Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Hate the Word "Curvy."

Here is my problem with this word...

When used to describe a body type, it means something different to many people. Some have changed the definition and use curvy as a nice way of saying fat. Some describe a woman who average, athletic, maybe a little over weight, or even thin but who has curves in the "right" places... Generally this is in reference to boobs, butts, and hips. I have read blogs about people being curvy and the different uses of the word, and it's a huge debate.

Knowing that, I'm sure that part of what I say will most likely piss off someone and they'll comment on how awful I am because of what I feel curvy is.

I believe that someone who is not plus-size but who has those certain prominent areas is curvy. I think that top halves of bodies and lower halves of bodies can be curvy together or separate.  When I picture curvy I picture ladies like Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, and Serena Williams (to name a few). These women are all different, but all have curves.  Kim is a tiny little person, who happens to have a large butt and boobs. Miranda is on the smaller side but is more "average" (if average is somewhere around a size six - my own guess). Then look at Serena. She is a beast - in a good way! She is athletic and her muscles are gorgeous. These women are lovely, appear to be healthy, and have curves.

I also think that several plus-size models (that term is being used loosely because I honestly don't think a size ten should be considered plus-size) are curvy. They're not tiny but many of them are not fat either. Take a look at a Lane Bryant ad or visit the website and look at the intimates section. These models are plus models.... They have curves. They also have fairly flat tummies and look toned, even athletic; with defined abs, arms, and legs. They look healthy. When I shopped at Lane Bryant, I did not see these women as plus. Curvy? Yes. The kind of curvy I would love to have looked like; for me looking healthy was what I wanted. Also, what is healthy looking varies from person-to-person. For me that is toned and smooth.

Someone else might think that curvy means fat, or is a nice way of saying fat. Let's be honest, when you're fat you DO have curves, but often times it's one big curve in each area. I'm not saying this to be rude or mean. I am not perfect. I know what it's like to live in a fat body. I don't shame people who are fat. But let's be real... If you're fat, just say you're fat!! You have to own it, whether it be good or bad to you - just own it. You can love yourself fat or you can hate yourself fat, but if you're fat... Just say you're fat. Don't try to make yourself sound sexy by calling yourself curvy.  I'm not saying you're not sexy, because everyone has a different version of sexy. Just like fatness, if you think you're sexy - own it!

I think that's my biggest problem with the word. It's all about attractiveness and being sexy. It's all about appearance. It's quite annoying, actually.  We try to use all kinds of words to make ourselves fit into a certain category that someone (probably in the media) has deemed to be sexy. I also feel like putting ourselves into these categories can be damaging to our health...And sometimes we end up lying to ourselves.

All I have to base this on is my own experience. I'm not saying what I feel is the way everyone feels. I'm not saying you should or should not feel a certain way. I am saying that there is a definition for curvy that has been stretched and I am saying that there is a definite difference between fat and curvy.

I should also mention that I don't use the word fat in the way other people do. I do not mean it to be negative. I'm not being mean.  For me it's factual. If you have a lot of fat taking up room in your body, you're fat. To me, it's the same as looking at someone full of muscle and saying that they're muscular. I generally do not use it to describe other people because not everyone looks at it that way, and most people would think I'm just being an ass.

When I was fat I didn't claim to be curvy. Plus-size? Yes. I mean, that IS the section where I shopped. BBW? At some points (and now I REALLY hate that word because of all the sexual crap that goes along with it). Fat? Of course. Big girl? Yup. But never curvy...Because I was not curvy. I was lumpy and bumpy. I was full of fat. That's it; I was just fat. Period.

I think that calling myself something other than fat would've been a lie I told to make myself feel better. The truth is that no one else would look at me and see me that way. They'd see fat. Unfortunately our society is all about the sex. Everywhere you go it's there... You have to dress sexy, act sexy, whatever... sexy, sexy, sexy. Can we just take the sex out of it for once?? I honestly feel that if we would focus on healthy and take the sexy out of it, things would be a lot different.

Here is where BBW comes in... BBW means big, beautiful woman. It's a way of making a fat girl feel sexy (just like curvy), because CLEARLY life is all about the sexy. We have to be sexy to attract the opposite sex. So instead of saying I was fat, I was a BBW. This made me feel better about being fat. It made me feel attractive. It was supposed to anyway... But the bottom line is that I was still fat. I still felt fat.

If you happen to go on certain websites (I'm referring to dating sites, not porn sites), you can list yourself as a BBW. They even have "dating" websites just for BBWs! How fabulous! That is if you're all about the sex. In my experience these websites are filled with creepers and pervs who often have fat girl fetishes and really want nothing to do with dating. To make it even more fun, they use these sites in secret because they couldn't possibly let people know that they're attracted to a fat girl. Learning this did not make me, as a BBW, feel sexy.  It made me feel like a sexual object who wasn't even worth a public date.  Once I realized what they were all about, I was done with them.  In all honesty I kind of wanted to hunt them down and punch them in the face (no, I didn't).

Fat or not I did not appreciate being treated like a sexual object. I did not like someone trying to hit on me in secret. In fact, after I realized all of that, I stopped calling myself a BBW. If I was fat, so be it. Having a title did not change how I felt about myself. To some it might. For me it was a lie. I was not more confident... The attention from using such a title made me feel worse than just being fat. Having lost weight, I'd feel the same. Except instead of just vanishing, I'm not more likely to call someone out on it.... Possibly more likely to punch them in the face.  Now I won't tolerate being treated that way.

I hate that it's used in correctly but more than that I hate that a word describing a shape has to be all about the sexy factor...Because it really shouldn't be used to describe a person's looks based on sex appeal. A body is a body. Why must we define bodies based on a level of sexiness? If you are honestly curvy, then you are honestly curvy. It's a descriptive word like fat, athletic, or thin. It's the shape of your body. THAT'S IT!

Let's just all be honest and use the correct words that define us; how we TRULY see ourselves. Stop using "pretty" words to make yourself feel better about your appearance. Accept your body for what it is. If you're happy, then great. If you want to change it, then change it! I suppose people doing so is dependant on other people's acceptance of these words simply as describing a shape (not an entire person; and not in a negative light). I do think though that if more people started saying what they are, then maybe other people would be less likely to use certain words badly.

I think that's why I like "Fat Amy." She's fat. She owns it. She doesn't use other words to sugar-coat her fatness. She shows the world that she's aware of how her body looks and basically they can't harm her with what she's already accepted. That's based only on the trailer... I have yet to see the whole movie, so maybe there is more going on with her than I know.

I'll go first... As best as I can anyway.

For me it's hard to define my body right now. I'm not fat, although I do have fat. My butt is big, and I'm sure I carry a lot of fat there. Maybe that makes me a fat-ass? I haven't actually taken the time to look at it and analyze it. I'm athletic, but much of my tone is hidden under excess skin. I often wonder if people look at me, don't realize I have so much skin, and think it's fat. When I'm dressed, you can't see how it hangs, and that it's not actually full of fat. As I sit here wearing size medium pants I don't feel that I'm plus-size, but the media would. A lot of people would call me fat. If I were a celebrity, my size ten body would be compared to a cow. I feel pretty average most of the time. There are days I feel like a cow, but everyone has their bad days.

I'm a work in progress. I want to lose a little more weight, but I'm also happy with what I've accomplished. I work out and eat healthy (although I do go astray now and then). I look at my stomach which, other than some excess skin that didn't come off with surgery (simply because there was so much), and it is flat.  I have a small upper body. My waist is much smaller than my hips. I have a definite curve from my waist to my hips. I do have some excess skin on my hip area though, so that probably makes me look fat to some. I don't like it, but I also know what it is.  Without that skin, I will still have wide hips. It's the way I'm built. I can be athletic, but I'll always have hips...And a big butt and thighs too. I'm happy that they're full of a lot more muscle than ever before. When my lower body skin is tightened I expect to be happier with my appearance. Honestly? I think I'm curvy -- on the bottom. I'm small on the top and would never call up top half curvy (unless I buy some implants), but I'm big on the bottom.

I want to point out that this is based only on body shape.

Based on health, I have an entirely different opinion. Yes, you can be fat and healthy - to an extent. I didn't have any immediate health problems, but being fat isn't healthy. Period. Overall, I'm an advocate for good health. But when it comes appearance, if someone is honestly happy and chooses to live a lifestyle different than mine, then that's their business. I'm not going to tell someone else how they should live. If someone asks for help, I'll help... I'll encourage, I'll motivate, I'll be an example.

I feel like this post was slightly scattered, and I apologize if it was. I hope that I made sense with what I wrote. I'm not body-shaming. I'm not saying fat people are awful. I wouldn't do that. I really hope that I clearly communicated that point and that this post was really about words and how we use them; and why I happen to hate the word "curvy."

How we describe our bodies should be based only on their shape. We should not use these words to hurt others. We also shouldn't use words to hide our feelings about ourselves. At the end of the day, how we look is how we look...



  1. I can see where you are coming from. People give connotations to words. For example a curse word is only considered a curse word because people use it with a negative connotation.
    Simply describing one's body, no matter what it might look like shouldn't be a completely negative situation. Sometimes, of course, if one's body is unhealthy then the description in and of it's self will be negative. People can be unhealthy over weight or unhealthy underweight. But purely describing the looks of our bodies shouldn't be so powerful. And yet, in our society, it is. The shape of our bodies define us, as far as society is concerned. I know this because I've been on both sides of the spectrum. I was overweight and treated so-so. I lost weight and was slender and I was responded to better. If you ask me, it sucks! I don't like descrimination of any sorts. While I think that we should all strive to be healthy I also think everyone's healthy looks different. When I was at my slimmest I was severally bulimic. But people would probably look at me and say that I was "healthier than a girl who was size 8 bc I was slimmer and had more muscle". But the truth was that the size 8 girl was probably healthier because she maintained her weight in a much safer and healthier way.
    I do think that calling a spade a spade can be somewhat freeing IF you are strong in who you are as a person beyond what your body looks like. Sometimes people don't feel value for who their are and giving themselves pretty descriptions like curvy(instead of fat or overweight) is just too much for them to bear. In those cases, I can see where they need to fake it till they make it. Meaning that they must fake loving themselves until they begin to truly believe it. Then maybe someday they can learn to love themselves enough to change how they look which may change how they feel, etc.
    Currently I am chunky. I'll admit it. I did this to myself. It's no body's fault but mine and I can finally own it. But I can own it because I am also in the process of changing that. I am workingout and eating right. Now, when I reach my goal weight I may still never be what people consider "athletic" because even if I can feel muscle under my skin I will still have skin that sags and dented skin from old cellulite. I've considered getting a tummy tuck. And I think that would help but to society's view I will still be saggy. That would be the word to describe me. Even the best tummy tuck doesn't completely undo all the sag that happens. And unless I become extemely muscular people wouldn't really ever see the muscle. So to their eyes I would seem maybe slim with saggy skin. And that is okay. I would own that because that is who I would be. That is the path I chose for myself years ago with over eating and then losing weight. The silver lining is that I would be healthier. Ahhh, that's the good part. :)

    1. I totally know what you're saying - it is all about how the word is interpreted and viewed!! I just hate how words like "fat" and "overweight" have become so negative. People use them so harshly that they become so much more powerful than they need to be. I love your curse word example; it is so true!!! If those words weren't given their meanings, we wouldn't see them as bad. Language is such a powerful thing.... Sometimes too powerful.

      I get what you're saying about how people need to fake it to make it... I just hope that they really do love themselves. I know I'd use words like that and I didn't love myself. We can hide so much and even if we mask it to the rest of the world, those feelings are there... Big or small. I didn't experience it, but I sure hope that there are people who honestly love their bodies, as they are. Let's face it... Most of us, no matter the size, have issues with our bodies. Stupid society!!

      I'm glad you can own it! That's what it took for me to own it too - realizing enough was enough, and making the change. I think that even now people look at my skin and because they can't see that it's saggy skin, they just think I'm that much bigger. It's annoying, but I know what it is.... And to me, that saggy skin (which I cannot stand) doesn't mean big, it means healthy. If it wasn't saggy, my body would be filled out with that. And that's just not healthy. You'll know the muscle is there, and that's what is important!!!

      You're right about the tummy tuck, too... I still have some saggy skin on my belly, but that's to be expected with as much skin as I had there before! It's not so bad standing up, but sitting or bending it's yucky lol. Oh well, I try to remind myself of what it looked like before and how I have an entire skin fold that is gone.