Is it just me? It seems, these days, every single woman in America is now curvy! Is it that the definition of curvy is far much broader than I understood it to be or better yet it, too, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder?
To be curvy nowadays is synonymous with being a woman. I can’t help but be perplexed when I read of celebrity women being deemed as curvy ranging from Lindsey Lohan, Taylor Swift, to Eva Mendes, Christina Hendricks and the likes of Gabourey Sidibe yet they are all women of various sizes ranging from 2-18. Not to forget they have differing body shapes as well.
So, what is curvy?
I, myself, have been referred to as curvy but it’s becoming challenging for me to contextualize it seeing as its being used loosely these days. Why is it so? Surely these fashion magazine writers aren’t running out of adjectives to reference a body.
This can’t be true.
There is a “curvy girl movement” of sort going on in the fashion blog world. It’s a particular niche that caught my eye, it’s okay if you weren’t informed. Anyhow, it’s a great thing – don’t get me wrong. It’s various curvy women – whatever that means- showcasing their personal styles and educating other curvy women on how to dress their shape. This is primarily the case because many of them feel their populations are highly overlooked in the media and by many retailers. Many times they are subjected to boring clothing or cuts that are not fitting and they, too, like any other woman deserve to have the latest trend, look hot and wear whatever it is they want to wear! Per Beyonce’s words, “They’re grown women, they can do whatever they want”Now, get me right: I don’t have an issue with this.
This is where I am lost.
I am struggling with finding my group in body types if I can say. Prior to the over-kill of the word curvy in the womanhood kingdom, I had no problem seeing myself as a curvy woman. However, now I catch myself seeing an image of someone calling themselves curvy and in the most shocking and disturbing reaction I think to myself, “ ummm how is she curvy?” Typically – allow me to be honest here without accusing me of trying to put anyone down or deem myself much better – to me they are simply fat or big (I say this cringing and fearing for my life) or at times, they are skinny by my standards. I struggle to understand what is curvy about their frame.
Quick clarification here, I do think a woman can be slender and curvy and a woman can be big and curvy as well. It really comes down to ratio, not the breadth necessarily – yes paying attention in math was a wise idea! I guess this requires my definition of curvy huh? Let me attempt to make a complex topic concise **clears throat**. A curvy woman is a woman whose body is sculptured in a manner wherein it’s proportional (Hour glass, equally curvy bust and hips) or at times it’s not proportional yet it’s enough to show a curve effect (pear shape, in particular it’s a smaller upper body, larger lower body) . The hour-glass frame gives a balance to the eye, it typical entails a balance between the upper body and lower body – leaving the middle area the smaller between the two.It doesn’t mean they have the smallest waist necessarily but there’s a balance of sort. In the pear shape, the a smaller upper body, larger lower body mimics the fruit pear.. Other common terms for these two shapes are spoon and Coke bottle shape. There are women who are much defined in these shapes ( really small waist, or very large hips) and women who aren’t but it’s still clear they have this silhouette. THERE! **Pleads for dear life, don’t slay me**
Side dialogue: My sister and I struggle with where voluptuousness fits in with all of this. She argues a woman can be curvy and not voluptuous. After much thought, I have come to agree. I see it this way: voluptuousness has much to do with the depth, fullness, mass whereas curviness is the silhouette. Back to basic math here, voluptuousness is the area wherein the ability to be curvy is in how your diameter lays out – see Christina Hendricks for voluptuousness. A woman can be semi voluptuous or very and she can be both curvy and voluptuous. On the other hand a woman can be curvy and not voluptuous, see Halle Berry.
Speaking on the matters of body shapes is never easy, we all know how we women can get so please be nice and know this isn’t a personal attack on anyone. We are cool? Riggghhhtttt??
Now, there are women who have “assets” that are large in comparison to their actual frame but I wouldn’t necessarily define them as curvy. I do think they are being defined as curvy simply because they have a curvy awesome body parts, say chest or derriere. Pamela Anderson, anyone?
It seems, as of late, the body image battle in regard to thinnest has dimmed a bit, and instead “Curvy” is the new thing! It has become a ubiquitous term for anyone who doesn’t fit the term skinny, while still promoting a narrow ideal by highlighting specific features and the rare hourglass figure. The popular phrase, “Real Women Have Curves” is the new song in town – allowing for particular body built to be celebrated, leaving others who are in-between or undefined lost, putting women against each other fighting to define to themselves if they are a real woman or what it means to be desired sexually.
The addition of thickness or “thunder thighs” further complicates this! I don’t even know how to begin to define “thickness”. It truly is subjective! I say it’s when you’re not fat but solid and firm with extra tissues in the regions of thighs and rear end in particular. I can’t help but think of the phrase “Thicker than a Sneaker” If you like chocolate maybe this will help. One Twix candy stick or hell even two is not thick but one sneaker bar is thick, get it? It’s the (as I hold up my hands acting as if I am grabbing a thick thigh) mass in a way, a sense of fullness. You get it? I’ll take “kinda”.
See, they’re some folks who think “thickness” is a black girl’s cover-up for not wanting to admit she’s fat. I disagree, but that’s another topic for another day. However, we cannot deny that body image is contextual according to culture, race and ethnicity. In one community a body part may be glorified – hell guys almost get into accidents trying to check this behind! In another, it’s not even noticed.
Back to curviness – actually back to body-image as a whole. Ladies, sisters as far as the media is concerned it’s going to go with the trend. After all, the trend is where their money is via advertisements, endorsements and such. One minute this is in, the next it’s not so please don’t allow yourself to be a puppet. We cannot allow someone else to define what our body is or build our confidence for us, because then they can break it down just as easily. What we consumer AKA media tells us all the time what is and what isn’t. Be aware of what influences your thoughts, it’s not too far from what you consume most!
Are you curvy? Do you struggle with defining it? What is curvy to you? Guys weigh in. Please be polite or yes I will delete “nonsense” comments (lol)
Mixup, Fixup & Body Image