"Lustworthy" is a photo series brought to you by the creative team behind the Attractive and Fat campaign that took the world by storm. Jes Baker and Liora K (J+L) have teamed up once again to produce a series of "advertisements" that challenge what body types are permissibly desirable in media. By borrowing the theme of sensuality found in preexisting advertisements and using unconventional pairings of bodies, J+L have created a visually jarring and beautifully inclusive look into what we may not deem "Lustworthy", but, in reality, is."
Never in our culture do we see sexy photo shoots that pair nontraditional bodies with traditionally attractive models. It's socially acceptable for same to be paired with same, but never are the different types of bodies positively mixed in the world of advertisement. In projects like "Attractive and Fat", the juxtaposition of uncommonly paired bodies caused viewers to feel uncomfortable, and so it must be addressed again. This negative reaction is largely attributed to companies that capitalize on the thought that atypical bodies are not attractive, desirable or lust worthy. This is inaccurate, and the only way to shift the way we view ourselves is to repeatedly counter exclusionary imagery with positive inclusive imagery.
It is Jes and Liora's hope that the combination of these types of contrasting bodies will someday be as ubiquitous as the socially accepted ideal. The "Lustworthy" series is their contribution to this transformation.
When we posted the original Lustworthy shoot, Liora and I asked what other types of bodies you would like to see represented. We weren't surprised to see a coupling that had been similarly requested just months earlier as a response to the Attractive & Fat campaign:
You really felt like the world needed a sexy representation of a larger man paired with a "model type" woman, and guess what? We couldn't agree more.
With the second installment of Lustworthy, Liora and I visually challenge the perception that the larger, fat man isn't worthy of lust based on looks alone. We are taught that his body is something to be tolerated at most, and that it's sex appeal is well... nil. This couldn't be further from the truth, and goddamnit someone needs to talk about it!
It's hard to talk about it though; it's not a simple thing to address. This particular body type is difficult to confront, because as LuraLee pointed out we do occasionally see fat men paired with thin women...
She acknowledges that sometimes we do see this pairing but only a particular setting. Most of us on the internet (and off!) are familiar with the image of the wealthy fat man with his gold digging "trophy wife". It becomes easy to assume that the only reason the woman would be with our "big guy" is because of his money and power; the worth of these things far outweighing his "undesirable" body. She puts up with his looks simply because the trade off is worth it.
Beyond the gold digging scenario, we will occasionally see large males with conventionally attractive females elsewhere, but within each pairing there are marked contingencies. She's with him because of money. Because of power. Because he needs her to take care of him. Because she can't do better. Because fill-in-the-blank-reason-that-trumps-the-horror-of-his-unacceptable-body.
We don’t see pairings of fat men and thin women based on the fact that she thinks he's the hottest man alive. We don't see pairings of fat men and thin women based on primitive law of attraction alone. THIS MUST CHANGE.
Why must this change?
Because it does exists in real life, yet we never see it outside of a convoluted setting.
In Lustworthy: This Is the Truth, we see a couple infatuated with each other on a very lascivious level. Perfume ads are a perfect way to discuss physical merit, as they are based on nothing more than pure sexual attraction. Within these images, she's not lusting over his money. She’s not lusting over his intellectual prowess. She’s not lusting over his charming personality. She's not lusting because she can't do better.
She's lusting because HE IS what she wants.
So what is this truth that we speak of?
The truth is that no body is inferior (and consequently no body is superior), and so all bodies have the opportunity to be lusted by all bodies. This isn't an opinion. This is a fact. I see it in my life. I see it in other people's lives. I see it everywhere.
The truth is what was said when we talked to a friend who is in a relationship that mirrors the body pairing here; a traditionally attractive woman married to a much larger man. Her perspective reminds us that what we see (and in this case, don't see) is in no way representative of reality:
“I’d love photos like this to be taken of my husband as well, simply because I want everyone else to see what I see. My husband is. Incredibly. Sexy. ”
(Photography and text: Liora K Photography / Models: Jesse Arenstein and Bella Romeo)
Forget what you've been told.
Re-frame the way you view compatibility and attraction.
Ignore the physical exclusivity that is shamelessly peddled in our society.
Every single body is Lustworthy, and Liora and I will continue to prove it until it becomes as accepted, embraced, and celebrated, as our current norm.
What do YOU think about this particular pairing? What other couples are you interested in seeing?