I recently read a blog post that my friend Sarah linked me to on The Rotund. The post is about how real women come in all shapes and sizes, as she author is arguing against a pants campaign. In the article, titled “Job Number One; Destroying the Paradigm, Not Shifting It”, Marianne Kirby, expresses her displeasure with a clothing campaign using the slogan “Real women have curves.”
When I first saw the same slogan, I liked it. I’m not a skinny girl, and even at my lowest body weight (not that it matters, but under 100lb) I still manage to have curves. That’s just my body type, and to be fair, it’s pretty genetic. My grandmother also had that hourglass shape going on. So, seeing that slogan made me smile – “Yay, I’m a real woman! People like curvy women!”
Kirby’s post, however, reminded me that real women come in all shapes and sizes. I have plenty of “real” female friends who don’t have curves. Some aren’t slender, but their body types are naturally less curvy and some are slender with less curves – I also have very slender friends with curves. Are any of them better than the other? Not really, it’s all personal preference.
I will say as a curvy lady, it can be difficult to find pants that fit properly (and don’t gap horribly at the waist), but this campaign can be hurtful. Sure, we should be more accepting of different body types and looks in our culture, at least in my opinion, but accepting of different body types includes ALL body types. The Kate Moss look used to be ideal, and now our culture seems to be embracing a curvier look – but don’t put skinny ladies in the corner! I love that Kirby writes that she dislikes the terms “curvy” and “real” because these terms just “perpetuate the idea that that is ONE acceptable body type and that some people aren’t it…Bodies are real, all of them. The end. Period.”
One body type isn’t any more “real” than another, and I personally think it is vital for people to be more accepting of others – and not just body type. If we exclude one (or more) body type(s) as not real or not attractive, what concept are we promoting, and further, what are we teaching our children? Just as some people are more attracted to, say, red heads, some people are going to be more attracted to skinny people – and I see nothing wrong with that! I start to feel bad if there is a lot of hate on thinner people, as some people are just naturally thinner. Am I jealous? A little. However, even if I drop a ton of weight, I’m still just a girl with a naturally more voluptuous body type. My body is no more or less real than Kate Moss – it’s just different. Different can be good, and all body types are real. There is also the ideal (that Kirby did not get to) that thin individuals are always healthy, and heavier people are not. Absolute myths. There are tons of thinner people out there who are not healthy, and plenty of overweight individuals who are in great health. It’s all about what works for you, and your own real body.
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