Category Archives: social change

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

Be the change you wish to see

I have a simple suggestion for everyone who’s been posting anti-this and pro-that rants on the various social media about all the things you don’t like about where our country’s going.

Stop complaining and do something.

Pick one issue that really bugs you. Study it intensively. And by that I mean consult legitimate sources of information, not bias-riddled blogs and web sites, not your equally uninformed friends and colleagues who happen to agree with you, and for Pete’s sake not people who post inflammatory rants on Facebook or Twitter.

Go to the nearest accredited university library and start reading what the credentialed experts have to say on the subject. (Meaning that they have earned academic degrees from recognized universities in a pertinent academic discipline.) Pick one aspect of that issue that you might actually be able to do something about. Figure out one clearly defined area that every reputable person agrees is part of the problem. Figure out what you personally can do about that one thing to work at a solution. Then do it.

OK, maybe it’s not so simple. I recognize that complaining and insulting everyone who disagrees with you is much easier and more satisfying in the short term. But in the long term, if what you really want is a nation where things are working as they should, the solution can and must begin with you. Do something. Be the change you wish to see.


Filed under change, Quick takes, social change