This is a great article written by Nicole Woszczyna for Feminspire. I completely agree with Nicole…while I’m happy to see that curvier women are being embraced more, we cannot insult less curvy women – this completely defeats any progress. It is going from one ideal to another…and who is to say what is “ideal?” Beauty is a matter of opinion…and if we are all allowed to have different opinions, why aren’t we all allowed to have different bodies? The simultaneous rise of supermodel stardom and widespread media influence has, in the last few decades, sparked a serious love/hate relationship between us common folks and the tall, gorgeous waifs that appear virtually everywhere in the worlds of fashion and advertising. We love them because they have amazing style and can inspire our choices in fashion, hair and makeup (and also because it can just be fun to look at pictures of people in pretty clothes), but we hate them for constantly reminding us that we’ll probably never look like them. Naturally, countless campaigns, memes and editorial pieces have popped up with a clear message aimed primarily at young women and teens: normal women do not resemble the super skinny model-types, and confidence is all that matters. And on the surface, it seems healthy and sensible to promote this idea –– that it is not only harmful to make an attempt at achieving the skin-and-bones look, but it is also virtually impossible. There is a problem with this that quickly arises, however, once these kinds of campaigns, articles, etc. attempt to depict “real women,” as they so often do. real-women-have-curves-meme“Real Women Have Curves” has become seemingly synonymous with the promotion of a positive body image. Once again, it seems awesome and encouraging on the surface, but this statement also defies common sense and leaves out a large number of women. Obviously women come in an endless variety of shapes and sizes, so not all women have curves. Stressing that thin, curve-less women are less “real” than those with curves may help some women feel confident, but it also will inevitably create insecurities in women who might be lacking in that department. Negatively comparing one body shape to another doesn’t make either seem more beautiful or natural –– it only perpetuates the horrible notion that certain body types are “better” than others. Another result of this kind of logic –– that has been endlessly utilized by both men’s and women’s magazines –– is the question of what men prefer. And more often than not, it seems that surveys conducted by publications like Cosmo and Esquire have concluded that guys are partial to curvier women. Aside from the terrible suggestion that one body type is more attractive and desired than any other, this rationale (often appearing in the form of phrases like “Gentlemen Prefer Curves” or “Real Men Prefer Curves”) is even more infuriating because of how it weakens the value of a female by focusing solely on her body shape and size. Not to mention the implication that all females are heterosexual or concerned with how they are viewed in the eyes of men. It would surely be healthier and more logical to completely break away from that mentality, and stress that judgement from men (or from anyone, really) should have nothing to do with how you feel about your body. Being that we’re surrounded by impossibly thin and beautiful models in magazines and on the internet, it’s great to know that many websites and organizations are striving to prove that super skinny isn’t enviable or achievable. Teens and young girls especially should know what constitutes good health, and also that models work for the fashion industry, and that they are not meant to be representations of ideal women. But rather than exclusively advocating for the love and acceptance of curves while negating the beauty of others, we should learn to simply appreciate and encourage confidence in all body types, shouldn’t we?