LOS ANGELES — It’s taken 12 years, an enlightened social climate and a lot of red hair dye, but April Flores and husband/photographer Carlos Batts finally published their photographic tome “Fat Girl.”
Two events will be held to commemorate the release on July 27 in downtown Los Angeles.
From 3-6 p.m., Flores and Batts will co-host a conversation and book signing at the Museum of Contemporary Art, followed by a short Q&A session. The pair will then migrate to the Fat Girl Book Exhibit at the Coagula Curatorial from 7-11 p.m. for a free shindig featuring cupcakes, a nail bar and a “spanking station.”
According to the duo, they developed the concept for the book shortly after they met each other 13 years ago as model and photographer, a relationship that quickly evolved into boyfriend and girlfriend and then husband and wife.
Although the flame-haired performer is best known for her pioneer work as a BBW adult star and plus-size model (she is the first BBW to grace the cover of Bizarre magazine), “Fat Girl” is less about body politics than the title suggests. The book, it seems, is more of an homage to the couple’s relationship than a social statement.
“The book is a good mix of all of the stuff we do,” Flores told XBIZ. “A chronicle of our love and our lives.”
“It’s not just a bunch of recent photos, it’s photos from a broad range of our life – intimate moments, party moments and gallery moments,” Batts added. “It’s like Frida Kahlo and Diego Riviera. It’s a super loose artist relationship that has spawned into something really wonderful."
As one might imagine, more than a dozen years of passion and collaboration between the photographer-model couple spawned quite a few images. Batts said that he sifted through thousands of photos and stills while trying to make selections for the book and eventually settled on about 3,000 for the final cut.
“The one main constant during our whole relationship has been the camera being present,” Flores said.
And not just one camera — “Fat Girl” aggregates images from 35mm cameras, camera phones, video tape, and digital platforms, Batts said.
Although the book is not expressly about eroticism, it will include stills from Batts’ and Flores’ hardcore collaborations and also a glimpse into the couple’s intimate (but not explicit) affairs.
“There are a lot of shots that are very composed and in a studio and there's a background and stuff," Flores said. "But then there's also stuff like just out on the street and I'll just like flash him, or out, after a party, and I'm like peeing on the street,” Flores said.
Flores explained that publishers had expressed interest in the book before, but she believes a finalized deal never came to fruition because society wasn’t ready for a book glorifying and sexualizing an overweight woman. Now, she says, people are “very receptive ad aware of body diversity and fat shaming.”
“My main goal in continuing to do adult work is to make the statement with my body that fat women can be looked at as desirable and sexy and that we can feel happy now and not feel unworthy because we’re bigger than the standard that’s shown to us in the media,” Flores said.
Flores was the first BBW star to have sex toys molded from her body. She now has two replicas, including the April Flores Voluptuous Cyberskin Pussy.
Flores and Batts, in addition to their personal projects, are collaborating on a new adult title, “Vulgar” slated to release at the end of the year.
“Fat Girl,” is now available through Amazon and Rare Bird Books.
For more information about the book’s promotional events, click here.