Monday 26 March 2012
"Curvy" versus skinny...
I wrote this on Facebook in about September 2011
I have noticed, of late, a new trend, both on Facebook and in those emails that go round and round the block.
I imagine you will have seen either or both of the two following examples:
1. A picture of a naked fat woman, artfully posed and (no doubt) skilfully airbrushed. She is beautiful, and has a mane of shampoo advert hair. There is an article alongside the picture, showing an apparently offensive advert in some gym, asking if you want to be a mermaid or a whale this summer.
2. A picture of Marilyn Monroe in a white bikini, next to a picture of a girl in a bikini who has either dieted off two stone too many, or is anorexic. The caption is something along the lines of men preferring curvy women.
On Facebook, both these posts provoke many comments along the lines of “Yay! Let’s hear it for curvy girls!” “And she was a size 16!” “Men prefer a bit of meat on the bone, not all these stick insects!” “I’m a size 20 and proud of it!” On one I was reading the other day, it became a rant by size 16-20 women against their slimmer sisters, all of whom were assuring each other than men preferred ‘curvy’ girls. (When I posted a short comment along the lines of this article, I was told to ‘feck’ off!)
I would just like to say that I am neither slim nor fat, but someone who is a size 14-16 and looks a hell of a lot better when a size 12-14. This is not relevant, but I want to make it clear that I am arguing from neither camp.
Imagine the opposite. Someone posts a picture of a well known slim Goddess of the screen. Farrah Fawcett. Brigitte Bardot. Next to this picture, there is a paparazzi snap of an overweight, little known soap star on the beach, displaying a huge arse, thunder thighs, a wobbly stomach, cellulite, etc. The caption would read “Men prefer slim women!”
Can you imagine what an outrage that would cause? Can you see how ludicrous it is?
Marilyn Monroe (ditto Diana Dors, and others frequently given as examples of the ‘curvier’ woman) was well proportioned and curvaceous. She was reported to be a size 16 only occasionally, and let us not forget that a size 16 in the 1950s was inches smaller than the size 16 of today (it was 38-28-38; nowadays it is approximately 38-33-42). Also, she had an hourglass figure, and did not suffer the double chins, bingo wings, seven months pregnant appearance and
thighs of many
of today's size 16s. jodhpur
Some men like women rounded and ample. Some like ‘em fat. Some go for the boyish figure. Most, though, I believe, prefer attractively slim. However, that is not really the point. A few of my (slimmer) friends have read some of these articles and the ensuing comments, and found them to be insulting to slim women. As one said, if she slagged off fat birds the way some fat (whoops, sorry, I mean ‘curvy’!) birds slag off the slim ones, she’d be called every bitch under the sun.
I find it depressing that these posts and the comments that follow seem to be aiming to put women in competition with each other for acceptance by men, too. Now, imagine this scenario. A man posts a picture of a bit of 1950s beefcake (oh, I dunno; Marlon Brando at his slightly porkier stage, maybe!), next to a picture of some skinny bloke in swimming trunks. It is captioned “Women prefer beefier men!” Lots of men comment “Yay, let’s hear it for the bigger guy!” “Women like something to cuddle, not some stick insect!!” Hmm, not likely to happen, is it?
One of my slim friends pointed out something else that is rarely mentioned in these type of articles: being overweight is bad for your health. It is bad for your heart, your cholesterol levels, your joints, your back, not to mention your sleep patterns and your psychological well-being.
So, mermaid or whale? I think I’ll go for the mermaid; without the fish tail, though, because my legs are my best feature. Unlike my middle area, which is fat. And no, it’s not curvy; it’s FAT. Anyone can be whatever size they want to be; most of all, it is not a competition.