Where have all the curves gone? It seems like everywhere I look these days in the media and advertising world, I see one particular type of female body portrayed. This body type is what I would call the thin teenager type. In all reality, even most teenagers aren’t this thin without some seriously restrictive eating. But so as not to hate, I will say that there are some women who are just naturally tall and thin. There’s nothing wrong with this and it is beautiful in a particularly graceful delicate way. But there are so many other ways to be beautiful than this.
Where are the curves? When did we forget that a woman’s body undergoes a transformation when she passes out of girlhood? I believe that our obsession with youth impedes our ability to live life in the moment when we become adults. The constant pursuit of youth and thinness gets in the way of loving the soft curves of the natural, adult, female body.
“Each pound was a discovery. I liked it. I felt myself becoming more who I am. I had a cleavage suddenly,” Renn said. “I started wearing heels, short dresses, colour. I was becoming the weight I naturally am. It felt like I was a woman finally.”
We are all shaped differently. But the marks of womanhood are similar for most of us: larger breasts, wider hips, thicker thighs, and soft roundness to our bellies. To throw off our natural form, we cause ourselves more harm than good. Most women are not meant to be bony.
The curvaceous figure is so sensual, so risque, in our society that shuns curves, that when we do see it our reaction is severe. Upon showing the following ad to my boyfriend, I observed his reaction of pleasant awe, as if he was seeing something luscious and forbidden. There are many ads featuring near naked women on television all the time. But none of these illicit a similar response:
But this very video, which is no racier than many others that air frequently on TV but feature skinny women, was banned by Fox and ABC.
Being a grown woman is a wonderful thing. Being a teenager, for me in any case, was a miserable experience. The raging hormones, constant changes, growing pains, feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. It was awful. I honestly do not see the point in glamorizing this time of life or hanging on to it.
In the midst of the obesity epidemic we are facing, it is no wonder that we are obsessed with the opposite of obesity: emaciation. We’ve lost sight of the line between a healthy, natural female shape and an obesity problem. The more we obsess over Skinny, the fatter we become. In my interactions with other overweight people losing weight, there is one thing that stands out as a commonality among practically all of them, including myself:
The obsession with losing weight. Practically every obese person has dieted many, many times. Oftentimes, sever methods have been used. Many obese people have starved themselves. It backfires nearly every time. I consider my own experience: I was a little overweight as a teenager, but I became obsessed with losing weight. The more I lost, the more I gained back, until I did become obese myself. I often wonder, if I had never become obsessed with being skinny, would I have simply grown into my natural female form? I now know I simply went through puberty sooner than my peers. So while they were still looking like young girls, my body was more like this:
I should have known I was beautiful all along.