I am a curvy girl. Even on my wedding day, when I was a thin size 4, I was still curvy with round hips and a 34D chest. No matter what my size, I have accepted that I’ll never look like a reed thin Audrey Hepburn,except in my head when I imagine myself in a cute pair of capris, ballerina flats and a turtleneck, but then see a photograph of myself and realize that I’m just not built that way. It’s not that I pine to be anything other than what I am, but I often forget that my figure is more Amazonian than it is waifish. And, maybe it’s because, to me, it doesn’t really matter. I know I am curvy, but I don’t obsess over it. I’ve been this way ever since I started wearing a bra and developing hips. I don’t know any other body shape.
Yet, you would think that someone like myself, a curvy gal, would be thrilled by the idea of websites like Vogue Curvy (from Vogue Italia), or the show Mad Men, which showcases women with curves, would give me a feeling of relief and validation. In a way, I guess it does, but on the other hand, I find the whole thing frustrating.
The first reason why I find it frustrating is because it always seems that when a woman with curves is showcased it always comes with some sort of disclaimer about women finally accepting their curves, or that curves are in. Why can’t a woman with curves be featured without all the hooplah that comes with it? Great, she has curves…can we move on now? I don’t need to feel okay about my body because some website or magazine finally catches up with my body shape. In fact, I’d rather not be patronized and, instead, would just like to see more variety in what is shown in the shapes of women shown in general. Sure, with a greater emphasis being put on celebrating women with curves, perhaps it is better than being completely ignored, although it doesn’t feel validating, it feels ridiculous….like I’m supposed to throw an “I love my body” party, or something because I just got the greenlight to do so.
Secondly, I am more than my body. My body is the shape it is and, quite frankly, I’ve got better things to do than make that the running theme of my life. Who freaking cares? What is mildly annoying about sites and magazines that celebrate curves is that it puts this weird emphasis on body shapes as if this is the most important thing to a woman. “See, you’re beautiful too because we’re now giving you permission to accept yourself with a curvy woman (whose been airbrushed to the hilt) on the cover of our magazine” to which I feel like saying back, “Yea…I already knew that, but, um, thanks…I guess.” Our bodies are our bodies, we come in all shapes and sizes, can’t we all just accept this and move on? Why do we keep going around in these body image circles??? I can’t be the only one tired of this.
In a lot of ways I’ve felt duped by the efforts made to make women feel good about their bodies lately. While it seems so well intentioned, I don’t trust the source from where it is coming. I don’t feel that the fashion industry gives a flip about the size of my body. It may seem like they are rah-rah-rahing for all women to love their bodies, but are they really? Do they really care? I don’t know, but it all seems so “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, if you ask me.
A while ago, I wrote a blog about how the use of plus size women in fashion wasn’t the answer to helping women accept their bodies and that, instead, diversity is. You can read that blog post here but, in a nutshell the reason I hate these “special sites” and magazines dedicated to the curvy girl accepting themselves is because I don’t want a special place to go, I don’t want to be treated like this patronized novelty because I have a large set of boobs.
So, to all the magazines, websites and more that give off saccharine-y “Come over here, sweetie, hang out with me so you can accept yourself” vibe, quite frankly, you can keep it. I am a woman just like any other woman out there, be it if I have a DD chest, no chest, 3 arms or no legs. I don’t need anything to make me feel special because I don’t look like how society says I should. Self-acceptance is my job and my responsibility, regardless of how the fashion industry wants to interact with me.
So, thanks, but no thanks.