Why It’s Okay We’re Worshipping Curvy, But Not Skinny Women

Flickr / Philipp
Flickr / Philipp

I am a quintessential skinny girl. I eat a lot, I’m underweight according to the BMI (which is bullshit, anyway), but I don’t suffer from any eating disorders and I’m healthy. So I’ve got that going for me.

If I look up at a billboard, I see women and girls who have the same body type as me. Skinny, angular hips and knobby knees. Ribs showing, edgy cheekbones and visible clavicles. I know it’s not natural, maybe not healthy either. I know it’s all Photoshopped, whatever they say. But I see a form that’s familiar to me – the skinny girl. I have bony hips. I have visible clavicles, and my kneecaps pop out.

And lately, women’s media (magazines, websites, blogs, newspaper columns) have been gushing about “real women” advertising campaigns like ModCloth’s swimsuit advertorials, Meghan Trainor’s body-positive songs, plus size models pushing the frontiers of fashion and other ‘curvy’ news stories. We get it – it’s in to push the body positive manifesto. And we should.

But the body positive manifesto feels more like a curvy-is-best rather than skinny-curvy-and-everything-in-between campaign. Body positivity was supposed to celebrate all healthy body types but this movement has manifested in a way that biases the curvy at the expense of the skinny. Now I know the purveyors of messages didn’t intend to ostracise any body shape, but it comes across that way. People talk about how great curves are, but they forget there are women and girls out there who also seek affirmation that their angles are great too. Just because skinny is favoured by fashion, it doesn’t mean skinny girls aren’t negatively affected by all the curvy-is-best messages flooding the media. And I wish, as a skinny girl, that we can wholly embrace skinny, curvy and everything in between. Not in a one or the other kind of way, which is how it seems to work.

But hey, we’ve had a long time in the sun, us skinny girls. Those catwalks are filled with our bony brethren and we fill the pages of fashion magazines and coffee table books. We’re the ones wearing skin tight jeans on billboards, and we have those goddamn thigh gaps which really aren’t all that exciting when you’ve had one since, well, forever. When we try on clothes, we look like the mannequins in the shop window. The status quo, in fashion, is or was, the skinny girl. We have it good. We have it really good.

So I don’t mind. I don’t care if I see a lot of posts in my Newsfeed about how curves are better, and “real women have curves”, even if it excludes skinny girls and women. Because body type is a fashion thing, and fashion is transient. Skinny used to be in and we’ve had our turn. Let the girls with curves have theirs. TC mark


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  • http://ajaykohli.wordpress.com ajaykohli

    Skinny is definitely not healthy , it looks as if they are malnourished , female looks good with curves but of course not fat

  • http://theclosetplebeians.wordpress.com theclosetplebeians

    This is definitely another way of looking at it. Extreme worship of anything is bad….curvy or skinny. It should be absolute acceptance, without even venturing into the details.

  • http://FitLifemk.wordpress.com FitLife

    You’re so right when it comes to the fashion world. Just like certain styles or trends come and go so do “body-types”. The supermodel Twiggy made the skinny girls trend blow up in the fashion world and has been that way for many years. It is probably time for the trend to change to curvy women. I also wish that the media or the fashion world would make the approach to showing women that any and all body types are beautiful: skinny, curvy, pear shaped, apple shaped, big chest, small chest, etc. etc.

    We are all unique and that is what makes every one of us beautiful.

    Love your post!

    Meagan Kunisch

  • http://kyotoredbird.wordpress.com kyotoredbird

    I wish that it didn’t have to be only skinny or curvy. It would be nice to see models of every shape, size, age, and color so people don’t feel left out. Telling girls they are gross and unattractive because they aren’t skinny is super wrong. It is also wrong to tell girls that they are gross and unattractive because they lack curves. Every body type is good and valid and no one deserves to be put down because of their dress/bra size.

    That being said, as a skinny woman, I have never ever ever identified with fashion models. (I have never even understood why they are important. I should feel good about myself because someone who wears clothing for a living has a similar body type to mine?) I have been the same height (short) since 6th grade. I had terrible acne as a teenager. It took me over 25 years to accept my small breasts. I’ve never had the flawless hair or the perfect skin or the gazelle-like legs of a fashion model, and I certainly could never turn to those images for comfort when I was struggling with my body image. They only made it worse. So I really don’t agree when people say that skinny women have it so great/don’t deserve to feel bad about their bodies because nameless, photoshopped fashion models are skinny.

  • https://itsfischerwillow.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/why-its-okay-were-worshipping-curvy-women-and-not-skinny-women/ Why It’s Okay We’re Worshipping Curvy Women and Not Skinny Women | fischer willow

    […] Note: I wrote this in response to a lot of recent body-positive press that contradicts the premise of the movement by overemphasising the value of “curves” in women. As it stands, trends in body shape fluctuate over time and like fashion, what is ‘in’ today may well be ‘out’ tomorrow. I wish it wasn’t like this, but in this piece, I explain why I don’t complain. Originally published on ThoughtCatalog. […]

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