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Seeing April Flores sparkling on the cover of Bizarre, it’s clear this seductive siren oozes confidence. Her eyes are cat-like and mesmerising, and her fire engine-red smile screams 1940s Hollywood glamour. And while her girth is wider than most, it hasn’t stopped April making tidal waves in the world of adult entertainment and becoming the next big thing in alternative porn.
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We first introduced April in Bizarre 134, when we interviewed legendary lowbrow artist Coop (you know, the guy who drew the iconic image of a red devil winking and smoking a cigar that’s become an essential part of any decent book of tattoo flashes). In fact, Coop is so in awe of April that he crowned her his muse, and has been singing her praises ever since. She is, without doubt, a rare gem on the adult scene.
And that’s why we love her. April Flores is a big girl who makes no excuses about her size – and why should she? Beside the stick-thin models gracing the cover of just about every magazine surrounding Bizarre on the shelves this month, April is a refreshing change, a one-woman dynamo, and a model who should be cherished by readers of this filthy little rag.
Speaking to April, it’s surprising to hear her light, soft voice, which belies her in-your-face attitude. While adult stars can sometimes be air-headed and vacuous, it’s a genuine joy to speak to her; April’s miles away from the gritty stars who begin their meteoric rise to fame by doing nine volumes of double penetration videos and launching their own latex vagina by the age of 19. Instead, April bumbled her way into the adult scene, which makes us love her even more. But before tackling the dirty business of skin flicks, we want to get to know the woman who’s got Bizarre hot under the collar.
Born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles, April describes her family as “strict and religious”, but also “nice and respectful”. Her father was from Ecuador and instilled in April the desire to follow her dreams.
“As a kid, I wanted to be a plastic surgeon because I knew they made a lot of money,” she laughs. “Basically I just wanted to be rich.”
April’s summers were spent enjoying camping trips, exploring the mountains and visiting the Grand Canyon with her sister. A shy teenager, April had posters of actor Corey Haim plastered on her bedroom wall and Portishead playing on her stereo. Being close to Disneyland was a thrill for her, and inspired her lifelong love for one particular character.
“My favourite is Cinderella,” she giggles. “When I was in high school, I’d come home every day and watch the film. I loved seeing Cinderella overcoming her stepsisters and the idea of Prince Charming rescuing me.”
As a young girl, April desperately wanted to be skinny. And living close to perfection-centric Los Angeles didn’t help.
“Growing up near LA was definitely an added pressure,” she says. “The skinny body image thing doesn’t just stay in the city – it bleeds out to the suburbs. I’ve always liked good food, and cooking and eating is a big thing in Latino culture. I hated wearing my bathing suit, especially during my senior year when I was at my heaviest.
In college I lost 80lbs and thought I’d be happy, but then I realised, ‘Fuck, life is just the same!’ It took me a long time to realise the most important thing is to be happy inside your head.”
At 18, April left college – and like many of her classmates, didn’t know what to do with her life. And so began a long period of self-discovery.
“I worked at a mortgage company for an hour, and it just about covered my rent,” she says. “I didn’t like it. Everyone was conservative and I was at the bottom of the totem pole.”
Before long, April’s cousin landed her a job in a quaint Latino coffee house in Hollywood. Gradually, by talking to customers, she began to come out of her shell. Around the same time, she also began modelling for friends who were amateur photographers, and it was at one of their gallery openings that she finally met her Prince Charming, in the form of fetish photographer and filmmaker, Carlos Betts.
“Carlos was incredibly enthusiastic about working with me,” she says. “He said he wanted to shoot a voluptuous Latina, and it all went from there. I was nervous about doing pictures that were risqué – I wore a knitted bikini – but Carlos was really nice and we had an instant attraction. The next morning I woke up and felt so empowered! I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that’s so cool!’”
A few months later, April paid another visit to Carlos’s house… and never left. Now the couple are happily married, and April credits his encouragement and acceptance of her for unleashing the porn starlet within. It’s almost as if she was born to do it.
“Initially, the photos were something special between the two of us,” April says. “Eventually, the camera became like a third person in our relationship, and it’s been there ever since. I was able to push myself, finally moving on to do nude work.”
This evolution into a proper adult star was a slow one for April. However, she finally began to work with photographers other than Carlos, including erotic snapper Dave Naz, who’s best known for his images of girls in bondage or brandishing guns.
Her confidence at an all-time high, it wasn’t long before Carlos introduced a video camera to catch the shoots in action and her first film, Alter Ego, was soon in the can. Showing snippets of April’s life, the camera’s gaze follows her as she does everything from dyeing her hair pink and peeing in the street to getting her back tattooed.
Throw in an oriental rope session and a transsexual friend called EK injecting Caverject into his penis to produce an erection, and you begin to appreciate that April’s life can be pretty surreal.
Despite April’s experiments in adult entertainment, having sex on camera wasn’t
on the menu just yet. Instead, it was a meeting with adult superstar and fellow Bizarre cover girl, Belladonna, that led April down the path of penetration. The gap-toothed queen of porn took the newcomer under her X-rated wing, and the buxom beauty lost her on-screen virginity in Belladonna’s Evil Pink 2.
“When Belladonna first asked me to make a film I wasn’t sure, but she was so cute I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity,” April says enthusiastically. “I was so nervous on the day I went to her studio. I wanted to do a good job and was really excited. At one point, Belladonna was bent over and I was using a glass dildo in
her butt. I kept worrying about it breaking inside her – I didn’t want to end up in ER!”
April wasted no time in making follow-up films and she’s now got a wide range of movies under her belt. Her latest, Voluptuous Life, follows April indulging in various hedonistic shenanigans, including getting down and dirty with another Bizarre cover star, Kimberly Kane. The film flips a finger at negative images of
the female body, encouraging ladies to embrace their sexuality, whatever size they are.
April is also delighted to have captured Coop’s heart. “I met Coop through mutual friends, but he’d seen me in Alter Ego and knew who I was,” she says. “His work is amazing, so I was so pleased when he asked me to work with him. I’ve posed for him quite a few times.”
As April’s army of fans swells, you can’t help but be inspired by her rise from timid teenager to plus-sized wonder. “Girls say I’ve helped them to feel confident and sexy, which I love,” she says. “I’d hate to wake up tomorrow a size six. I like my body, I like my meat. Confidence is about more than being thin.”
And this is the message behind her work: “My image provokes a reaction. I still get the odd negative comment, but that’s because people aren’t used to seeing fat girls on magazine covers – it offends them. Pushing people’s buttons is a good thing and I think people’s attitudes are changing.”
Thank God April decided to keep the pounds instead of slimming down. Without them, she wouldn’t be the same. Her large, enticing frame – topped with a mop of red hair and cute, snub nose – mark her out from everyone else in the adult scene, and she’s giving the fake tits and tan brigade a run for their money. Looks like April got her fairy tale ending after all.
April’s new films Kiss Attack and Voluptuous Biker Babes, are out later this year.