Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

37 Beautiful Portraits Of Fat Couples Challenge Sizeism (NSFW)

  1. Begin
    Opener (17)
    Photo: Courtesy Of The Adipositivity Project.

    SHARE IT

    164 comments
    See All Slides
    This post was originally published on February 3, 2015 and updated with seven new photos on February 25, 2016.

    “As author Junot Diaz once wrote, if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves,” photographer Substantia Jones explains.

    This adage strikes at the core of Jones’ mission as a fat activist and photographer. Eight years ago, she resolved to “subvert the very tool most often used to instill body hate” — photography — and wield it to celebrate fat bodies. (She prefers the term "fat" — a "morally neutral descriptor" — to the term "plus-size," which she sees as more suited to clothing than people.)

    Related: Is This Plus-Size Trend Actually BAD For Body Image?

    Substantia was weary of sizeist representations of larger bodies in the media and the lack of images that depicted fat people as sensual, fulfilled beings. So, she started “The Adipositivity Project,” a photo-activism campaign dedicated to beautiful (and unretouched) photography of fat people of all sexualities, ethnicities, genders, and abilities.

    Related: 5-Foot-5 & Size 22: Meet The Unlikely Model Who's Effing Up Your Beauty Standards

    “Adipositivity” derives from the word “adipose” — of or relating to fat — and “positivity,” and indeed, Substantia’s intimate portraits turn the media’s typically dismissive portrayal of fat people on its head. Since The Adipositivity Project launched in 2007, it has featured hundreds of “Adiposers” (those who pose for the project), while its website has received over 10 million visits. We spoke with Substantia about the project and her powerful approach to body politics. Click through to read what this kickass activist has to say and to view images from her couples project, “The Valentine Series.”

    Related: Target Boycotter Teams Up With The Retailer For Its New Plus Line

    Begin Slideshow
  2. Photo: Courtesy Of The Adipositivity Project.

    SHARE IT

    164 } comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 37
    }

    When and why did you first start The Adipositivity Project? Was there a "lightbulb moment" when the idea struck you, or did it come together over time?
    "There were two lightbulb moments. For more than a decade, I worked presenting live music to small, intimate audiences, during which I noted that people responded more enthusiastically when the musicians were what would be considered traditionally attractive."

  3. Photo: Courtesy Of The Adipositivity Project.

    SHARE IT

    164 } comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 37
    }

    "This was irrespective of their musical skills. Disheartening, but human nature, I guess."

  4. Photo: Courtesy Of The Adipositivity Project.

    SHARE IT

    164 } comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 37
    }

    "The other lightbulb moment happened when I was in a relationship with someone who didn't appreciate my fat body in the way I now know it can be appreciated. (That's the PG-13 version.)"

  5. Photo: Courtesy Of The Adipositivity Project.

    SHARE IT

    164 } comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 37
    }

    "Over time, this changed dramatically. I realized repeated positive exposure to that which repels us can cause us to see it in a more positive light."

  6. Photo: Courtesy Of The Adipositivity Project.

    SHARE IT

    164 } comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 37
    }

    "I thought, hey, maybe I can reverse-Clockwork-Orange people by bombarding them with beautiful (but un-retouched) images of fat people."