Friday, October 11, 2013

Am I Curvy?

“Am I curvy?”

“My measurements are X. Does that count as curvy?”

I've been hearing variations on this question a lot recently. I wanted to take a moment to address it, which is something I've been dreading a bit. Because I get the feeling that when you ask me that, you’re really asking,

“Am I beautiful? Can you validate me?”

Yes. You are beautiful. You are wonderful and unique and utterly gorgeous. I’m sorry that we live in a world that doesn't appreciate beauty in all of its diverse forms, instead making you feel like you need to fit into some arbitrary and narrow standard to feel beautiful.

Let me tell you something else. At the end of the day, I am just some lady on the internet who writes a blog. Please don’t give me the power to define your self image. I’m not the ultimate authority on what curvy is or isn't  or what the most comfortable bra size for you is, or anything else. I’m here to help, and if my advice is useful to you- great! If not- ignore it! Anyone is welcome to read, anyone is welcome to comment and participate, if this blog is useful and meaningful to you. You do not have to fit into some arbitrary measurement to be reading this.

Now, to answer the question on a more practical level:

Most women have some amount of curve. Humans aren't made up of straight lines! I personally think of “curvy” as more of a spectrum than any sort of absolute thing. Also, the idea of there being some specific cutoff is ridiculous- among other reasons, because your other features, such as your bone structure, height, body shape, etc, are going to affect how curvy you appear.

That being said, I think that the word “curvy,” as well as this blog, will probably be most useful to you as a description, if your curves- your breasts, hips, bum, and/or thighs- are different enough in measurements from the rest of you, as to cause you significant problems fitting into off-the-rack clothes or lingerie. My main target audience- ie, who I am thinking of when I write most of my posts- are women who have these problems. Again, that’s not a very specific cutoff- intentionally so- but to me, this tends to be the most useful way to use that word.

Curvy is not synonymous with beautiful.
Curvy is not synonymous with sexy.
Curvy is not synonymous with worthy.

It doesn't define who you are. It doesn't define whether men will find you attractive. I honestly, really, truly believe that there is beauty in all shapes and sizes. If you really feel like you want to describe yourself as curvy, and that it’s a useful word to use, then go for it. If you feel like other words are more useful, then that’s fine. You are still amazing and beautiful and sexy and gorgeous. And totally welcome here.


  1. This is perfect. I have that large difference between bust-waist-hips that make off-the-rack clothes so hard to wear, but I am tall so I don't always look as obviously "curvy" as a short women with less swoopy measurements. Being a bit older (37), I find it somewhat amusing that women now want the curvy or hourglass label. Those terms were mostly pejorative while I was growing up, and women did not to fall into either category. I'm baffled to see the terms for my unusual body type co-opted and claimed by so many women who don't really fit it because our perspective regarding curves (in certain places) has become more positive.

    But no matter what words we use, clothes still don't fit me and I'm still not shaped like my friends.

  2. What a wonderful article! Women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! We should be appreciated for our wonderful attributes. =] Thank you!

  3. There *is* a definition for curvy as applied to apparel sizing, courtesy of ASTM. However, it doesn't apply in the particular context of your blog -a dismay I share with you.

    But you're right, curvy is not a euphemism for plus size. Women who are quite slender can actually be curvier than overweight women from a technical, drafting perspective.

    I'd drop more links but wouldn't want to come off as spammy.

  4. Completely agree!

    Using 'curvy' as a euphemism for 'plus size' irritates me actually, because it's just another attempt at trying to 'label carrying around more than average soft tissue' as something beautiful and positive, as if the person living inside the body needs some soft terms to cover up something horrible. To be honest, it doesn't change anything, because the attitude doesn't change if you change the word. What it does result in is confusion and arguments and even more stigma.

    We all are different, and one shape or size isn't better than the other... just like one skin colour is not better than the other. Once we stop bashing each other and embracing each other's beauty, we will ALL become more beautiful. (Not that beauty defines your worth as a woman anyway! We've got so much more to offer than looks!)

    Curvy started out as defining roughly what you did above.

    So thanks.


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