Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why I'm making this Blog

The hourglass. Possibly the most misunderstood body type. I have seen it used to mean plus size. I have repeatedly heard references to it being the body type that all clothing is designed for, or the body type that fashion models have. Some people think that if you are chesty, that automatically means you are hourglass shaped. Some think that curvy hips means you are an hourglass. Even the most conscientious of body image writers will say things like, "everybody has body issues, unless you are tall and thin and hourglass shaped," or "I aim to help those who are not hourglass shaped find flattering clothes." When you look up fashion advice for hourglass shaped women, you almost always read, "If you are hourglass shaped, you have the perfect body type. You can wear anything." This, as you know if you are curvy, is very untrue. Clothing companies almost all create clothing designed for a B cup!

To add to the confusion, the word "curvy" has been taken over as a euphemism for plus sized. While I mean no offense to larger women, this is incorrect and leads to confusion. I wish to attempt to reclaim the original definition of curvy: a woman of ANY size who either has large hips in comparison to her waist, or large breasts in comparison to her waist, or both.

I am hourglass shaped, and at this point I have done literally years of research on bras, clothing, and body image issues surrounding women who have curves, particularly women who have large breasts. In my research I also read hundreds of comments and forum posts and yahoo answers posts and more, from women and girls of all ages who were just as frustrated as me. Many of them hated their bodies and their large chests. One very young teenager vividly described wanting to take a chainsaw and cut off her breasts. It was heartbreaking, and many of these women never received answers. I couldn't answer them all individually. So that's why I want to start this blog. I want to share my findings with as many frustrated, curvy women out there as possible. I want to help them to love their bodies and feel respected and comfortable in their skin. I want to help them feel beautiful.

30 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you! It really frustrates me that some people don't understand that you can be very thin, but still be curvy. There's some discussion happening on the Bravissimo Facebook page at the moment about just this - with people saying the tiny models aren't curvy (when their hip to waist ratio is actually very big!), because they're not plus size...

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  2. oh I envy you so much :) you have really great shaped body :) I'm a skittle, so I don't have so beautiful proportion ;)

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  3. Yes. Curvy is about shape, rather than size. It's also possible to be plus-sized, and not curvy in the hourglass way. For example, the apple shape, which is defined as having a higher waist-to-hip ratio.

    I'm skinny, but my waist-to-hip ratio is actually low. I guess my shape is not that obvious because I'm skinny. People usu. think rectangle shape = skinny, but that's not necessarily the case.

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  4. Thank you for this! I hate how magazines always use curvy to mean plus sized. That's been bugging me since I was a teenager. It's possible to be thin AND busty!

    I feel like most clothes nowadays are made for women who are tall, thin, and have an average chest (B or C). Basically, they are made to fit the models that wear them instead of real women. I'm a 32F and 5'1" and shopping is incredibly frustrating. Dress shopping is the worst; I can go up into plus sizes and still the dress will be too tight on my chest and too loose everywhere else.

    Then people tell me I'm "lucky" to have a shape like mine, when I can spend hours in a store and find nothing flattering, while my sister (who is taller and a B cup) will already have bought 5 things and moved on to another store. The thing is, I'm actually really proud of my body. It's only when I go shopping that I end up feeling like something is wrong with me. It's not right.

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  5. I'm thinking that most clothes out there are made for the rectangle figure, or a figure with slight curves, rather than women who are curvy enough to truly be considered hourglass shape. Because think about it, unlike other shapes (hourglass, pear, apple, inverted triangle), the rectangle figure has pretty much uniform weight distribution throughout the body, so it's easier to make clothes for them, while the other body shapes have weight concentrated in particular parts of the body...

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  6. I'm not sure any body shape is really understood properly. I'm somewhere between a rectangle and an inverted triangle with short legs and average breasts and it's still a pain in the ass to find nice fitting and looking clothes as it all depends on what is fashionable.

    Actually, I know no one who is happy with clothes.

    However, I agree, people should stop thinking that being thin is always the opposite of being curvy.

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  7. Great comment. I am a little sick of curvy being a euphemism for "plus sized". I am plus sized, and clothing doesn't fit me well at all because I am pear with boobs. Basically this means that clothes are too big in the waist. When it fits in the hips, it is big in the upper body. And don't get me started on plus sized shirts that look like tents on me, since I am fairly narrow in the torso. And apparently plus sized stores also don't believe women wearing a 16 can have a 36 band. Bra shopping is hard as well at 36H.

    Curvy comes in all clothing sizes. And being plus doesn't mean you are curvy. You can be a rectangle. Or an Apple or something else! We need better definitions.

    At the moment I am working on losing some weight so I'll probably go from being bigger and curvy to smaller and curvy. :) Your tips are great for curvy women of all sizes. :D

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    1. From your description,we might kind of be body twins!

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  8. so happy to have found this blog. I always had junk in the trunk, but the boobs showed up after I hit age 25. The hips spread on out too. I was always used to finding things that fit, but my new womanly body (which my husband LOVES btw) makes things so much worse when shopping. I DREAM of fashion and clothes, but I hate going shopping now bc I do not know how to find clothes that flatter my shape. THANK YOU. I think about three years ago, a friend of mine stopped me and said "what size bra do you wear?" When I told her I was in a B cup, she nearly fell over. She made me try on her 34DDs. SO MUCH BETTER!! I look forward to exploring your blog

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  9. You seem like a really nice person who clearly cares passionately about helping curvy women to accept their bodies, but unfortunately I have mixed feelings about these sort of blogs. On the one hand, it is great that you help women to become aware of the importance of a well-fitting bra and how to go about finding one, on the other though, I think viewing pictures like the ones you post may enhance feelings of body insecurity in some women who view them.

    From my own personal experience, as someone who is recovering from a long term eating disorder, I find that those old feelings of body dissatisfaction resurface after viewing some of your posts, and this is when I thought that I had learned to love and accept my body for what it is. I am by no means overweight but I have inherited a tendency to have more of a tummy than I would have liked along with the large boobs (I'm a 30G). I still benefit from wearing brands such as Biubiu, because they are very flattering, but there's no way on this earth that I will ever have the curves that I wish for. I t seems to me that an hourglass figure like yours has become the new cultural ideal, and even companies like Curvy Kate, who claim to be for real women, still mostly conform to a very limited body shape and age. It is very difficult to accept yourself when your very normal and healthy body shape is seen to be inferior and in need of fixing in order to be acceptable. I only wish that we lived in a society that didn't compare human bodies to inaminate objects such as rectangles or pears, and in doing so judge them as good or bad in the process.

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  10. Dear Anonymous,

    I want to respond to your post about body image and eating disorders because I watched my mom go through binging / crash dieting cycles all through her adult life while I was growing up. My inconsiderate father told her she was fat after bearing his children. Back in the 70's / early 80's there were no plus sizes available in rural areas so she had to wear mens jeans. She sewed her own blouses and bought cute sandals and I thought she was the most beautiful mom in the world. But I watched her punish her body into submission by refusing to eat and by exercising til she would pass out. Now that I'm a mom of a teenager and I weigh what my mother did at my age, I look at myself in the mirror and want to weep- for what my mother thought she had to do to herself in order to be acceptable. I have my little insecurities and would love a tummy tuck. But I will no longer allow my example to teach my daughter that harming oneself is a way to become physically acceptable- to oneself- or to the world at large.

    I just want to say why I love this blog, even though I, like you, have struggled all my life with body image issues. I have shoved my body parts into clothing that was ill proportioned all my life. I have endured chronic pain and even serious injury from my clothing. I went on one crazy diet when my daughter was 6 because the pta moms thought my curves were too indecent for me to be allowed to show up at school events and support my kid in her activities. I lost too much weight but I still couldn't get rid of my bust and hips. I became a size 2 and couldn't find clothes not made for teenagers so I was still coming out of anything I wore. I begged a local department store clerk to order clothing for thin and curvy women and she called me an anorexic bitch. And I seriously considered suicide. (post too long- continued next comment)

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  11. Dear Anonymous, (continued)

    I believe that no matter what your body shape, you should find a way to make the clothing fit the body- not make the body fit the clothing. I believe that the mass produced clothing on the rack is quick and easy to make, not to mention cheap, and the people responsible for making us believe that's all there is to wear are making a heck of a profit on our pain. I believe that pears, rectangles, inverted triangles, apples, hourglasses, figure-eights, giants, midgets, hunchbacks, amputees, asymetrical people, the young, the elderly, the handicapped / disabled, the pregnant, the post-partum, the lumpy and bumpy, the freaky or frumpy- ALL have a right to look good and feel comfortable in their clothes. I just wish I knew how to help make that happen.

    The fashion industry has made me feel like I am built out of spare parts like some kind of franken-freak all my life. I love this blog because this is the first time I have seen anyone find any kind of relief from the agony of stuffing a beautiful non-average body into average clothes. I don't believe there is an ideal body type. No matter what your shape, you should be able to treat it with respect and clothe it with dignity. To me, this blog represents a first step in a march of women of ALL shapes and sizes admitting to themselves that they deserve to be properly fitted, and demanding that the fashion industry do its job and design for us- for ALL of us. We vote with our dollars, and the more we buy ill fitting garments just because they're easy to get, the longer we enable them to underserve us, their customers.

    I don't know you, anonymous, but I do know this- an eating disorder is one of many methods that a human being may subconsciously choose in a primal bid to regain control of her own body. I feel that this blog is helping me search for creative solutions to regain control of mine, and I hope that you also can find all the little things along the way that will help you keep the control that you have won over yours. I love and admire you for continuing to save your own life every day, and I understand why reading this made you feel they way it did. I just had to respond and let you know that at least three people in the world, my mother, my daughter, and I, stand with you and cheer you on.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. I hate it when people call me skinny and beg to put on weight! They talk like I've got no curves at all and I'm unattractive but my measurements are typically hour-glass. My bust and hips are balanced and my waist is 10 inches smaller. Yet I don't manage to create a curvy image wherever I go. I think it's the way I dress. Any help? What kind of clothes should I wear to flaunt my curves?

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    2. Wow, what a heart breaking story! It is terrible that we are taught that we shouldn't accept our bodies the way they are. Even my 11 year old students are affected so much by this, and they haven't even realized at yet. Thank you for being one more person who accepts yourself just the way you are!! :)

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  12. I'm glad to read this because I've always considered myself an horuglass shape and curvy, but most people don't agree because they say I'm too thin. I'm 5'9" and 127 lbs, so, yes, I'm thin, but I have a small frame. On the other hand, my bust measures 36, my waist is 25, and my hips are 37. Isn't that an hourglass? I think I would appear curvier if I were shorter. My thighs aren't very big either, which I think is more common in hourglass shapes, but my hips and butt are still considerably bigger than my waist, as is my bust.

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  13. Your blog is very inspirational. :)

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  14. I'm in between an hourglass and a rectangle with my measurements being 39-31-38. I'm curvy enough to be mistaken as an hourglass, however, I'm not curvy enough to be a true hourglass, as I need to be even more curvy (with a smaller waist) instead of just slim, if that makes sense. I'm 20, and in my teens, I had such a hard time shopping for the same clothes that my friends were wearing because they looked weird on my more curvy body, fuller bust, and wide hips, than it did on their more rectangle figures, smaller busts, and narrow hips. I thought my body shape was just weird, or ugly until I started to research more about body shapes. With the help of some blogs, I was able to find that I'm not a true body shape of any one type, but more in between two (hourglass and rectangle). However, I do tend to fall more into the hourglass shape, and find that the rules on how to dress an hourglass figure flatter me a lot more than the rules to dress a rectangle figure. I love blogs like these, where I can learn more and hear everyone else's opinions--it helps and inspires me so much! Thank you! :)

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  15. OMG!!! you totally understand the pain i go through. can we go shopping together one day?? lol, but you totally get the issue. i have problems find the perfect size in everything and i mean everything!! it makes me put myself down even more.

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  16. OMG!!! you totally understand the pain i go through. can we go shopping together one day?? lol, but you totally get the issue. i have problems find the perfect size in everything and i mean everything!! it makes me put myself down even more. and yes i do have really bad self esteem

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  17. OMG!!! you totally understand the pain i go through. can we go shopping together one day?? lol, but you totally get the issue. i have problems find the perfect size in everything and i mean everything!! it makes me put myself down even more.

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  18. I have always been a skinny woman with big sticky-out boobs, and i really hate it. It's hard to disguise and I get comments from idiots that i want to kill. I live in an almost permanent state of anger and defensiveness.

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  19. Also the misconception that an hourglass shape can't have a smaller bust. My waist is 10 inches smaller than my bust and 9 inches smaller than my hips but I'm only a big B/small C (measurements are 34 - 24 - 33). I'm a size 6 UK (which is size 4 in US sizing)

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  20. I too am very slim but extremely busty. I am 5 ft 8, a size 8/10 and 32JJ. I'm not at all embarrassed. I really like the attention I get.

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  21. I am a plus sized woman and I am not at all ashamed of my body shape as I think that this body shape shows off my curves quite well. You can also checkout more details on these body shapes and sizes online.

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  22. Great points! Im a slim hourglass, used to.be verryyyy skinny but always had.wider.hips and large butt...presently at 5'5", 120 lbs 24 inch waist 41 inch hips...always thought i was a pear because i have ZERO breasts, but i have broad shoulders so i guess im a flat chested hourglass lol...

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  23. Im still confused on "what I am".. people say Im vary tiny/athletic build .. im 19 at 5/8 110ib my waist is 6 in smaller then waist & chest..but I have Wide Violen hips & vary flat chested (34 A).. Do I fall under rectangle, triangle or petite Hour glass ? If anyone has a thought just Drop me a line ^-^.. - love lizzy soup

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  24. Just a little tip to all of you that hate shopping for clothes; learn to sew. That way you can make alterations to your ill-fitting clothes. That's what I do since my shoulders, bust and bottom are medium/large and my waist is an extra small. I pretty much make alterations on all my clothes, even t-shirts, cause if I don't I look like I have a rather large barrel shaped body (thanks to my wide shoulders and doubble D's)... also, thank goodness for stretch fabrics.

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  25. Thank you for writing this! I can totally feel your pain.
    While I am not skinny, I'm not overweight either- my measurements are 35-24-36 at 5' 0" and I am definitely curvy. All through my adolescent years I had trouble accepting my body type, which culminated in an eating disorder at 21.Right now I am 26 and more at ease with my body, but there are still days when I hate the way my clothes fit.
    The hardest issue is finding bras, of course. I am a 30G and they don't ever sell it anywhere. The brands that do sell it are way too expensive for me. So I stick to a few brands that offer stuff that almost fit, and I can only get boring colors like black or nude.
    Buying jeans is yet another issue. As a teen I used to cry because my ass looked like a squished pillow in my size 28 jeans (that was still loose around my waist). My mom tried to help by saying jeans don't suit all women and that there were other kinds of clothing I could try, but that only made me even more insecure if anything.
    Tops that fit the bust are too baggy and make us look pregnant. But nobody ever understands this.
    And like most curvy women, there are parts of my body Iam not comfortable with- like my thighs and calves- I always think they are too thick.

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  26. Yes! Thank you! I'm sick of ignorant people spouting off nonsense they keep reading IMG these idiotic magazines that you can only be an hourglass if you're fat (or "thick" and "curvy" which are the politically correct and completely wrong terms now).

    Though I must correct one thing: you do not actually need big boobs to be hourglass shaped. Boobs are just fat mostly so this doesn't make sense as your body shape is determined by your bone structure.

    For example, Kate Upton is a ruler whose body distributes fat like an apple. Christina Hendricks is a pear that has big boobs. So is Kim Kardashian. I am a slim hourglass that distributes fat like a pear.

    Also, in addition to the necessary defined waist (which is what curvy means but not necessarily hourglass), one needs their shoulder-hip ratio to be the same. THAT'S what people really don't understand, in addition to the boob thing; it's your shoulders that need to line up with your hips. If you lost both breasts to cancer, you think your shape suddenly changes? Nope, your body stays the same because boobs don't add to your shape. This is why Candice Swanepoel is a perfect example of an hourglass but has small breasts (which I love about her!).

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