4/30/2014

Praise for Penthouse's Plus Sized Cover Model

The June issue of Penthouse Forum hit the shelves on April 29, 2014.  Sounds a little off that the June issue would arrive so early, but damn, we're glad it's here!  The adult entertainment magazine has made history by featuring the very first plus-sized cover model, adult film actress, Kelly Shibari.

Shibari, who uses her celebrity platform to bring awareness to/and help end bullying, is passionate about sex education and about instilling confidence in women to be comfortable in their own skin - whatever the size, shape or color. 

"I'm not a 'fat' activist" she says.  "There are people who do that, and they are much better at it than I am.  They know the politics of it, and that's not my thing.  For me, what's more important is for everybody to work on being happy - to be confident.  You can be a size 0 and be that way or you could be a size 32 and be that way.  My other big issue is bullying - explaining to people that a lot of times, it has nothing to do you but everything to do with them, and their own issues which they are just projecting.  As an adult entertainer, I can't talk to students under 18, but when I talk to college students, it's like this lightbulb moment.  It's like no one has ever bothered to tell them it's not them.  It has nothing to do with the fact they are 250 lbs, but it's everything to do with the fact that the guy picking on you secretly likes bigger girls when everyone around him is telling him he can't or he has his own body image issues so he's going to lash out.  Or..he's succumbing to peer pressure - he just wants to belong to, like his, group that he's selected."

It's these very points along with who she is that made Shibari the best choice for Penthouse to break out of their usual formula and offer a new choice to their many readers.  Managing Editor Eric Danville states "When the time came to choose someone who had a compelling story, which also addresses important issues, the first person I thought of was Kelly Shibari. When the piece finally came together, putting her on the cover was a no-brainer.”

Hallelujah!  It's about time that all shapes and sizes of beauty are recognized in mainstream adult entertainment (or any media, for that matter).  It's important to note that Penthouse Forum is not the main publication, but one of several under the Penthouse awning.  This cover is a step in the right direction to elevating and celebrating women in all their many manifestations of desirability.  (Next step, Penthouse, the magazine!)

Knowing that young men and ladies are exposed far earlier in life to sexuality now than in the past, it makes sense that responsible media would seek to highlight different body types so women can be confident that they are beautiful as they are while young men (and women) can gain sexual inspiration variety by seeing that there is definitely more than one type of acceptable body image out there - that's it's okay to be turned on by more than just runway models and standard pinups.

Penthouse's 7-page spread on Shibari features an interview titled "Suck it, Vogue!" by Sarah Deming. Images provided come from  Eddie Powell from New Sensations’ and Big Girls Are Sexy 4.

A little about Shibari's background - She has worked "in design and construction in mainstream film and television production (commercials, music videos, and feature films) as a roadie, "and then in 2007, there was a major strike and this opportunity came up.  I kind of meant it to be just a sabbatical, and, um, it's been seven years!"  She says that in the past three years, although she still performs now and again, she has branched off into PR Marketing.  Since, as she points out, eventually most adult entertainers retire and go into something else, this allows her to still be in the business.

"It's so much fun!  As much drama and weirdness that happens in this industry, it's still a lot of fun."

Kelly has the "distinct honor of being the only plus-sized performer ever molded for a Fleshlight."  She also the representative model for "SpareParts Hardwear®’s plus size line, and made sexy pop culture media site Fleshbot’s Top Ten Crush Object List for 2013. Her self-produced, self-marketed DVD, Kelly Shibari is Overloaded, was nominated for both XBIZ and AVN, not just for the DVD itself but also for its marketing campaign. Kelly was named 2013 and 2014 BBW Performer of the Year at EXXXOTICA’s fan-based awards, “The Fannys,” and also named Best BBW Performer at the 2013 NightMoves Awards." (Press release)

Now, she adds the prestige of being the trend-setter for women everywhere, no matter size, shape, race, height, or haircolor!  And all because Penthouse Forum had, as she says, "the balls to say ‘you know what? Let’s talk about other shapes and sizes, and ethnic backgrounds, BDSM, and all these other things, and is able to expose that to an audience that is curious and open..."

Way to appreciate and celebrate all that every woman happens to be, Penthouse!  Show your love of women you know who are A-typical of the mainstream media projected idea of beauty by picking up your copy.  Kelly Shibari says if you see her and just happen to have your copy with you, she'll be happy to sign it!

Check out her website for more information (and dates for signings and expos) at  www.KellyShibariXXX.com, www.Twitter.com/KellyShibari, and www.Facebook.com/KellyShibari.

Images courtesy of Kelly Shibari.  Special thanks to Kelly for the interview.  Now go out and get your copy of Penthouse Forum!