Curvy schmurvy. I prefer well-rounded

Tell me if you see what’s wrong with this picture that was posted on Facebook from the Women’s Rights News web site: a plus-size model clad only in her lingerie, with this blurb emblazoned in all capital letters and vivid purple ink: “There is no such thing as percect (sic). There is just me, and guess what I’m OK with that.”

Underneath that photo is the text line: “Curvy is fine.”

Click here to see the photo:

Leaving aside the poor grammar and spelling in the blurb … and leaving aside, for the moment, the irony that such an act of self-objectification appears on a web site that purports to promote feminist values … I have to wonder if anyone besides me is bothered by the use of the euphemism “curvy” to mean something it doesn’t actually mean. It implies that all women of ample proportions are curvy, and that simply is not the case. It also implies that no slender woman can possibly be curvy. Also not true.

I prefer the term “full-figured,” which is far more accurate without being pejorative. Better yet, how about “intelligent,” or “talented” or even (and I know this is a radical notion) “human”?

But what’s even more troubling to me is the fact that women feel the need to pose in their underwear to prove something. Because frankly, I don’t choose my friends on the basis of how they look in their lingerie. I’m interested in knowing what books they’ve read, or the results of their latest lab experiments, or what they’re doing to eradicate puppy mills.

And if someone is judging me on the basis of how I might theoretically look in my skivvies–especially considering that the vast majority of the population will never in fact see me in them without the proper street attire on top–it’s probably not worth trying to prove anything at all.

Except perhaps how quickly I can move on to a more engaging conversation with a more well-rounded person.



Filed under Articles, body image, Essays, feminism, friendship, Misogyny, Quick takes, social change, Uncategorized, writing

3 responses to “Curvy schmurvy. I prefer well-rounded

  1. Linda

    Excellent, Ann! (from your fully clothed, well-rounded friend)


  2. Heather

    Great post! I would be interested in your take on the marketing of “real” to describe full-figured women.


    • Don’t get me started. Too late; I’m already started.

      As you have probably already surmised, I dislike identifying any single figure type as “real” to the exclusion of all others. Not only is it an overt slap in the face to everyone else, but it feels to me that there’s an insult lurking in there to the so-called “real” women it does include, as well. The implication is that they are too immature and delusional to face the reality of their size and shape unless they are shamelessly flattered like some Byzantine despot. That may well be true in some cases, but it can hardly be true in every instance.

      Meanwhile, I labor under my own set of delusions, and here they are: That ALL women are real by virtue of their very existence, and that there are maybe more important factors in determining a person’s authenticity than a number on a tag. Insane, isn’t it?

      So what’s your take on it, Heather? I’m guessing you have some thoughts of your own on the subject. 😉

      In fact, I’d love to hear from other readers, too. What do you think about all of this?


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