F. A. Way

Tom Gleaton

I've often talked with women about
how self-image can be one's greatest enemy at times.
After working in the field of photography for some
time, I have been faced with some remarkably
similar comments from people who are all very
unique and diverse individuals. A woman who wants
to have some work done for her own use "on the
web" will want to take photographs
highlighting what she finds particularly attractive
about herself. It is only after some time,
and some encouragement from the web-fan-club
out there before a woman starts to explore
her own body through experimentation with portrait
photography. Over and over I have been granted
the chance to see someone come out of "hiding"
behind really baggy clothes or overcoats and jackets.
I have been given the rare opportunity to see
the beautiful butterfly emerge from the long
sleep and transformation.

Having spoken about what personal fulfillment
I get from watching such an emotional journey,
I can now justify giving such a graphic description
as the "f.a." as to why I want to see what I want
to see. Too many times women are made
to feel really bad about parts of their body.
It is with great sadness that I hear women
talk about showing this off while hiding that.
From this f.a.'s point of view, a big woman is
beautiful from head to toe. There is not a part
of the body that is "ugly". I find it so tragic
and at the same time ironic that often a part of
the body that a woman is most self-concious about
is one of those parts of the body that I have
total appreciation for as a f.a. I find myself
having to explain over and over how stretch marks,
cellulite, dimples, and yes, even "hanging rolls
of flesh" are all things that "come with the
territory" of being a big beautiful woman.
I have to mention how those parts of the body
are different because the woman is bigger,
but it is those same differences in the body
that makes a larger woman appear more sensual,
sexual, and attractive to the f.a.

It is about that time when I have to mention one
comparison that seems to help illustrate even to
a self-concious woman how parts of the body
appear sexy to us. I am sure just about anyone
reading this article has seen a skinny woman
wearing a shirt that does not cover the stomach.
It may be that I live in the south and it gets
really hot down here, but skinny women are showing
off their mid-section left and right over here.
While skinny women might feel comfortable showing
off a flat, toned stomach, it would still be taboo
for that same woman to pull her top off and reveal
her breasts to everyone in public. Such behavior
could even land that woman in jail! What I don't
see too much in public are larger women showing
off a large, round stomach while doing day to day
activities. As a matter of fact, I have never seen
a big woman displaying such sensuality, swinging
her big round stomach side to side as she strutted
down the street. I have told women who were afraid
to reveal their stomach that if I did see such a
display by a big woman in public I hope I would
not be driving because I might get into an accident
staring at the woman, caught in a helpless jaw-dropped,
tongue hanging out gaze!

For all of this illustration, I strive to make a simple
point. A big woman might be worried about how the
sight of her stomach is perceived, and all the while,
there will be many a f.a. to find that stomach to be
really sexy and sensual to see portrayed in a sensual
and sexy manner. I can just hear women across the country
going "eeewwwww" right about now! It does not matter
how many times I say it there is still one woman I know
who hates her stomach and talks about having it
"chopped off". I find it so sad that years of conditioning
can make a woman blind to the appreciation that a real f.a.
has for the natural, sensual, feminine, beautiful look
of a full-figured woman's stomach. I guess I know to
pick on that part of the body because over and over it
seems to be the one part of the body that nobody is
happy with! That is where the irony comes in, because
most f.a.'s will look at a woman's stomach and see
beauty in the way that it hangs, or the way it moves
with the body of the big woman that owns it.
I sometimes forget how unhappy most voluptuous
women are about that part of their body because of
the affect that it's beauty has on me. I see the
mid-section as being where it all "comes together"
and the roundness of the stomach is where the hips
begin. Our "stick-obsessed" culture has created a
taboo in a part of the body that only exists when
some size or weight is exceeded. I guess in a way
I might not get so worked up over the sight of a
big, round, sexy stomach if I could see women
showing them off left and right the way I see skinny
women showing it. I know that there are going to be
some hard-cases out there who are not going to beleive
me on this one no matter what. I can only hope though
that I can start to "break through" some of that
negative conditioning in just a few people out there.
If I have helped a really sexy woman out there to have
the courage to get that two-piece bathing suit, then
I feel really fulfilled in having shared my point
of view about this. Maybe one day I might eventually
have that fender-bender because some big sexy momma
was walking down the street swinging her big
stomach side to side!

I could not close this article without mentioning
how I have given a name to this enigma. The
fact that our society has turned a part of the body
taboo in such a way is so incredible to me that
I given it the name "third-breast phenomenon".
The stomach is actually perceived by me, one
"example" of a f.a., as a "third breast" simply
because I am never given the pleasure of seeing
a large hanging stomach out in public.
Again I know it would be hard to convince
some people that this is something I would
see as a luxury, or as a sexy pleasant uplift
to my otherwise average day. It is for that
reason I have spoken about this crazy thought
I've always had about it over and over with
those I have worked with in the past and present.
Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt,
and if you can, thanks for understanding how
every part of a voluptuous woman's body is beautiful to "us".

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