By Rebecca Drew
THIS SEXY plus size sex positive woman is embracing her incredible figure after years of being bullied for being ‘the fat girl’ and being rejected by men for being ‘so large’ but is now married and wants to show women that they shouldn’t be shamed for enjoying sex.
Social worker and model, Karla Crowe (28) from Melbourne, Australia, wants to show women how to love themselves for who they are and that there is nothing wrong with pursuing a fulfilling sex life.
Karla’s empowering mindset comes after years of being bullied throughout school for being ‘the fat girl’ and excluded from social events by girls and laughed at by boys which caused her to hide away in baggy clothes and not eat throughout the day as she was too afraid to let anyone see her eating.
It wasn’t until her early twenties that Karla started to see her body in a completely new light after speaking to the frontman of a band she went to watch who assured her that other people didn’t actually care what she looked like.
Karla took this with her and as her confidence in herself grew, she was surprised, after not having relationships through school, to learn that men actually wanted to date her and found her and her fuller figure sexy.
Despite this, at 18st 12lb and a size 20 Karla has been victim to men she’s dated not wanting to see her again because they considered her too big to introduce to their friends, something she attributes to a side effect of today’s fat shaming society. However, in 2011, Karla met her now husband, Xavier, who has encouraged her to pursue modelling and helped her embrace sex positivity.
“Throughout high school I never had relationships like most of my friends did, I think nobody ever wanted to admit to having a crush on ‘the fat girl’. I hated that I could never dress the way my friends did because nothing would fit,” said Karla.
“Even my feet were too big to wear anything remotely feminine. I was forced to hide under baggy boy’s clothes that made me feel awful and ostracised. Boys would make a lot of fat jokes, girls would generally exclude me. Throughout high school I never used to eat lunch because I didn’t want anyone to see me eat.
“In my late teens and early twenties, I used to go out to a lot of live music events and always wanted to be a singer but never felt even remotely confident enough to get on stage, always worried that I would be mocked for my size and terrified that people wouldn’t like me.
“One day I was at a gig and was chatting to the frontman after he got off stage and he told me, ‘you learn to stop giving a s*** about what people think of you when you realise that they seldom do’. That has stuck with me ever since, realising that people are generally too busy worrying about their own image and insecurities that they don’t actually care much at all about me and mine.
“Being plus sized has definitely influenced my relationships. When I was single and dating, I noticed that there was a theme with the type of men that I would generally attract.
“Usually, they were attracted to my softness and coy demeanour, many would comment on how nice it is to cuddle someone with a bit of squish.
“It took some adjusting to but after a few years of going out with friends I realised that it was no longer like high school where nobody wanted to admit to having a crush on ‘the fat girl’, that in fact many people were more drawn to me because of my sexy curves and growing confidence.
“I had a powerful realisation that by the time some flirty exchanges took place a person had already made up their mind on whether they found me attractive or not, so getting naked wasn’t likely to surprise them – they were already well aware of my curves to even get that far.
“However, I once went on a date with a guy I’d met online. We chatted for a few weeks before meeting in person and when we caught up things got pretty hot and heavy so I thought everything was going really well. Until later that night he sent me a text saying that he didn’t want to see me again because he didn’t realise from my photos that I ‘was so large’ and that he’d be embarrassed if his friends met me.
“I think the thing that hurt most was that there was an obvious physical attraction, hence things getting hot and heavy on the date, but even though there seemed to be potential for connection there, he was too ashamed and concerned with what his friends would think because of the fat shaming that is still so prevalent in our society.”
Since embracing her body, Karla has been able to enjoy a more fulfilling sex life, but she says that she’s often shocked at how women don’t allow themselves to own sexual situations because of their poor self-image.
“I am so disappointed in how often women are being ripped off in their sexual relationships because of body image issues and all the societal norms that impact on healthy relationships. The body shaming, fat shaming and slut shaming has all got to stop,” she said.
“Women are just as entitled to fulfilling sexual relationships as men are. Enjoying sex is nothing to be ashamed of and it should not be so taboo.
“Being sex positive to me simply means acknowledging that women have sexual desires too and should feel comfortable to express them as freely as men do. It’s very well established that ‘sex sells’ so I don’t understand why it is still so taboo.
“I make conscious choices about my sex life and actively explore and experiment with different things. My husband and I have a motto of ‘if it feels good, do it’.
“I don’t like to restrict myself by adhering to any particular labels, I’m very much an open minded, curious and relaxed kind of person. Everybody has unique tastes and interests, I know that I am not all things to all people and that’s ok.”
Finally, Karla spoke about what makes her feel her most sexy and shared a message to other women.
“I know it sounds cliché but lacy lingerie and red hot lippy make me feel my most confident, I think sexy matching lingerie really affects my psyche, even when nobody else knows what I’m wearing underneath my clothes I know it puts a big smile on my face and spring in my step,” she said.
“I love my body now. Like anyone, I have days where I don’t feel great, I am human and have a lifetime of poor self-esteem to keep working on but I feel like surrounding myself with like-minded people, especially on social media, is a hugely helpful strategy to keep me feeling good about myself.
“There’s no room in my world for hate anymore, and that includes self-hate.
“I think things are gradually changing but old-fashioned gender roles are still definitely a factor regarding women’s sexual relationships. I think the more we keep challenging gender stereotypes and encouraging women to feel worthy, empowered and celebrated, the more change we will see.
“I hope that with tools like social media we can continue to shift attitudes by normalising healthy sexuality and making it safe for women to express themselves openly without judgement.”