-called “video hoe” is a modernized version of the Hottentot Venus - Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman. It has been 217 years since the death of Ms. Bartman, yet the sexist and racist fetishization of Black female bodies lives on with the obligatory ass-shaking and fixation on the buttocks in a large percentile of videos that sexualize Black women.  Just as Baartman was forced to display her buttocks and genitalia for the amusement and the uplift of whiteness, today’s video hoe shakes her genitalia to empower a very negative construction of Black masculinity.

Fat Hungry Bitch attempts to present itself as idealizing and uplifting fat Black women; however, it reads like feeder porn and celebrates a feeder/feedee relationship, which in some circles has been known to be abusive to the feedee. Rather than the Health At Any Size doctrine that fat activists have attempted to normalize, feederism promotes the eating of food and gaining of weight as erotic, even in cases where it causes a feedee to become immobile.  In some cases, feederism includes forced feeding with the goal being to discover how fat and helpless the feedee can potentially become.

To publicly eat and enjoy food as a fat person often means subverting our social constructions of womanhood.  Women are encouraged to purchase low-fat, low-calorie foods and to eat small portions at all times.  Representatives of companies like Jenny Craig are women, with the underlying message being that true femininity belongs only to those who the ability to conform to a very thin and narrow body type.

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