Tales of a City Girl

What does curvy mean? *

In this society, women’s bodies are a constant source of debate and it’s rarely consistent.  Read any gossip magazines or the Daily Mail sidebar of shame and you’re presented with a wealth of dichotomies.  These magazines suggest an arse ten times the size of a human head is hot (hi, Kardashians) but belly jiggle ain’t.  In this style of media, thin women are a source of inspiration or a dangerous indication of society’s obsession with slim.

There is one little word that’s seeped under the skin in particular and is here to stay.  That one little catch-all description. You know the one I’m talking about. Curvy.  Curvy has become a phrase for everything from – you know, over a size 10, to a synonym for really quite overweight.

And this is just for the ladies, mind. A man is fat. A man is skinny.  A man is muscly. A man is never described as curvy.  Ain’t no mister I know going to be described as ‘plus size’. I think women should be described as the same. The ammunition needs to be taken out of the words used to describe our bodies, especially bloody curvy.

The shape any woman chooses to be is none of my business – this blog post isn’t about that. I’m not trying to go all Katie Hopkins here.  My issue is with the language. From the pointedly barbed ‘celebrating their curves’ to ‘real women flaunt their curves’ it makes me feel a little, well, off-kilter I guess. A little more like there’s a demand on my body not as my own.

While there’s still going to be that scrutiny over a woman’s frame in the media (I don’t see that going away any time soon),  I just wish this word was used a little less.

*If you’re wondering, I don’t have a clue either

  • Image attribution: Putting ‘curvy body’ as a search term into Flickr proved an error. Here’s the best one I could find. Thanks for your help, er, Butz.2013.