2am reflections on social injustices


I was re-reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn the other night before bed. Its a book featuring stories about some of the social injustices that women around the world face- especially in impoverished societies – because of their gender, social class, political situation, cultural factors and even legal restrictions that put them in an unfair position. The book doesn’t only talk about loss and injustice, but also about triumphs and victories that occur when women receive help that change their lives.

Its encouraging to read about the successes of entrepreneurs who have helped initiate change and progress for impoverished women, yet at the same time I can’t help but continue to feel disheartened that such issues are still occurring. I’m glad I live in a society where I’m not persecuted for being a woman and I’m righteously pissed off that there are women my age in other parts of the world being condemned, abused or killed just because they were born a woman.

Sometimes when I think about it, it puts me to shame because such social injustices make my own problems seem like poxy things. Yes, they’re important to me, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m privileged as compared to these women. There are girls as young as 12 are married off to men 5 times their age, and are not permitted a say in who they wish to marry, or when they wish to marry.

In some Middle Eastern countries, women are not allowed to seek a divorce from their husbands. The law does not recognize the voices of women, while men can freely divorce their wives. It is not publicly against the law for men to beat their women sometimes, but she if she retaliates, her husband may bring her to the authorities and have her flogged or even put to death for disobeying her husband. Look at at Aisha, an Afghan girl who was featured in Times magazine in 2010, who had her nose cut off by her husband. Her crime was to have run away from her husband’s family because they had nearly beat her to death.

The worth of a woman is measured by the presence of her hymen. If she’s discovered to be a non-virgin, not only is she scorned, but her family loses their respect. On the other hand, men are free to engage in sexual relations before marriage but demand that their birds be as pure as the driven snow.

In conservative societies in parts of China India and the Middle East, a male child is prized, but a female child brings tears, frowns and fears. A male child is seen as the family protector and breadwinner of the family because he can pass on the family name. A woman is seen as a burden, a shame, and a disappointment.

>Women in some Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are being trafficked, beaten and sold as sex workers against their own will. They are stigmatized for remaining with the brothels yet people remain unaware that they remain because they have no choice.

African women are seen as war trophies and raped. Sometimes with sticks, bottles and even guns. How that can work – I do not even want to know. How these women survive after such shocking brutality is also something that puzzles me equally.

Are women really worth that little in the eyes of some societies?

Sometimes these horror stories make me cry out and sends me into a fiery rage where I’m shaking my fists and I feel as though there’s a leviathan inside me rising from the depths of my heart and demanding justice. It makes me motivated and determined to want to do something. Screw the patriarchy  I want to do something about this. Yet sometimes I’m plagued by sheer defeat. Each time a woman is saved, another 10 are beaten, raped or stoned to death. Sure it made a difference to that 1 women, but sometimes it makes you feel that your efforts can go futile. I’m so sick and tired of hearing all these stories someone please take me away from this pithy planet right now. It makes you tired and question the existence of God. Or at least, it makes me question the existence of God. Like you know how God loves everyone and some people say that God has a plan for everyone, and if that’s the case, then why must he make women suffer?

Is it God’s plan for thousands of women to be raped, killed, abused or burned?

Are women really condemned to the suffer the consequences of Eve’s mistake? It makes me think of balance. Yin and yang. Black and white. Rich and poor. Good and evil. Lucky and unlucky. Life and death. Think about it. Can everyone really be rich? Can everyone really be good? Can everyone really be lucky? Can everyone really be saved? Can everyone really be free from the intricacies of patriarchy? What happens when there are excesses in one construct and a complete deficit in another? Are social injustices in the world some sort of twisted karmic balance in the society, a karmic justice of sorts? It sounds cruel to imply that social injustices exist because they function to maintain an equilibrium in society, but its nothing but a sociological perspective – one of the various themes and theories I learned in the Sociology class I took in freshman year – that I’m taking on right now as I contemplate the global outcries in this world and struggle to understand all this upheaval.

Don’t take it to heart. I’m not being pessimistic or a sadist, but rather, I’m being a “contemplatist”

My mind tends to wander and over think when I’m bored.

On a side note, I bought a new sparkly heart shaped necklace on Thursday with the Shu! Updates again in the next post.

Here’s me wearing my kurta I bought in Nepal 3 years ago and my Indian-esque accessories for a giveaway I had wanted to enter but it turns out it was available only in the U.S. Darn.


Ciao, bellisimas. Is that even a word?


late update…oops

HEY. Wow I know its been super long since I last posted anything on this blog. I had wanted to write a piece regarding building positive body image, but I’ve been railroaded by the start of school and other stuff that is keeping me busy. Or rather, keeping me busy because I’ve been such a complete slacker and kept pushing them to the last minute. Oops. 

School’s started 2 weeks ago and I have to say I’ve not been very excited about it. I feel like I’m at that point where I’ve reached a plateau on the “enthusiasm for going to school” graph. I like learning, but I hate studying. Learning’s great. I like learning new things, but when I’m forced to sit down and memorize so much things because I’m being tested on it, its like Satan came swooping down on me just sucked my joy right out my heart. 



Anyway, other than that, I also submitted my essay for the Marginalized Voices Project, a joint collaboration between the National Eating Disorders Association and Melissa Fabello (http://www.melissafabello.com). She’s a sex educator, feminist and also specializes in body image. The project aims to gather stories from individuals suffering/who suffered from an eating disorders so as to raise awareness about eating disorders and quell stereotypes about it. The deadline was on the 15th of August, and obviously I stayed up on the 14th to write it. Way to go, Serene. I think my recovery from my eating disorder is slowly turning me into a slacker. What happened? I used to be such a good kid, submitting my assignments days before the deadline. Now I kill my brain cells by doing last minute work. Or maybe its just part of growing up. 

I’ve a few other commitments going on as well: transcribing interviews for a professor (yawn yawn yawn but hey I need the money so shut it Serene and suck it up), submitting abstracts (oh man I’ve got to do it, like right now), writing another piece about eating disorders for another project, preparing for a virtual conference next month (oh god) and also school work in general (whoop-dee-doo) 

I’ll continue working on that body image piece I had intended to post here and hopefully get it up here soon. I have a draft okay. Its already got like 5 sentences. I just need to gather lots of emotional excesses and then crank it out all in 1 shot. 

In the meantime, I might also post the essay I wrote for the Marginalized Voices Project for anyone here to read.

Might. We’ll see. 

In another meantime.

Look at all my new gorgeous studs I accumulated this month 😀

Earrings, that is.

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doubts and uncertainty

So the summer vacation has officially come to an unceremonious end. Honestly it feels as though it was only a few weeks ago when I just stepped out the examination hall after taking my last exam (Forensic Psychology) and drooling over 3 glorious months of sleeping, eating and basically just doing whatever I wanted. Of course I had wanted to do an internship, though sadly I didn’t take it as (1) it was unpaid (2) I wasn’t sure if I was passionate enough about the issue of violence against women – as compared to body image advocacy – to be an unpaid intern. Besides, if I took that internship, I would never have gone to Washington D.C to present my research, and also doing qualitative research work for this other university in Singapore – a type of research I’ve never done before – so I suppose that’s a silver lining in itself.

I think all final year university students are facing this moral crisis where they need to start to figure out what is it they want to do exactly, and how to go about doing just that. I know what I want to do, but unfortunately, body image and eating disorders programs just aren’t established here in smitty Singapore. No internships for undergraduates, I’ve been told and no one seems to really put in much attention on this issue which seriously makes me wonder whether the government is more concerned about boosting the economy or about the emotional and psychological well-being of its citizens.

I’ve faced so many disappointing emails that I’m on the verge of giving up entirely. its such an exhausting process. And also a very nerve wrecking one because each rejection email makes me think that I won’t ever get to do what I to do. I’ve been asking for advice from some professors. Hope comes and goes and everything is so tense right now. I’m as nervous as an impending father-to-be and I feel like I want an answer right this very minute. I feel like I’m flying through a free-fall (wait isn’t that from Taylor Swift?) and I don’t know whether I’m going to end up all right.  My mum is pushing for me to go to grad school after I graduate but i haven’t had the heart to tell her that I have other plans in mind before going to graduate school. I think she might burst a blood vessel.

Gah. All this uncertainty is causing me much stress. I don’t know what to do and I feel like I don’t have the patience for anything anymore.

This is frustrating. Plus, I’m NOT looking forward to school one bit. I’m sick of studying. To be honest. I want to be out there raising awareness about body image concerns. Not stuck in a lecture hall and listening to boring lecturers sprout off stuff from the textbook. It just makes me miss all my interesting lessons back in Buffalo and makes me wish I were back there studying instead of here. Whoever said college is the best 4 years of your life is obviously American. Or European. But maybe my best friend, Shu, is right. Maybe this final year is what I need to get things planned and now all I can do is wait and be consistent.

Oh Lord save me from all my pithy worries. And from Singapore’s LACKING BI/ED programs. I’m so sick of this inadequacy someone just please take me away on a rocket right now and fly me to Spain where I can be a Spanish dancer and dance with the gorgeous sunset as my backdrop.

On a final note:





Genie, you’re free now.


preaching vs. practicing body love


So i just realized something.

Although I may preach about body positivity and loving yourself for what you look like even if you don’t look a certain way, I certainly still don’t always practice that. And to be honest, that is making me incredibly nervous.

I’ve been experiencing a bout of negative thoughts about my body for the past 2 weeks, and I was telling a friend how its making me panic on the inside and I’m struggling to figure out why. And I’ll be honest: its because no matter how much I preach about acceptance of any size, deep deep down, I still wish I were thinner.


Oh lordy lord what is happening. Yes I still wish I were a size 6. I still wish I were taller though tat’s impossible because I’ve lost my ability to stop growing vertically and not horizontally. But I’m guessing that this is a normal occurrence of anyone. I don’t believe that anyone hasn’t experienced a day in which they wish they were a size smaller. We’re all not perfect right?

I preach about body love and I engage in body love, but I have not accepted my body for what it is. Just the other night I was thinking about whether I should wear a cardigan over my sleeveless dress for a friend’s “last-day-at-work” dinner because I was so self-conscious of my arms. I dithered and dawdled for about 10 minutes, putting it on and off and assessing how I looked in the mirror and walking around my room like a headless chicken. Should I or should I not?! Then finally I said, “Oh screw it Serene just screw it. You can’t hide behind a cardigan for the rest of your life. You want to accept your body? Then stop hiding behind a cardigan. Who cares if your arms aren’t skinny? Life is too short to worry about what others say about you.”

And so I ditched the cardigan and left the room with my head held high.

A week ago a long-time friend invited me to her house to catch up on our lives over lunch. We’ve kept in touch ever since graduating from secondary school in 2008 but not met up because things have been so busy and we never found a proper time to do so. She recently got engaged and being the summer holidays for me, I was able to arrange a date to finally meet her and squeeze out her engagement details from her. So there being all self conscious about my calves in my room and going “Should I wear jeans or a dress? Will I look like a balloon in my dress?” And there the ritual went on for about 5 minutes, dawdling over what to wear and finally I just thought “Just the wear the damn dress Serene because you can’t hide behind jeans forever and if you want to start loving your calves, then stop hiding them and embrace them like frigging now.” 

And so I ditched the jeans, wore the dress and left the room with my head held high.

Here’s the thing. In both occasions, man (or woman) did I feel good. Like really good. I wasn’t worry about looking fat because I felt good in my outfits. I was walking with my head held high and not overly worrying about my calves or arms. I felt beautiful because I felt so confident on the inside. There I was, walking on the street and shamelessly (or not) thinking “Yeah people look at me uh huh that’s right.”

THEN that all came crashing down when my friend sent me pictures from the dinner the night before. And the first thing that came to my mind was “I look so fat maybe I should have worn that cardigan”. Yup. I said it. I thought just that. I forgot about what a happy occasion that dinner was and the jokes the group made over dinner. All I did was think of how my arms looked grossly wrong in that dress, how maybe it should be meant for someone with more slender arms and whether was it me or was there a blubber of fat over my face? Its like there were little devil minions running around in my mind waving banners with pictures of slim supermodels and chanting “LOL NOPE. NOT LOOKING LIKE THIS WOMAN HERE” Immediately I had already stated comparing myself to those standards and criticizing myself for it and thinking of all the “what ifs” and ” I shoulds”

So that’s when I realized this: I may engage in body-love practices, but I have not fully accepted my body for its size. I’ve got the behaviors going on, but cognitive restructuring still needs much more work.

Times like these make me wish that what my eyes see in mirrors are pictures I like what I see in the mirror but somehow they don’t translate all that nicely into pictures.


Such made me wonder: if I’m still struggling with positive thinking, how on Earth can I claim to want to help other girls love and accept their bodies? Does that make me a hypocrite?!

After much contemplation, I will say “no”. What will make me a hypocrite is preaching body positivity to others yet continuing to hate and starve and destroy my body just because I want to be thinner. I guess this is a much-needed trigger to start engaging in some change and working on the cognitive aspect of body love: perceiving my body in a more positive light and thinking more healthy thoughts instead of mentally shooting myself down for not having Jennifer Aniston’s arms. Maybe its because I’ve been avoiding mirrors, or that there hasn’t been an occasion when I need to take pictures of myself and then having to look at it to have truly experienced moments like this that require change.

Loving yourself is so damn hard I know it is, especially in a society like this where thin equates to beauty. Especially so for vulnerable girls, and even girls struggling with eating disorders and body hatred to begin with.

But like what my friend said when I told her how I compare myself to my friends who are thinner than me:

Think healthy. Not magazine

SO as per my goal of self-love and body acceptance, and also wanting to avoid to my ED days of self-hatred and body hate, instead of sitting back and moaning and whining about my body and engaging in unhealthy behaviors to drastically change my body, I pledge to practice more positive thinking and work on restructuring my thoughts about my body AND at the same time, continue engaging in body-love behaviors. I will not let those devil minions running in my head rule over me and I will respect my body to the best I can. I will lessen my comparisons to other people and when negative thoughts come up, I will suppress them and squash them like a troll stepping on dwarves in the Lord of the Rings. No matter how long it takes, I will continue embracing the power of positive thinking so that I will be strong enough to help other girls struggling with their own bodies. And to anyone reading this, whether or not you’re struggling with body hatred, I urge you to do the same. Embrace the power of positive thinking and affirmations and work towards finding peace within yourself.




10 steps

4 misconceptions about ED

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So last month in July I had the amazing opportunity to present my research at a women’s conference in Washington D.C where I shared my findings about the effects of peer comparison on Facebook on body image. Not to brag but it did trigger a longer-than-stipulated 20 minute round table discussion about body image, and the audience and presenters started throwing questions and thoughts about what triggers body image worries and what it means to love your body. I also shared with them my own personal struggles with EDNOS that plagued me since I was 17 and it initiated another quick sharing session on the common misconceptions about eating disorders.

I myself know exactly what misconceptions these are and sometimes its frustrating to know that some people get the wrong idea about what eating disorders are. Here are some:

1. Eating disorders encompass only anorexia and bulimia. 

WRONG. I study psychology and terms like anorexia and bulimia are just labels given to make communication among practitioners easier. Besides, anorexia and bulimia are perhaps the types of EDs that are more heard of among the community. There are many subtypes of eating disorders and a wide range of life-consuming disordered eating patterns that don’t fit even neatly into the established categories of eating disorders. There’s compulsive exercising. There’s chewing and spitting. There’s an obsessive fixation on only certain food groups and refusing to eat other food groups (usually refusing to eat carbs and eating only protein and vegetables). Plus, not all people suffering from anorexia engage only in restricting of food to lose weight. Some abuse laxatives, diuretics or self-induced vomiting. This is called “anorexia, purging type”.

2. Its all about wanting to be thin.

WRONG. Being thin is one of the main goals many people get eating disorders. Sometimes, its about gaining attention because of feelings of neglect. Sometimes its about perfectionism, and attempting to gain some control in a world where people feel they are spiraling out of control. All in all, eating disorders are a silent and hidden cry for help.

3. Eating disorders are easy to identify. 

WRONG. For the record, not all skinny girls have eating disorders. Its an unfortunate misconception that eating disorders plague only young and emaciated looking women. In fact, statistics show that more women in the healthy weight range suffer an eating disorder. A skinny person may have a e healthy relationship with food, but a person of normal weight may be battling with an ED. Hell, I’m not skinny yet I developed an ED. This misconception was what made me so afraid to speak out and tell others about my ED. I wasn’t anorexic. I was both restricting AND bingeing. Then getting all that food out via “purging” and over exercise. My weight didn’t change and that was what prevented anyone from noticing that something so terrible was happening. Once ran for 3 hours straight after going through a “binge”. It was the best and worst feeling in my life. At the peak of my ED, I was scoring straight As in classes and had a GPA of 4.6 out of 5. A friend commented “It just didn’t seem real. Smart, pretty, funny – the whole package. You weren’t losing or gaining excessive amounts of weight. I never expected you to be going through something so awful”

4. Binges involve large numbers of food.

SOMEWHAT TRUE. Technically a binge involves eating a large amount of food in one that’s a lot for one person, and eating til the pint of being extremely full with the feeling that you can’t stop, which then causes feelings of guilt and/or anxiety. This does occur in people yet a catch is that some people see the amount of food they are consuming as a binge, Its not a whole lot to a regular person, yet, for them, it is a massive amount. They’re called subjective binges. 5 cookies to a regular person might not be a binge, but to someone suffering from an eating disorder, 5 cookies could be just that. One who is continuously restricting him or herself and suddenly eats a plate of pasta might think he/she had just binged on a entirely new level. For a regular individual, eating a plate of pasta is satisfying. For one who restricts, eating that plate of pasta is seen as life or death.

And a final note that’s not a myth or misconception per se and instead, just a personal opinion that I wanted to share…

You can recover from an eating disorder.

THE VERDICT IS STILL OUT FOR ME. Recovery from an eating disorder can takes months or even years of therapy and subsequent independent work. A patient can complete a course of treatment, but there is so much ongoing work that needs to be done. Self-love and self acceptance is a work in progress, especially concerns about body shape and weight. Sure, everyone of us struggle with body image issues once in a while, but I think those graduating from therapy have the added work of having to be aware of triggers, identifying negative thoughts and restructuring them. People suffering from eating disorders have struggled with that for a long time, and practice everyday on those aspects is needed. We may be “done” with therapy, but independent work still needs to continue after. We will always need to keep ourselves in check and make sure we don’t fall into past trappings.


Anyway, on a more positive note, I guess this is a cue to conclude that I shall end this post with some pictures from my D.C trip. I managed to visit places that I didn’t get to visit when I was there for Thanksgiving in 2013. Seriously unlike what TripAdvisor says, 3 days then was not enough to have truly experienced Washington D.C. But moving on. PEEKTURES:

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Urk. Transatlantic flights = messed up sleep cycle = EYE BAGS. What was supposed to be a 20 minute nap at 6pm turned into a 7 hour snooze.


MacDonald’s was the only thing open at 2am!


Indulging in some Renaissance art at the National Gallery of Art


Benvenuto Di Giovanni’s paintings depicting Christ’s journey from praying at the Mount of Olives to His Resurrection was magnificent beyond belief.


The only piece of artwork of Leonarda da Vinci that the Galley has.


The Library of Congress was so regal oh my lord and I was the only person in it yielding a camera instead of study materials. Oops.


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Feasting my eyes on the Capitol Hill. It was a regal sight to behold.


Rotunda inside the Capitol Hill. Thank you Dan Brown, for telling me about this place 😀


The Apotheosis of Washington! And okay it looks like there’s a giant bagel over it. Or a floatie. Or a donut.


The Apotheosis up close!


Statuary Hall in the Rotunda


One of my favorite paintings in the Rotunda – the Baptism of Pocahontas!


The Newseum


Pictures of the Year Gallery was perhaps my absolute favorite.




And I got to experience a bit of history by seeing part of the Berlin Wall.


Oh wow one of Singapore’s newspaper was featured in the exhibition showcasing different newspapers around the world


Pennsylvania Avenue was stretch perfect (wow okay Serene)!






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This box is now a souvenir.

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Treated myself to a peanut butter banana cupcake. It was magic.


Came home to this little monster ❤

city problems

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I came across this picture I took on my phone last year whilst in Buffalo, NY on my exchange program last. I think living in the city and having to deal with ridiculously annoying masses of humanity on a daily basis is starting the irk the hell out of me. Before I went to Buffalo I thrived on being a city girl. I loved the bustling crowds and I naturally pick up the pace of people around me. But after living in the suburbs for almost 4 months and living in a place that’s so very different from SIngapore, I’m starting to miss it. The peace. The quiet. The slower pace of life. No one rushing around to do anything. My friend, J, would walk me with me our lesson and in the beginning I’d be like 2 steps ahead of him and he’d be all “SERENE SLOW DOWN”, to which I’d always say “WALK FASTER”. Or sometimes we’d be walking around the campus waiting for classes to start and I’d go “So where are we walking to?” and he’d just go “Wherever our feet take us”. It was a strange idea for me. Being a city girl, I always have a destination in mind. I don’t walk to walk. I walk to get somewhere, thanks. But gradually I began to like it. I like not having to go on a mad rush and I enjoyed slowing down. I enjoyed sitting on the benches opposite the lake and reading a book as the sun set. I enjoyed walking down the roads and hearing the crunch of the leaves against my boot. I enjoyed the peace and tranquility. Sometimes in the evenings on the way back from class and I’d stare up at the open sky to look at a view like that you see in the picture. (Serene enjoyed the serene scenery. Get it? HAHA oh god shut up Serene). 

On days like those I’d just stand in the pathway and obnoxiously block the poor students around me (oops) and just soak everything up. Just seeing the colors of the sunset spreading across the sky made me feel at ease. Now as I look at this picture I suddenly realized that ever since coming back to Singapore, I have not once stared up at sky and look at one that’s not been broken by the tops of tall buildings. I mean when was the last time I looked up to an unobstructed view of the sky and saw big giant fluffy marshmallow clouds like the ones above and spent half an hour doing nothing but staring up in awe like a child who just realized Father Christmas actually does exist but can’t believe her eyes?

HOW DON’T I HAVE ALL THIS IN SINGAPORE? Its getting too crowded and hot and expensive here (hello we are the 4th most expensive city – since when did Singapore become more expensive to live in than the UK?!)

Maybe I need to leave this city pronto and go on a sabbatical.

Problems aside: I got decided to get new frames a couple of weeks back and I splurged on coral earrings today at the mall.

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Why I feel so utterly misguided by Hollywood’s “curvy” actresses

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In a world where there are now more and more calls that celebrate women being bigger than a size 10, where some fashion companies are banning models who are too skinny from walking down the runways, and where body image activists preach about loving your non size 2 body and telling you to just that damn bag of chips, I still feel incredibly and utterly lost at times.

Popular culture that promotes positive body image is a double edged sword. Yes, I’m thankful for curvier celebrities who don’t trumpet rail-thin figures like Kate Moss and Nicole Richie and even those overly Photoshopped advertisements featuring female models in provocative poses and skimpy clothing (seriously with online articles showing Photoshop mistakes, who do they think they’re kidding now?) have less of an effect on me. I’m thankful for people like Tina Fey, and Jennifer Lawrence and Adele and a whole host of other bloggers encouraging me to love my body and not be taken in by those heavily edited thin beauty ideals. Hell, I’m even thankful for artistes like John Legend and Colbie who recently released music videos where they sing about bare faced beauty because it reminds me that there are women out there like me who struggle with thinking they’re beautiful and encourages me to reevaluate my standards of what I consider beautiful.

However, in a bid to promote body love, popular culture is also throwing celebrities like Kim Kardarshian, Beyonce, Christina Hendricks, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek in our eyes and in my opinion, seem to be saying “Hey look, she’s not skinny. She’s curvy!” and then go on to give you a quote she says about loving her curvy body and not conforming to unrealistic expectations set by society about being super thin.

However, I struggle to see how celebrating a “curvy” celebrity like Kim and Queen Bee helps in body positivity for women who do not have stick thin Hollywood figures. Beyonce and Kim and Salma have fabulous curves (i mean there is no denying those hips), but has no one noticed that they are still invariably a small size? I’m seeing pictures of Kim flaunting her bikini body on Instagram (yes I’m a follower oh gosh) and commenting on how she needs to lose 20 more pounds even though she is obviously in very good shape. Jennifer Lopez has great curves but she’s strutting in skin tight clothes that show off her toned abs and booty. Is that promoting love for a curvy body or…something else?

I don’t know about you, but the perception I’m getting is that bodies like those of Queen Bee, Jennifer and Kim Kardashian, and other any celebrities who happen to have great boobs and hips seem to be the other “acceptable” type of body to have if you do not have the still-celebrated and preferred slim figure in Hollywood. Not all women with big hips and curvy bodies are a size 2/4 and can look like these celebrated artists. And not all women who are bigger than a size 8 have the big boobs and booty. What then, is “curvy”?

There is no real answer to that. Every woman’s definition of what being curvy is differs, but it seems to me that Hollywood’s definition of “curvy” is having a body with big boobs/curves, and at the same time maintaing those flat abs and toned legs. And the scary thing is that there are women and young girls looking up to these celebrities as a role mode. Isn’t that just promoting another body ideal that’s also almost impossible to reach for many women?