Sophie Cunningham had a terrific article in The Age over the weekend about sex, love and partnership, and one of the things she talks about there is the ridiculous equation in public/popular culture of sexiness with (in particular) skinniness and/or buffness.
Now, as I'm a rather traditionally built lady myself, the Mandy Rice-Davies argument ('Well, she would say that, wouldn't she?') might be said to apply, but my thinking here is actually to do with various well-padded blokes. Who among us would deny that Robbie Coltrane is sexy? Gerard Depardieu? John Howard the-actor-not-the-politician? Well, who with any brains, anyway. Who with any heart.
It's not about the voyeuristic, one-way effect of the still photograph; it's about the vitality and humanness and connective spark of the way that people talk and move and -- most of all -- interact. Which is, after all, what sex is supposed to be about, rather than onanistic drooling over a photo of some C-list celebrity's lumpy, surgically enhanced bazoombas.
It's not all good, of course; I've just been reading a novel in which the wife of a corpulent but enthusiastic husband says that having sex with him is like having the wardrobe fall on top of her, and I'm sure many a partner of many a porker will recognise the feeling. But as Sophie correctly points out, part of the appeal of the above-named and many other well-upholstered chaps is that they're funny:
'As Hollywood actor Will Smith put it, somewhat inelegantly, in Britain's Empire magazine: "Comedy is better than muscles, better than money, better than looks. It's like if you can make a girl laugh out loud, you're in. It's almost like the pressure of the laugh makes her underwear fall off."'