Friday, April 01, 2011

The Sartorialist
I have been thinking about this post and the backlash this week.  I think that the outrage is prompted because "curvy" DOES describe weight in today's culture.  It, as well as "sturdy" and "bigger" are some of the few words that woman with normal body sizes (i.e. - almost every woman over 25 not involved in the fashion industry) have left to describe themselves positively/neutrally.  To appropriate the words for a skinny woman simply because she's relatively large for their narrow community just adds salt to the wound that normal people experience in regards to image and self-esteem.

I think Scott puts up a pretty pathetic argument about the vagueness of the word "normal."  In fact, by definition, normal are folks that make up a majority of any particular characteristic.  It's the opposite of "outlier."  So, asking which woman - 5'0" or 5'9" - should be considered normal is a false question.  Neither of them is.  The women who are around 5'5" are normal.  So, since the average dress in America is a size 12, describing a woman who is, at most, a size 6, by words that belong to average-sized and plus-sized women is insulting.


blind irish pirate said...

I would agree.

I saw the pictures and thought, "Amazing, that girl has a powerful leg - kudos for her showing it off with skinny jeans. Too bad the shoes are fug. ;)"

But when he calls her "curvy," I got a little miffed. I mean, I'm "curvy" or "stocky/powerful," too, but I don't feel nearly has lean or beautiful as her... so thanks for once again drawing the line between This and That. He is correct in that we don't know what she looks like, but when I think of curves, I think of Kate Winslet, Serena Williams, America Ferrera. "Curvy" doesn't have to be applied to "fat," in the same way that "athletic" doens't always apply to "skinny."

Words... don't they always get us into trouble?

And, I suppose that my curvy bum is going to still wear flats at the end of the day. Those shoes... buh.

Baraka said...

I hope you linked to this post or left it as a comment on the Sartorialist. It's an important convo to have!

I agree, when I saw the woman, I thought she looked fabulous, stylish - and slim. Definitely not curvy unless what you are comparing her to is the average emaciated fashion model.

It's interesting that Gisele Bundchen is considered curvy by fashion insiders, but she too is extremely thin.

And - you're pregnant! :) :) :) Congratulations & so many blessings for a safe healthy, happy passage!

Love to you, my friend-