The Media is Shaming Curvy Women

I would like to take this moment to introduce a new beauty category here on TBG called “Inner Beauty + Self Love”. I thought that this would be a good addition to my blog, as I’ve always felt very strongly about topics such as this. I’m a strong believer in that we should all love ourselves for who we are, as we are. We shouldn’t let anyone else define who we should be or how we should look, or what size of clothing we should be able to fit into. And I’d like to open up this category by talking about how harmful the media and fashion industry is being to curvy women.

You see them everywhere. Billboards with pencil-thin models with huge breasts and great legs, tiny waist-lines and slender arms. Even walking through any clothing store, the mannequins are unrealistically thin. In every women’s magazine you flip through you’ll find recipes to follow the guidelines of the hottest diet of the moment. On every front page in bright bold fonts you’ll read “10 minute ab-busting workout” or “How ‘insert celebrity’s name here’ got her body back just 2 weeks after baby”…etc, etc, etc. We have been brainwashed by the mainstream media to believe that we should all be the same. A size 1 or smaller, but have a size C or higher breast size. Anyone that’s higher than a size 14(the average women’s size)? is considered to be “plus sized”. Gee, way to make the average woman feel “great” about herself.

I’ve noticed, however, that we are starting to bust through this “everyone must be unhealthily thin” phase. There are more models that are you know, actually close to the same size as the average woman. And this is great. Except for one itty-bitty-tinsy-weensy-tiny detail….

These women are called “Plus-sized” models

So tell me. How can the average woman (again, a size 14, and yet this is where the “plus-sized” clothing begins) look at these models and feel good about themselves? Sure, these girls are beautiful and actually the same size as the average female. But with the label of “Plus-sized” it makes us feel horrible. Why should we be called “plus-sized” (aka another word for um…”fat” “overweight”…) just because we are healthy and actually have natural curves? It’s in this simple, discreet way that the media and fashion industry is shaming the average american woman. Time and time again I see articles raving about how beautiful this “plus-sized” model is. But how can we be expected to feel good about ourselves if we will constantly be called that horrid and degrading thing?

So what if we have thighs and hips that we could actually rest a baby on? So what if our belly isn’t super flat or practically nonexistent? So what if our waist line isn’t super small and our breasts are *gasp* actually a decent size and completely natural? Because you know what happens most of the time when women loose weight to look like the average model? They loose weight, sure. But they are also loosing the fat in their breasts, which makes your cup size go down. So in a further motion to look more like the average barbie-doll, women feel like they now have to get implants so they have huge breasts and a tiny body. Tell me, how is that attractive? When you basically become a stick with a couple of balloons attached to it? But to be fair, it’s not men’s fault. They too have been brainwashed by the media to think that pixie-sized women are attractive. Unless of course, they don’t have a large chest. Then they are considered “flat-chested” and “unwomanly”.

Ok. Now that that’s all out in the open, let me note that I know that there are indeed naturally super-skinny women out there. They are healthy and happy, which is great. I’m not blasting you girls, and I’m not jealous of you either. I’m blasting the media, who has taught us that unless you fit into a specific cookie-cutter shape, you are not attractive or feminine enough. All while growing up I was considered underweight by the public school systems, though I was perfectly healthy. I would get called anorexic and people would say that I was bulimic. Just because I was naturally really thin. And now that I’ve matured and my body has grown, I feel the pressures of the “skinny” society. My thighs touch and jiggle, my belly isn’t toned at all, and I certainty don’t have C-cup breasts. Granted, I’m not a size 14, I’m actually a size 4 or 5. But I’m also 5 foot 7″, so my weight is more distributed than the average 5 foot 3″ woman of today. I’m not super thin, but I’m not overweight. I am healthy and actually happy. But I am nowhere near what society says I should be. I have curves, and that’s the way I was meant to be.

It just bugs the living daylights out of me that the media is constantly showing off models that are tiny, then when a larger model pops up they parade her around as a “beautiful plus-sized model”. This is the way I see it. They are acting like they like the natural sized models, but are really shaming her (and all the women like her) for being “plus-sized”. They don’t want people to be happy with how they are naturally. They don’t want us to accept the fact that curves make us beautiful. Because they want us all under their thumb, investing in diet after diet and going under the knife to look like someone else.  They don’t want us to realize that we are all different. We come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. But that’s what makes us beautiful, the fact that we are NOT the same. Some of us are really thin, some of us are more curvy. It’s just a fact of life.

I dream that one day there will be no more “petite” or “plus” sizes in department stores. No “small”, “medium” or “large”. Just numbers. If you’re a 1, cool. Oh you’re a 14? That’s cool too. Because we are all different. We are supposed to be different because guess what? If we were all supposed to be the same, then we would have been born looking the same to start with. But we weren’t, because we aren’t. My message to the media and fashion industry at large:

Stop making women feel like they have to be the same as everyone else!

It’s not much, really it isn’t. And I believe that if this were to happen, women all over the place would become a heck of a lot happier about their bodies and themselves in general. Because once you stop comparing yourself to others, you start realizing how beautiful you are as an individual.

till next post, Katie

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