It Happened to me: I'm a Fat Porn Star (And a Role Model)

Before I started doing porn at age 34, the only fat women I'd seen in any semi-nude pose (other than in museums) were those "Wish you were here" postcards with the 500lb woman in a bikini.

Nov 16, 2012 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

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I am fat.

Chubby, thick, voluptuous, zaftig. Fat.

And I've been fat pretty much all my life.

Now, this would be where I would usually make concessions -- "I'm not giant," "I'm muscular," "All my weight is actually in my boobs," "I'm an acceptable fat." But the reality is that I'm pretty heavy all over, and have been since I was a kid.

In fifth grade, I was approached by a boy at the school dance who insisted I say, "No."

"Say no," he'd say, regardless of how many times I asked him why. Eventually I realized it was because his buddies had dared him to ask "the fat girl" to dance and he didn't want to. To spare his pride, he wanted me to turn him down. Looking back now, it's sad how being turned down was better than actually dancing with a fat girl. At the time, I was just hurt that he didn't want to ask me to dance.

I went to a K-12 school in Japan, where I skipped first grade because I was born in September. My parents told me over the next 10 years that I was bullied because they were jealous, but I knew it had nothing to do with that. I was reminded of that fact in 11th grade, when I wasn't asked to the prom, and my "best friend" went with the guy she knew I had a crush on. It was made clear I was too unattractive and fat to have a date.

I was a size 12.

Then I went to college in the United States. I joined the theater department, became more social, and found pride in my grades. I learned that although acting was fun, I found more enjoyment in stage management and the technical side of theatre. Through that, I became more and more confident in myself (running a crew for a live show is a huge confidence-tester!).

I also had plenty of boyfriends, and have never actually lacked for one ever since. In the beginning, I thought it was cultural, but the majority of kids at my school back in Japan were American or European. I didn't realize that it was that confidence that made me attractive until much later.

I went from college to an internship to working backstage in New York. National tours followed, and I ended up in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, where I became a Production Designer for Hollywood films, television and commercials. I lived a life of freelance work, where my confidence in my abilities spoke volumes in interviews.

I was told by a mentor, "Act like you don't need the job -- you'll get it if you don't seem so desperate."

Then, the writers, then the actors, and then the union crews in Hollywood all went on strike, and all the work I had depended on for almost 10 years dried up, as work went out of state and out of the country. That was 2007. 

"What should I do, go back to New York?" I asked my friend, who was a weapons specialist for the film industry.

"You should do porn," he replied.

"There are NO fat girls in porn!" I said.

And I meant it -- all the porn I'd ever watched had slender women. The only fat women I'd seen in any semi-nude pose (other than in museums) were those gag/joke postcards you'd see at the beach. You know -- those "Wish you were here" postcards with the 500lb woman in a bikini? Yeah, those.

"You're sexy, and smart, and confident -- and there are companies that shoot gorgeous plus-sized women. You could make it work," he said.

He and his girlfriend worked in the adult industry when he wasn't doing mainstream weapons work. He showed me some websites where plus-size women weren't a punchline, and, in fact, looked gorgeous. I agreed to send in pictures. If they said yes, I'd do it.

I never assumed they'd accept me -- Asian women (I'm Japanese-Irish) are supposed to be petite, fragile flowers. Most Asian women know otherwise, but that's the stereotype here in the US.

Plus, I was already 34. Not only would I be considered "too old" to be a starlet in porn, I was probably too old to do anything in that industry without having had tenure. But they accepted my application -- which is when I asked my mom for permission.

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My mom has always been my role model, even when we disagreed. As a Japanese woman in post-WWII Japan, she made a name for herself, by herself. She ran her own businesses and took care of herself, by herself.

When she married my dad, and then had me, she gave up those career goals to become a full-time mom -- until I was old enough for her to go right back to work, becoming President of her own company. She always showed strength and success publicly, regardless of her own personal insecurities and failures, and I strive to be like her as often as possible.

"I'd like to try adult modeling," I asked. 

"Well," she said. "You're not 19 any more, you've never asked your dad or me for any money or a place to live after you left for college. We feel we raised you to make the right decision, so I suppose you'd be picky about the people you work with and be safe at all times."

She never said yes, she never said no. She basically told me that it was my decision to make, but that I should never forget my core values, that I should stay confident and take care of myself first regardless of what industry I chose.

It's now been six years since I started my "sabbatical-turned-career" in the adult industry. In that time, I've had many successes and probably just as many disappointments. I've dealt with my own share of drama both with those within my industry as well as with the public. But the number one thing I've always maintained is to be true to myself -- and that means I'm a confident, brainy, nerdy, slightly dorky (okay, mostly dorky) fat Asian girl who doesn't mind being naked.

And you know what? Being confident, brainy, nerdy and dorky make sex so much fun!

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Over the past five years, I've been able to use my status as a performer to run fundraisers, speak at marketing conferences, produce and direct my own projects, including PaddedKINK (a fetish/kink site dedicated to "women of size") and a project with fans. I've had a sex toy molded after me and won a few awards. I want to live as many amazing experiences in one lifetime as possible, regardless of size -- and I'm lucky to be able to help other girls feel more confident as a result.

Couples make up a large portion of my fanbase, and I can understand why. Much like how I didn't realize chubby girls did adult films, many couples where one or both partners are larger find that my porn is "acceptable" entertainment. Girls don't feel like they're inadequate when their guy is watching a porn film where the girl on screen is built like them and having sexy fun instead of being made fun of. And many guys are coming out of that proverbial "closet" and admitting they like fat girls! If I'm helping them feel not only better about themselves but then having some awesome sexy fun -- woohoo!!!

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Now, don't get me wrong -- being a "fat Asian porn star role model" doesn't mean that I want everyone to keep getting fatter and unhealthier, nor do I want everyone to become a porn performer. I don't want people to say, "Oh, she thinks that being a porn star is something for girls to aspire to be." I don't.

Where my "role-modeling" comes in is to share the importance of being confident in yourself, to try as many things as possible, be open to life changes, and don't let a little thing like what other people think of you get you down. Being a sex-positive plus-sized porn performer and nerdy dork (who, by the way, practices self-care, including regular STD tests, protection with non-industry partners and even taking a break from the world when necessary for a bubble bath, massage and a mud mask) is what works for me, and it took me till I was in my mid-30s to realize that. Find what works for you, even if that takes time!

Don't be discouraged if your first choice isn't what is "right" for you -- this is my third "career" and I'm still evolving.

My mom passed away last summer after four years of breast cancer. But she didn't fight it -- she felt she had done everything she wanted in this life, and left with few regrets. She was a strong Japanese woman and that's what is most important to me.

I miss her dearly, but the way of life and approach to living that she instilled in me has allowed me to encourage and inspire other women to be as strong as they can be -- and I know that that's what she'd be proud of.

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