Lots of very well-meaning people, when they find out what I do for a living, say something to the effect of:
“Right on! Real women have curves!”
I know they mean well. They’re saying that women’s bodies are more curvaceous than the emaciated bodies that are often held as an ideal by the media. But the whole concept drives me bonkers. And if it hasn’t driven you bonkers yet, let me explain why it drives me bonkers and you may end up agreeing with me.
1) Women Are Women, Curvy Or Not — Women’s bodies (just like men’s bodies) come in a diverse range of shapes. There are plenty of curvy thin women and curvy fat women, not curvy thin women and not curvy fat women. There are plenty of fat women with proportionately small hips and proportionately big hips. There are plenty of thin women with the same. Same for breasts. Same for everything. There are also some men with bigger hips and smaller hips and bigger breasts and smaller breasts. In other words, there are plenty of “real women” who are not f-ing curvy and are still quite real, and sometimes even, quite fat.
2) What The Heck Is A Real Woman, And Why Should We Care? — Personally, I think that anyone who identifies as a woman is a woman. I don’t really care if she has curves or a vulva or whatever. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you probably don’t care too much about it either. But aside from that, does it help anything to refer to larger women as “real”? Does that make thin women fake? Or not really women? Uch. See item #4.
3) Can We Just Say FAT For Once? — I personally hate the curvy euphemism. I hate it more than most others, like large or even plus-size (though I agree with Queen Latifah that plus-size should be buried). Curviness has way more to do with chest/waist/hip ratio than anything else, and I think fixating on those measurements have been keeping women down for decades.
4) Relegating Thin Women To A Lesser Status Isn’t Helpful — I realize that bigger women have been put down, discriminated against, considered non-ideal, and worse, and that is really, really wrong and needs to change. But I don’t think the way to create that change is to try to prove that bigger is better. How about we just start to see that bigger is great, too. We don’t have to relegate ourselves to a scarcity model of beauty and “realness” belong to only a select few. Perhaps one doesn’t have to be better than the other. Perhaps we can see that there’s a thing called body diversity, that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and that attraction is viable among people of varying weights.
So, yes, real women have curves, and don’t have curves, and whatever, at least that’s what I think. Let me know what you think in the comments section below!
Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. is a certified holistic health counselor who specializes in transforming your relationship with food and your body. Go to http://www.bodylovewellness.com/stay-in-touch/ to sign up for her newsletter and get your free download — Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining!