The Intersection of Sexual Culture and Body Size
The intersection of sexual culture and body size is a deep, complex, and oftentimes problematic issue. With the proliferation of diverse body sizes being represented in pop culture, sexual culture and body size intersect in various ways. For example, media often focuses on the sexual value of thin bodies, and less attention is paid to the sexual value of larger bodies, often creating feelings of low self-worth and insecurity for those with bigger bodies.
The Present and Future of Sexual Culture and Body Size
In the present, sexual culture upholds a narrow image of “beauty”; thin people, particularly women, are seen as most desirable. The standard of beauty pushes people to assess their self-worth largely based on their body size, believing that if their body does not meet a certain standard, they are less-than or have low sexual value. Ultimately, this contributes to a societal view that values certain body sizes over others, and disadvantages those who don’t fit the so-called “ideal min size.”
Looking towards the future, we can work to promote more inclusive and diverse standards of beauty. This can be done through recognizing the wide range of body sizes, and making sure that body size is no longer seen as an indicator of a person’s worth or sexual desirability. Doing so would give people of all body sizes the chance to freely express their sexuality without worrying about meeting a certain “standard.”
How to Foster Positive Change
In order to foster positive change, there are a few steps that everyone can take.
Educate Yourself: Taking the time to educate yourself on issues relating to bodies and size can be an important first step in understanding how sexual size-bias perpetuates and negatively impacts people of larger body sizes.
Have Conversations: After educating yourself, start conversations with family, friends, and peers about body size bias and the need for more inclusive beauty standards.
Support Inclusivity: Support organizations, media, and groups that promote inclusivity and diverse body types. This could include sharing your favorite body-positive influencers, and featuring or promoting plus-size models and brands.
At the end of the day, when it comes to sexual culture and body size, it’s all about recognizing the human worth and sexuality of all body sizes, and working towards fostering an environment of inclusivity and respect. Only then will we start to break the pervasive standards of beauty in sexual culture.