“I like curvy women!”
No, you like women with big boobs, small waists and peachy bums. You like the right kind of curves.
The hourglass figure has been held on the highest pedestal of beauty for as many years as I can remember. Growing up around the time that I did, big bodies weren’t really represented, at least not how they are today. It was all about the Kate Mosses and Victoria Beckhams and, if you didn’t stand a chance of looking like them, the hourglass was what you aspired to be.
There’s no denying a bodacious hourglass figure is a beautiful sight to behold, and I have absolutely no intention of saying otherwise. I’m not here to detract from any body type. But what about the rest of us curvy women?
For years people used Marilyn Monroe as the poster girl for fuller figures. She was, of course, a glamourous pin-up admired by – well, pretty much anyone with a pulse. Beyoncé is another example, with her ‘Crazy in Love’ curves back in 2003 being a refreshing antidote to the super-slim late ’90s / early ’00s.
These women are gorgeous, and it’s true, they are curvy women. But the reason photos of their bodies are slapped up as the remedy to size zero culture is because their curves are socially acceptable. They fit the beauty standard of that voluptuous, seductive, buxom hourglass figure, so these women – and many like them – are what most people associate with the idea of a “curvy woman”.
But what if you don’t have the right kind of curves?
I have curves, but I sure as hell don’t have a body like Beyoncé! I have a waist, but it’s cushioned between multiple tummy rolls and it sits on top of some pretty sizable love handle hips. My bum is more Bridget Jones than Beyoncé and my boobs are there – just about. It seems unfair that I seem capable of gaining weight just about everywhere except my boobs, but there we go.
It’s hard to feel like the “curves = good” mantra applies when you don’t look like those representing fuller figures on clothing websites, social media and in the magazines. When you can’t squeeze into an hourglass and your boobs aren’t big enough to distract from the spanx lurking just beneath, it can be hard to feel like your body type is valid at all.
What do you do when your body is too chubby to be conventionally attractive (i.e. slim), but your curves aren’t the right kind so no-one is celebrating them?
I guess it’s up to us to become our own cheerleaders.