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?