Big Beautiful People
"Big Beautiful Woman" (BBW) is an acronym most frequently used in the context of, affirmation of or sexual attraction to overweight or obese women. The terms "Big Beautiful Women" and "BBW" were coined by Carole Shaw in 1979, when she launched BBW Magazine, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for plus-size women.
The term has several near-synonyms with varying shades of meaning: Full-figured or Rubenesque - the latter term referring to the art of Peter Paul Rubens, best known for portraying full-bodied women. Voluptuous and zaftig usually connote ripeness, sensuality, and a body shape involving large breasts and wide hips.
Although "BBW" may have been first used in the context of BBW Magazine, the term's usage spread over the years, to the point that even women who had never heard of the magazine began to refer to themselves as "BBWs". Some women may adopt the term as a personal preference over the term Rubenesque, or full-figured, because they may not necessarily have large breasts or hips. Such terms, and others such as "queen-sized", "plus-sized", or "fat" may lead to feelings of marginalization or non-inclusion for some women. However, some strongly prefer the term fat over other words which they consider unnecessary euphemisms.
"Big Handsome Man" (BHM) is an acronym most frequently used in the context of, affirmation of or sexual attraction to overweight or obese men. These men are large to extremely large. Some are men who just happen to be large, while others consider themselves fat fetishists. Some of these men are insecure about their size, while others embrace their obesity and feel confident. Women who are attracted to BHMs are called "Female Fat Admirers" (FFA).
In the gay community, a BHM is referred to as a Chub, and a man who is attracted to BHMs are known as Chasers.
Usage in the Mainstream
The abbreviations BBW and BHM can often found used in personal ads (and online dating services) denoting an identification with (or preference for) such people, and is also used to denote events specifically targeted to them, and persons interested in them, such as specific gathering nights in dance clubs, restaurants, and fashion stores and shows. The term is also commonly used as a positive euphemism by those involved with the fat acceptance movement.
There are a wide range of websites dedicated to the topic of BBW and BHM, including sites which are dedicated to sending out a size-positive message towards larger people, some of which denounce the weight loss industry as encouraging people to lose weight to conform to what is considered the ideal by mainstream society. BBW and BHM are also on a number of pornographic websites which may include content which is sexually fetishistic in nature (including fat fetishism and feederism).
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