Last week I was at April Flores and Carlos Batt’s Love Toy Art show at the Museum of Sex in New York. I got to meet and chat with with April, and we even did a short interview. If you don’t know who April Flores is, then you’d better find out. She’s taking the adult industry by storm with her art-porn, shot and directed by her husband Carlos Batts. In a world where sexuality, taste, and sexual expression is still largely dictated by unrealistic media standards, April turns the new beauty archetype on its head, proving once again that you can be hot at any size, no matter what the commercials, billboards and propaganda say.
Within the past decade, sizeism has grown to be the hot new bigotry of choice. Its effecting every arena of culture— from sex and gender issues, to health and even politics. The whole affair is absurdly childish if you ask me. Different people come in different sizes and colors, none being any more “right” than the other. Didn’t we learn this in kindergarten?
At the root of it, fat-hate is a feminist issue. We live in a culture where beauty ideals are strictly defined, and the value of a woman is ranked by how well she lives up to these ideals. If she doesn’t, then all invaluable traits are projected onto to her — asexual, morally bankrupt, lazy, unhealthy, repulsive, and so on. Women are expected to be thin, easy, and quiet. Not taking up too much space, not too powerful, not too ‘full of themselves’, or ‘throwing their weight around’. Small, weak, and submissive. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Do what thou wilt, and live & let live. Beauty is nobody’s monopoly.
Check out the interview below:
J: So, how did you get your start, and why porn?
A: I started doing modeling, just regular modeling and fetish modeling. Then, I had an ongoing book project with my husband, Carlos Batts. He shot Bella Donna in 2005 for a magazine and we had wanted to shoot her for our book-project. We thought it would be a good inclusion, but she only shoots for her own companies so she said no. Then she asked me to be in one of her movies, Evil Pink 2, and I said okay. I never thought I’d do anything in porn at all, but the opportunity arose and I went for it! I just like to try new things. After that, I had a lot of fun, and I didn’t shoot for maybe another year after that. Then my friend Kimberly Kane, was directing a movie and she asked me to do a scene with her too, so I said okay. So that’s kind of how it started, just working with friends.
J: How do you feel about BBW being classified as a fetish in the porn industry, instead of normalized like other sized-porn?
A: <laughs> Um, I don’t know. I think the porn industry needs a lot of labels. I understand that labels are necessary. That way, people can see that its ‘this’ and it’s ‘this’ so then I’ll buy it. Just to make it simple for purchasing purposes, so I guess in that sense it’s just something that exists. But, I’m trying to change things.
J: Yeah, because I heard recently that there was a petition for you to be on Playboy?
A: Yeah! One of my fans on twitter made a petition for me to be on Playboy. The people who like BBW’s… there are a lot of them.
J: Right. And it’s not really represented, culturally they’re viewed as they’re creeps or something…
A: Yeah yeah yeah, very well put. But I think that slowly things are changing.
J: So, do you feel that BBW and size acceptance is a bit more prevalent in the black and hispanic communities than in vanilla mainstream?
A: Hm.. I don’t know <laughs>. It’s hard for me to answer, because I am a Latina so I really only know how my own culture reacts, y’know what I mean? I can’t really say that asian cultures or white cultures act a certain way, so I just know my own experience, sorry.
J: Okay, so has it been difficult?
A. No. I mean, within my family? Well, I didn’t really come out to anyone and say “hey, this is what I’m doing”, except for my mom, I told her “Mom, y’know I’m doing this”, but everyone else in my family I didn’t tell, but they’re my friends on social media so they known but I never really had to sit down and say hey, guess what I’m doing. But they’ve been supportive.
J: Ok, that’s good. Now, considering your recent attack by.. the name escapes me right now, you posted about it on your blog..
A: Oh, AVN?
J: Yeah! Now, do you think we’re living in a truly sex-positive culture, or do you think we’re very uptight about sexuality, and clinging really hard to old norms about sex and beauty?
A: I think certain things are changing in culture in terms of sex, but I think people are still pretty uptight, but not everyone. Most people, probably aren’t [sex-positive].
J: Do you think the LGBT community is more accepting of BBW than straight?
A: Yeah, I think so. The LGBT community seems accepting of pretty much every body, thats the great thing.
J: Yeah, well they’re no one to talk because they’ve received so much hate, so on and so forth.
J: Any last messages to insecure big girls across the country?
A: Well, my thing is that I used to be the size that I am now, and I was really miserable. and I just thought that if I was skinny my life would be easy and things would just fall into place. Then I did get really skinny, and I lost a lot of weight and I was still miserable! <laughs> Then I realized that you have to be happy in your brain, not in your body, jean size or your weight. So, first be happy in your head. Don’t base happiness in your body weight because that will never make you happy.
J: Very well said.
A: Thank you!
J: Ok, as a last teaser question: What’s your favorite position?
A: Doggy-style! <laughs>
J: <grins> Awesome!