Embracing the Absence of Curves


The “ideal” female body has evolved over the years from lushly figured Renaissance babes to androgynous 20’s hotties to the heroin chic of the '90s to the thicc booty of the 21st century. Ideals change, but what doesn't change is the fact that only a certain percentage of women will ever be that single type at any given time. While the world in general is less stigmatizing of thin bodies, the fact remains that all of us have been deemed insufficient or undesirable at some point in our lives. It might surprise some readers to hear that truly thin women can ALSO feel inadequate. Skinny dolls get pigeonholed and judged by their sizes and shapes, too. Their spaces and bodily autonomy are invaded as people poke their ribs, squeeze and arm, even pick them off their feet to see how light they are. Yet they are told that their insecurities are ridiculous and they should be grateful to have such tiny frames. Thin ladies of the world, we see you.

You are looked over during discussions and at work, being automatically thought of as cute rather than capable. You hear things like, “Real men like curves; only dogs go for bones,” or “Eat a donut,” or the oh-so-lovely “You must be anorexic.” Statements like these are hurtful at best and dangerous at worst; telling someone who is skinny to go eat a hamburger is equivalent to telling someone who is fat to hit the gym.

Here’s the thing: when a woman says, “Real women have curves,” there’s either 1. A 90% guarantee that she’s secretly reminding herself OR 2. You’re the unfortunate bystander in a decades-long body-shaming war in which larger women have been made to feel like utter garbage, and this one isn’t handling it well. And when a man says, “Real women have . . .” he is unconsciously and ONLY revealing his own unique sexual preferences. Plenty of people do not share his unasked-for opinion. Regardless, neither of these folks is a bringer of truth to the situation.

Rather than letting some troll decide what’s sexy, take a deep breath, and speak this truth to yourself: Your realness, worth or womanhood is not defined by how visually appealing you are to anyone else.

You have the right to take up space in the world, the right to look how you look and be who you are. Not having curves doesn’t make you any less of a woman. If you look/act/feel/experience the world as a woman, guess what? You are a REAL woman.

It seems like, as women, we’re always looking over the fence at that greener grass, when someone is looking right over the fence back at us and sighing just as hard. Are you elfin or willowy or compact? Perfect! Epic novels exist about you. Are you big or solid or pillowy? Excellent? Epic novels exist about you, too.

You are all perfect and lovely, just as you are. And the proof is overwhelming.