Society on Curves on White Women

I have a big round butt. I have a muscular build and strong legs. I have boobs.

I am a size 6.

While I’d like to be more toned, I DO NOT want to be a size smaller.

My goal in life is not to lose weight. In fact, I find it a waste of time and energy to be worried about such nonsense on such a level that society tells us we should be.

I like my curves.

As I age, I see my butt that was once quite high, now a bit droopy and lifeless and it saddens me. I liked my bubble.

I’ve had this body for a long time. I’ve never gained or lost so much that it looked too different from what I see now.

When I was in high school I realized that I would never look like Kate Moss. And believe me, I wanted to then. I realized my large bones and athletic build wasn’t meant to be that skinny. I realized that my hair and head were far too large to sit atop of anything smaller than a size 6.

I’m into proportion.

I accepted my body and I learned to accentuate my assets and disguise my flaws.

I am far from perfect. But I’m okay with that.

I stopped feeling bad about myself because I didn’t look like what society told me a white girl’s body should look like. I realized soon after that women cared far more about being “skinny” than men did.

I also learned that for some reason society said it was okay for other ethnicities to be a size 6 and larger. Big booties. Big breasts. Big curves. Big confidence. Big double standard.

Why was it acceptable for Latinas and Black women to be curvy and sexy and strong but white women were supposed to look thin and weak and sickly… the complete opposite of sexy?

Society told me that white women were supposed to look like little boys with flat chests and straight sides and that we would only be beautiful if we did. In fact, society’s been telling white women this since the 60′s. My mom still blames Twiggy for her own quest to be thin.

The great white curvy woman died when Marilyn Monroe did and we haven’t seen “her” return since. White women who are curvy now come with the the “slut” moniker or are called “fat” and I am not talking about obesity here. I’m talking about healthy, sexy, empowered women. Women who are not starving for food and attention.

Flipping through a magazine last night I turned to an ad for the smoking hot Sofia Vergara’s new clothing line at Kmart with the tag line ” WORK WITH WHAT YOU GOT ” and thought YES! That’s what I’ve been saying all these years. I love it!

The TV ad for her collection touts: “I say, if you’ve got this, show this. You’re a woman, so dress like a woman. Be proud. Be sexy.”

Yes, yes and Yes!

But I had to ask myself yet again, almost 20 years later, Why has there never been a white woman pushing the same confidence building tag line to other white women?

* Please note that I am not trying to offend anyone here… I am only trying to understand why in this day and age when most of the population’s size is in double digits and eating disorders have affected and afflicted the masses, that society and the media are still so blatantly denying reality and forcing what women “should” look like down our throats. Tell me if you think I’m wrong… because I can think of only two examples of white women in the media who are accepted for being curvy: Kate Winslet & Christina Hendricks… and still I think society has them on a very very fine line.

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LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, and home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life with her husband and adorable dogs, two Frenchies & an old Pug in wheels. Here you will find her talking about their journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation up to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life.

66 Comments

  • Athena

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    That’s so empowering! :)
    I feel the exact way…I don’t have a perfect body, but I started to jog a bit here and there…not to lose weight…but only to stay healthy, which should be the main goal for every woman!

  • Bourbon&Pearls

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I’d love to have your muscular legs, I spin three times a week and go to the gym and use weights but nop, I just can’t build muscle at all, I can turn to fat really easily but muscle, nop. I think you have terrific figure.
    Genetically, the majority of Caucasians just don’t have the Kim Kardashian type butt, it’s much more prevalent among Latina/ black woman, I would love to have that shape but again, acceptance, it just isn’t going to happen.

  • Laura

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I was thinking of Christina Hendricks while I was reading the entry. When she portrays Joan Holloway, she is the sexiest woman in the world, in my opinion. But I think in this case is a question of self-confidence, attitude. I know white women who haven’t a skinny body but they have a charming behavior (like if they we’re thinking “I’m sexy, and you know it”) and that generates a kind of attraction… maybe it’s similar with Marilyn, she is STILL sexy.
    The problem is that it’s easier to be confident and happy with your curves if you are Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez; but if you’re a white woman, the media tell you you’re not able to have that attitude even though you are as sexy as them.

  • Anonymous

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I had seen that Cindy is size 6. 6 is great. 0 to me is competely uninteresting.

  • urbanrhetoric

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    like laura ^^, i thought of christina hendricks…but you know what? i have heard only my black + latino friends compliment her body (including my latino husband who has a mega crush on her)…nothing from my white friends. do white guys find her as attractive as black + latino men do? i’m curious now. i think i’m going to ask….

    ~

  • Miesha Roshawn

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    You are right about society accepting black women at a “more curvy” stats. When I was a size 22 and 275 pounds two years ago people told me I was “thick!” No I was FAT and out of shape! But my culture turns the cheek and pretty much says it’s okay. Now I am 165 pounds, a solid size 10 and I’m too small!! What gives?? Like you I don’t desire to be much smaller but genetics might not afford me a size 8…my legs are big lol! We need to focus on health versus size, your body is nice!

  • Maria

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I know this is written from a white woman’s perspective, however, not all black and latino curvy women are deem beautiful or sexy by the media either and not all black or latino women are happy with their curves.
    We are bombarded with a certain image of what is deem sexy and beautiful, which is more often than not of white women in magazines, the media, t.v etc. Black and latino women or any other woman of colour for that fact, just cannot relate to any of them.

  • Vanessa, Take only Memories

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    Well said! And that commercial is hilarious!

  • Tori

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I love your confidence, and totally agree with you about different bodies being different. However, I’m a size 0 and flat chested. Its not something I try to be. I’m just really small, and I can’t do anything to change it and I don’t want to! I think that society should be more accepting of ALL body types- and we shouldn’t demean other people’s body types to make ourselves feel better. Just because I fit what you described as what society accepted doesn’t mean it IS accepted. I’m often made fun of for my small chest. And finding jeans that actually fit is close to impossible- right now I only have one pair. I think we all struggle one way or another with our body types.

  • Ticka

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve had this conversation so many times. I feel as though men as a whole control what’s seen as “sexy”, no matter what the ethnicity of the woman is. Not society. MEN. It also depends on the time period. Back in the days of Marilyn Monroe, the time period was different. White men LOVED their women with curves. Just look at the show Mad Men! After that, White men wanted their women to look as different from Black or any other ethnic woman as possible. The one distinct way of accomplishing that is to lose the curves. Make uncurvy the thing that’s put on a pedestal and tell all other women that they are fat. We as Black and Hispanic women had to go against the grain and tell OURSELVES in our own communities that our curves are great. And don’t forget that it was our men who loved us the way we were. It took a while to rebuild the confidence that was once torn from us, but secretly desired. That is what you are describing today. Our confidence building has taken on a life of itself and has spread. That is why you see other ethnic women celebrated for having curves. They were always secretly celebrated, and their men have always liked the way they looked. Believe me, if Black & Hispanic men in our communities decided to change their minds and say looking another way was sexier, we would try our hardest to look that way too. I hope I didn’t confuse anyone, but this is a great topic!

  • Anonymous

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    It makes me sad to see ultra-thin young girls. Often their moms don’t want them to gain weight and have them eat only vegetables and no protein. It seems wrong to me, but that’s just my opinion. It’s better to be and look healthy and strong. Excellent article, Maegan!

  • clearlyfabulous

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I never thought about how difficult this would be for white girls. I have always been glad that society never frowned upon my caramel body Black girl’s body – small waist, thick ass thighs, 34G breasts, a bit of round butt. It was how a Black girl SHOULD be shaped.
    Over the years I have STRUGGLED with my weight, but even when I reached a breaking point last year and dropped 42 lbs to join you in the size 6 world, it never mattered. My body at size 14 or size 6 – and society is OK with my curves (that remain.)
    I say that ALL women in ALL colors need to be proud of our bodies, all shapes, all sizes. And F the folks that make us feel differently.

    P.S. I think you have a sick ass body. In case you forgot… :)

  • Megan, The Frugalista Diaries

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    You’re spot on, it’s a complete double standard and it’s saddening that ‘white’ women are expected to look a certain way. It’s sickening.

  • CessOviedo

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    You are my hero Maegan! This is so empowering and inspirational, and it could not come to me in a more appropriate time, I’ve been struggling all week findig out I’ve gained so much weight lately, as a latina with obvious curves and big round butt, I’ve always been pushed to look like a white girl going against my body built and more into what magazines say it’s acceptable, thanks for this honest post, another reason you are one of the best bloggers!

    Cess O. <3 The Outfit Diaries

  • Sheree

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I do not disagree with you but I definitely feel like the tide has turned. I feel like if you don’t have curves you are not considered sexy. All I hear about when I watch fashion shows and shows of that nature is how amazing christina Hendricks body is and of course sofia vagara. I also hear positive comments being made when people are “muscular”. Being 5’7″ and a size 2 I feel like I like the way clothes look on my body but as far as men go I definitely feel like in order to be considered sexy..I need to have more curves. I guess it all depends and I believe that we have to be healthy and fit and if we are we will definitely feel good about ourselves. I weight train and noting could make me feel better about myself and my body.

  • Anonymous

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    This was so inspirational. There is a lot to be said for having a woman’s body and being pleased with it. I’ve got to say though … there is a double standard that black women are supposed to have bubble butts and boobs, but there is still the expectation that we should have 24 inch waists. Oh and just like white women we’re all shaped differently so it’s a b**** to be black without a Beyonce butt.

  • RocquelleIsLovely

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    Maegan, I LOVE you for this!! Growing up looking in magazines with hardly any black women as models, I’d been much happier to see models with curves regardless of their race. As a black woman that wasn’t as curvy as I am now, not having a large butt or hips and being tall and thin resulted in tormenting from peers, but at the same time I was auditioning for ballet companies that were telling me that I was too thick in the hips. Such confusion for a teenager!

    I love your curves Maegan; it’s one reason why I enjoy and am inspired by your blog over some others. I am so glad that you love and embrace yourself just the way you are, and I hope more women will do the same!!

  • Schnelle Couture

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I totally agree. It’s unfair, the pressure that society enflicts on us. It’s all a matter of if we are willing to let society’s perceptions affect us now. In high school, I had a bubble but and everyone made fun of me for it. Now, JLo and Kim K. have made a bubble butt sexy and accepted. I just look back at those days in h.s and I have the last laugh now…

  • thelady

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    This is really interesting…I think one issue Maegan is that you live in L.A.–believe me I understand, i lived there for 17 years, college to mid 30s! My “formative”years as far as body image is concerned! It’s so damn hard out there. Now that I am back in the Midwest I am amazed how I have carried over what I “learned” in the Westside of L.A., and I can’t seem to give myself a break, and I am in better shape and the lowest weight I have been since college. It’s an obsession that never ends.

    Project Runway this season has really been shocking in this way–to hear the designers over and over talk about how they don’t like boobs, they can’t dress real people, and even the guys on one challenge were too “big!!” I love fashion too but DANG you ca’nt say that industry doesn’t skew our perceptions about ourselves.

    p.s. the first time I saw your blog and your outfit posts…I gasped. Incredible. Men must never leave you alone on the street! Wait…another issue altogether. :)

  • my little celebration

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    GREAT post Maegan. I totally agree with what you’re saying. I grew up naturally thin and lanky but when I got to college I started filling out and HATED it. So I went on a quest to be rail thin, achieved it, and in the process did a number on my body, metabolism and cycle. Even today I STILL struggle with these things and am willing to try different eating plans to shed those “last 5″ that I’m still apparently not OK clinging onto. Thanks for posting this! It was a great reminder that it’s OK to have curves! Love your blog.

  • MsDieynaba

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    That’s an interesting topic! It seems to be okay for a black girl to be curvy, but white women “have” to be thin and skinny.

    Maybe to black men,’thickness’ is the norm for black women, and for white men, ‘thinness’ is for white women. And if you ‘break the rule’, you’re seen as either sick or fat, which isn’t necessarily true.

    Me, I’m the typical black girl, hourglass shape and all, but I think people should give up these pre-conceived notions.

    Regardless of their ethnicities, people come in differents shapes ans sizes. The main thing is staying healthy.

    I have to say, it’s kinda controversial, and I didn’t think someone would discuss in online LOL but i’m glad you did, I agree 100% wuth what you said!

  • Brown Birdy

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    My mama taught me the meat is for the man the bone is for the dog! ;) I went through hs a 4-7 size…college was a 9…now at 27 and 2 kids later I’m a 12/14…but it did take work. I got up to 200 lbs :/ For ME I knew this was too much for what I wanted for myself…I couldn’t fit my fav designers any more and that’s when I took action. But trust me-I never stopped eatin’ ;) Would be easier if I had but I love my foods! So I just made healthier choices, worked out for the first time in my life and began to get TONED! I am married to a black man-and all our black friends think my size was and is fine…but I do sometimes give into the ‘girls judgement’ when my friends are all rocking clothing I’d like to-but for me it really is about knowing what my best size is and working to be there because I know I was happiest at that size. I’m shooting for a 10! And I’m proud of that!

  • Anonymous

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    So true, I am about your size. White girls think I am fat, black girls think I am skinny.

  • Nicole

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    And even Christina Hendricks is treated completely different from standard actresses. In interviews, everyone always asks her about her size because she is “so different” from the other actresses. In editorials, they pop her in a corset and some panties and give her bedroom eyes. Magazines always play up the sex but never her beauty, and its disheartening for curvy girls that we can’t be whole the package. I’m still trying to love my body and my curves, and I wish this country made it easier for me!

  • Erica B.

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    Maegan, I think you look great! I don’t for the life of me, understand why ANYBODY would want to look like a waif? If you’re naturally thin, so be it. But to *try* to look like that?! Not cute.

  • Huda

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    great post, I think it goes to the European or what some call today the ‘white standard of beauty’ in America. Being thin/wavy, pale came with the image of the beautiful vulnerable woman in need of protection and often described in many historical and literary narration. Sexualizing and limiting a woman’s body type is as old as anthropology on human evolution. The thin wavy boyish frame have been part of the pop culture since modern time, it rears its ugly head ones in a while, the 20s/30s come to mind, then the 60s with Twiggy and 90s with Kate Moss fashion popularity. Love me some Mae West and Marlyn Monroe, but they also played into the sexual image of a curvy girl, which does not help the limitation always put on our bodies.

    Also, perhaps its acceptable for mainstream society to expect black and Latina women to be curvy. The flip side is also the constant stereotype of either the sexless comedic fat black woman or the overly sexualized curvy women of color. Hence why a big deal is always made about Zoe Saldana small frame or when Jennifer Hudson and Raven lose a lot of weight.

  • Heather

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I am a size 6 and I have muscular legs and a butt and I am often torn between caving into societal beauty ideals..being teased about my booty (usually kind hearted…) and loving my body for how strong and amazing it is. Most days I pick the latter…but it isn’t easy!

  • Food, she thought.

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    One of the things that appeals to me about your blog is that this is not a “thinspo” blog, which sicken me. As a child athlete, I formed muscular thighs, shoulders and arms that helped me figure skate and run like the wind. The basic structure of my body has stayed the same, if I don’t work out I am more or less the same shape but soft instead of hard. So I workout and love my muscles…I also love clothing. You have a gorgeous body on which clothing hangs very

  • Food, she thought.

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    BBeautifully…it inspires me to make new choices with my own clothes, shop a little (fun!) and enjoy my dinner healthily.

  • The Curvy Girl

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I cannot thank you enough for this posting. I try and address the many issues of dressing a curvy body on my blog and I would like to re-post this w/ your permission!

  • Lindsay

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m a size 10 with curves. As my friends say, I could wear a garbage bag and still look like Jessica Rabbit. I’ve always dressed with fitted clothes to accent my curves. However, I’ve always encountered the “slut” issue. Just because I have boobs doesn’t mean I’m giving them away. I also had a problem with white guys being attracted to me. They always thought I was too curvy or fat, which they just didn’t want to admit. What’s w/ the double standard?

  • Alyssa

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It is really unfair!

    I feel like society tells women that it is wrong to *gasp* look like a woman. Especially when it comes to the media/fashion world where if your a size 4 you are deemed as curvy. Why is it the minute a celebrity, say Jessica Simpson, gains a few pounds, people are pushing her to become Jenny Craig’s next spokesperson. This kills me because not just does she look great, but at her heaviest she is probably all of a size 4.

    On the contrary look at Rihanna. I remember when she first started out and seeing her in concert. Back then she was VERY skinny and had next to no curves. Fast forward a few years and she has this extremely curvy body, yet she is praised for it.

    IT MAKES NO DAMN SENSE!

    What’s even worse is the majority of people pushing these “ideals” on society, don’t even look like the ideal themselves!

    With so many images and ideals being thrown around, I have always admired Sophia Loren. Even though her figure made her stand out, she embraced it and sure as hell worked it. The media needs more women like her, for women to look up to. (and im not saying that EVERY woman has to be curvy, but to show that its ok to look “different”)

    hopefully I made sense :)

  • luckylass

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    Have to agree with you 100%. And as I am now in my mid 30′s, I realize that if I lose too much weight (I flux depending on my workload), my face looks deflated. We need a bit of fat in the face to fill out the wrinkles. I think Heidi Klum said that recently too. All the uber unnaturally thin aging celebrities could do their face a favor by gaining a little weight.

  • lo

    October 1, 2011 | Reply

    I think society is bipolar because as a curvy sexy Latina I’ve always felt the same as you- but from the other side. Growing up, I could also never be society’s beautiful. I couldn’t fit into the preppy clothes because they didn’t account for my hips and I couldn’t copy the hairstyles in the magazines because my wild curls refused to be tamed that way.

    I think once we are able to tell society to shut its petty little mouth and make our OWN damn rules girls can feel as confident about ourselves as you (and me too!) do now.

    love this post.

  • Marina

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    As a fat Latina who went to a mostly white private school in LA, the message I got as a kid was that I should be white. And barring that, I should at least try to be less loud, less large, and less me.

    But that’s all complete bull. I had a room-mate who was so tormented for being little and thin that she probably would say she’d rather be overweight like me than underweight like herself. Consumers, especially women, are always being told we should be something other than what we are. It keeps us on our toes, keeps us buying into the idea that we need to be fixed (and that we need to purchase lots of products that will do this) and keeps us from realizing our true value or potential. When I stopped listening to bullies or TV shows or advertisers and listened only to myself I found a new confidence and a new peace in my own body. It’s not constant, but it’s pretty nice when I manage it.

  • Ashlee~Shevonne

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    Ha! I LOVE this post! Loves me a white girl with a booty! But seriously i have never been able to wrap my head around the concept of hiding your hips or butt. I HATE when the scold designers on project runway for making the models’ hips look bigger. I’m a black girl from Atlanta and in the south thick is in. I’m 5’3 133 lbs and a sice 4-6…I’m not thick enough for most men here lol! Girls down here are eating cornbread & getting shots in hopes to get curves! It’s amazing what society tells us we should look like! But yes, you killed it with this post and unfortunately there are so many girls/women that need to see this and may not but its great for the ones that did. Whatever body type you have and whatever size feel GOOD to you, embrace and own it! Most of what society force feeds us, men don’t even care about…Awesome post Maegan! P.S. your body is KICK ASS!

  • Roopa

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    very good thought …. I never knew that there certain rules in white , that they need to look certain way , as I belong to totally different community … at the end of the dat whay matters is how look urself in the mirror … If you are happy … the Darn world should be happy… and you mean that … thats it!!!… :)

  • Tina

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone is saying “Society says this and society says that…” WE are society!!! Stop supporting companies that send out messages that harm women.

  • Summer

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    BEST. POST. EVER.

    I adore you. xoxo

  • Vanessa

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    meagan thanks, ^_^ I needed this.

    THIS remembers me two things:

    Once I was assaulted in Orlando in gas station and they were like five black guys, I was with my aunt, n when they put me on front of the wall to take my stuff from jeans the guy told me u have a nice round butt for a white girl, n I told him with a gun in my head “BRO Im BORICUA” he said sorry my lady…

    n I was WTF!!!

    I’ve allways consider my self a Latina/boricua, my problem is Im white like really white of skin and characteristics except body type, very curvy, allways been athletic so I had a fitted body n round butt.. until I give birth lol.. Every time I went to the states people talk to me in English like if I were American even latinos, so since I was a girl I couldn’t tell what I was, was I white, latina or Hispanic? Well American wardrobe didn’t fit my body it was horrible trying to shop at sears or old navy specially lol…

    So i really appreciate this work of yours.

    the second thing I remember was an interview made to Britney Spears before her baby… what was the thing she would change in her body? she said “I hate my hips, they r so big, I scroll in the floor to reduce them” n I was like WTF she don’t have any hips!! what a shame I bet she was thinking the contrary, specially when Shakira made a big boom with her sensual hips dance!!

    Well in the end we r all women, humans searching to love n be loved!! so if everybody look alike the world would be so friking boooooriing.. The imp. thing is to be healthy.. lets not die because of drinking to much cocacola, or eating to much transfat!! we shall all unite n protest for the acceptance of different body types in the media, because in the end we r the clients n the market should be for everyone, not a few!!!

    Viva la raza !!!

  • Anonymous

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    I’m sorry that not everyone understood the point that you were trying to make with this post. I believe that everyone who has posted here is in agreement that society has defined an idea of beauty and that this definition causes difficulty, and indeed immense pain and insecurity, for those of us who do not match the trending ideas of beauty. No matter what the reigning idea of beauty is, we cannot all fit it. The issue here is why there isn’t greater acceptance and recognition of beauty in all its forms. I see nothing but agreement on that fact in the comments, regardless of any other points of contention. We all agree that we should respect all body types and should, in general, not label something as “bad”. (I say “in general” out of recognition that there is such a thing as “too skinny” and “too big”, a point where one or the other becomes unhealthy and life threatening.) However, that was really not the point of your post.

    Please know that your point came across quite clearly. No where did I see you implement a double standard or say that “skinny” women should be ashamed of their bodies. It is quite clear that you are addressing the idea that there is a difference in what is identified as beautiful amongst women and that this is often times dependent upon their race and/or ethnicity and that you were wondering why this is so. Societies have probably always defined and tried to enforce ideals of beauty and probably always will. The only way that we can work to mitigate the damage this can cause is by having frank and open discussions like the one you started, no matter how many feathers get ruffled. The only thing we can do is try to be respectful of others in this process. I think you did that.

    Really, the idea of what is beautiful is cultural. We all know this. Since you mentioned them I’ll really only talk about Afican American and Latino American ideas of beauty. African American and Latino American definitions of beauty are heavily influenced by African and Latin American ideals of beauty and not necessarily as much by European and Euro-American ideas. These cultures tend to define beauty by what is now referred to as “curvy” or “voluptuous” – big hips, big booty, big breasts. For a long time women of color, just because of the fact that we were not Caucasian, could never be identified as beautiful according to Euro-American societal norms. Regardless of the shapes of our bodies, the very shade of our skin prohibited us from even being considered beautiful. We were outside the “norm” and never really worthy of consideration in the marketing of the ideals of beauty. This was the big double standard.

    Certainly, we have come a long way in this regard. We are now at least given the societal option that women of color can be beautiful too. However, even here most of the women of color that we see touted in the media as beautiful tend to look closer to the “white” definition of beautiful body type that you’re discussing – skinny – than they do to what is defined in our general communities as “curvy.” It is true that we do see a return of curvier women (Sophia Vergara, Kate Winslet, and Christina Hendricks) who are labeled as beautiful in the media but this is relatively recent and was a struggle. I remember a time when Jennifer Lopez used to dress to minimize the size of her derriere. (And by the way, not all African American and/or Latina women fit this image and many of them suffer the same self-image issues for not meeting the ideal.)

    I believe that the confidence tag of Sofia Vergara’s is directed at all women, regardless of race or ethnicity and that’s what we need. More women telling each other to be confident in our bodies, our beauty, and our sexiness. Thank you for adding your voice and giving us all the opportunity to share ours.

  • bunny

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    Maegan,

    I’m into proportion too. When I see ladies who are too skinny for their frame it makes their heads look too big :). I’m learning to appreciate my womanly frame and to feel deep down in my gut, my “woman’s intuition” what is the right size for me. I know when I’m at my healthiest most beautiful weight and size. And it makes me confident. And I think it’s confidence that is beautiful. Much more than being perfectly thin. Your words in this post today are filled with wisdom, and that makes you even more beautiful to me. Keep up the good work, girl!

  • Deborah

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    I have decried the issue you are talking about my whole life!

    I’m a bigger woman. 5’8″ size 10 mostly and have had no problem my whole life attracting men (my thought is there is a cover for EVERY pot), but have always marveled at how black society loves them some curves and I have gotten the best comments over the years from black men – one being my favorite, “I want to meet your momma to thank her.” and, “Your husband must be a happy man.”

    BUT – this particular shape is not touted in white society. It’s sad to me because all of the body shapes are gorgeous!

    I love the Nicole Ritchie types. And the Jennifer Lopez types. And the Kate Winslet types. All of the types.

    My dream would be for women to embrace each other’s types and not be so competitive because, for me, this is the issue. We’re critical of bodies that are different/thinner/thicker/toned/curvy.

    How great a topic is this? Thank you for the discussion!

  • Anonymous

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, we do look better and younger with a fuller face. After seeing “Twiggy” as an occasional guest on one of the home shopping channels, she looks sooooo beautiful and young. (She has a slightly fuller and very natural face.)

  • Anonymous

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    What is presented in advertising and entertainment is simple supply and demand. I wish I could jump on the bandwagon of wagging my finger at society for their wrong doing but I can’t.

    Lucky for me, I am not influenced by the size of my jeans, my bra or my wedding gown. I am also not influenced by the size of Kate Moss’ jeans nor Sophia Vergara’s jeans. What they wear has no bearing on me.

  • miSs DaWn

    October 2, 2011 | Reply

    Your post is soooo TRUE! I have had my own issues with this. I am a Black woman who has very SMALL curves. To me, I am built like I could be thick, voluptuous, and sexy if I were bigger, but I have been the same size since 6th grade! I am 27 now and I am still a size 0-2 which used to bother me a lot. I used to HATE being mistaken for a younger girl. No matter what I ate, I never gained weight. I am the only one in my mother’s family besides my 19 year old little sister who is this small. I was ridiculed by them for years. It still upsets me that they think that way, but I have grown to learn that being healthy and having self-love is what matters most! Now, I can truly say I love my little petite body and today when people hit me with, “You’re built like a White girl! Do you eat?” i simply say, “Yes I do eat, I exercise, and my heart and arteries are healthy…what about yours? Oh and about the White girl I’m supposed to be shaped like…she must be one fine ass chick bc I LOVE the way I look!” (and my husband does too) Thank you for this post! I enjoyed reading it and it brings light to issues all ethnicities face! Love it! :)

  • Delane

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve battled my weight for most of my adult life. I’ve been everywhere from a size 6 bottom/2 top (5’8″ 135 lbs) and as high as a size 16W bottom/ 14R top (230+ lbs) In the past 2 years I’ve lost 40+ lbs, have 40 to go. As I’ve gotten older I realize that I won’t see 135 ever again. I just don’t have it in me to be that thin nor do I want to be. I like to eat and drink. I don’t mind having to put in an extra workout if I eat a plate of nachos, but I’m not going to spend hours at the gym only to deprive myself. And, I think I looked good at 145-150. I wasn’t skinny, but I had sexy curves.

    When I was on the upside of my weight there really were no models that I could look to. JLo perhaps, but really she is just a skinny girl with a big butt. Today, I suppose the Kardashians (sp?) are more curvaceous than the average Hollywood star. And politics aside, I have to say that Michelle Obama has been some what of an inspiration.

  • MrsPurvis

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    I love you. I love this. I agree 100%!

  • Lauren

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    This was such an amazing and inspiring post, and reading the comments – which reflected a range of perspectives and racial/ethnic backgrounds – was equally inspiring.

    As a white woman with curves, I could totally relate. Granted, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I wear between an 8 or a 10, so I’m not obese. I’ve always had a big butt and hips, though, and especially when I was younger, I hated it. My pants always gaped at the waist because, well, that’s how I’m shaped! I wasn’t TRYING to show my panties when I sat down; it’s just really hard for me to find pants that fit my hips & butt but ALSO fit my waist. But now I’m 32 and while I can’t say that I’m 100% happy with my body, I’m mostly comfortable in my skin.

    Apologies if this is too graphic, but my boyfriend and I recently took some naked photos. One was of me posed like I was about to have sex doggy style (again, apologies for the graphicness!). Anyway, we were looking at the photos and saying the ones we liked best, and he said he liked that one. And I was like, “omg, are you kidding? My butt looks freakishly large!” And he was like, “that’s what’s so hot!” So having that validation from him – and having other people affirm that I’m fine the way I am – has really helped me to become more comfortable in my own skin, even though I of course still have my moments. Oh, and if it’s relevant he’s white, so there are white men out there that appreciate such things! Although it is true that, especially when I was younger, I noticed that a large number of the men that seemed to be attracted to me were black (including the first guy I ever kissed). As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve learned that there are men of all races that appreciate me and my body, and that feels great!

  • Anonymous

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    Black and women of colour feminists (Patricia Hill Collins, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and way more) have been writing about this forever…..but the mainstream doesn’t really care about women of colour.

    You also brought up the issue of white women with big breasts and butts being equated with “slutty” or sexually available women. THIS is why thin white femininity is the beauty standard for all in North America: white women are thin, reserved, civilized, while women of colour are curvy, overly sexual, primitive. Racism and sexism in one!

    Pretty complicated stuff.

  • Anonymous

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    you go girl,, love this post! soooo true, I look at fashion mags and watch runway shows and think to myself, geez these girls need to eat! they look so sickly with their cheekbones so sunken in!! and yet this is what young girls, and some older ones too aspire to be and look like! love your blog and have been an avid follower for awhile and this is the first post that I have NEEDED to comment on!! just love you

  • Anonymous

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    I understand, what you are saying, but, well, I do sometimes get offended when someone goes off about “real women”, who got curves. Hey, I am a woman who leans more towards Twiggy than Marilyn, since I lost my baby fat. And even if I got that back somehow, I’ll just be more flabby than curvy, so, what is, is.
    However, that’s not the point. Women should not form opposite camps – thin against curvy or whatever. Problems start when a certain body image becomes a fad. When it’s cool to be thin, cool to be curvy, cool to have long legs, big butt or breasts, be white, extremely tanned or fit.
    Naturally not all of us can adapt to current fashionable body image, especially if it’s changing all the time. It’s kind of awful that all kinds of media keeps hinting, that we should be in a certain right way to be beautiful. There is always someone who finds something wrong with your curves or lack of them. It could be when you are buying jeans and the sells lady tells that they don’t have big sizes and when everything they sell at a store is too loose for you as well.
    And most of us are not as self confident to withstand that pressure. It sometimes takes one negative comment to destroy your resolution to love yourself as you are. You are trying, but the doubt that you could, should be better never really goes away. There is sound proof – all those polls that say, only about 1/4 of all woman are happy with their appearance. I have no idea, what to do about it. Mostly society just seems incapable of celebrating big/small, light/dark., old/young at the same time.
    Sadly I am pretty pessimistic about this issue….

  • C Lo

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve always been the “white girl with the black girl booty,” and people ALWAYS feel the need to point it out.. like it’s against the norm for white girls to have a curvy bottom.

  • Tamia

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    I think one thing that’s important to consider is that part of the reason it’s more “acceptable” for women of color to be curvy is because WOC were/are viewed as inherently less feminine than white women. Less attractive, less desirable, and less worthy of protection. It was/is okay to be stronger and curvier because WOC are not recognized as women in the same way white women are (see: Sojourner Truth’s “Arn’t I A Woman?”).

    There are a number of variables at work here, but let’s remember that this double (triple?) standard has often worked in favor of white women by affording them advantages due to their higher “value” (which is clearly problematic in and of itself) while positioning women of color as the strong-backed workhorses of society. IOW, women built more like men don’t have to be taken care of like “real” women–they can take care of themselves. It’s an unfair double standard on both sides, but it should be noted that it has worked in your favor in other ways.

    I would also implore readers & commenters not to accuse others of being “too sensitive” or complain about having to be “PC”. Thinking before you speak (or type) and trying to understand how your words and actions affect others is a mark of emotional and intellectual maturity.

    This is a good discussion, Maegan. Thanks for this post.

  • Anonymous

    October 3, 2011 | Reply

    Ive been reading here for a while but I darn sure hate that you posted this…makes me see you in a different light. And by different I mean, your glow has dimmed..

    I must say that I’m a little shocked that your 30-something self is not aware of what’s at work here…why your body type is not a celebrated body type (as a white woman) in your community, because it’s definitely lauded in others…

    Dont tell me you are just a dumb blond…I’m disappointed.

    You could be the change you want to see and stop harkening big butts to “other” women exclusively.
    Educate yourself, girl.

    I’ll come back when there are more clothes and less bullshit attempts to “understand” the world.

  • Amy

    October 4, 2011 | Reply

    Love your blog! You tell it like it is, which makes your blog unique from all the others. Appreciate your honesty. Keep it up!

  • Mia

    October 4, 2011 | Reply

    Maegan, always love your blog and posts huge HUGE fan over here. I LOVED reading this post. Growing up, I always had issues with my body. Being a thicker black woman, it was always harder for me because I have no hips, no round butt and large breasts (think apple shaped). I was always expected to be built like Halle Berry or some random video vixen, but I’m not. Dating black men, even more complicated. I always felt I was inferior to the more curvaceous girls of my race. My body image ebbed and flowed because I was just so unsure of how I could fit anywhere into the idea of being “sexy” or “womanly” since I was as straight up and down as a 10 yr old boy. It wasnt until I was 25, pregnant, having left my now ex fiance, that I realized I was sexy. I have awesome legs, a beautiful smile, a great personality and for the first time, in what felt like ever, I loved myself and the way I looked. I decided to stop obsessing about what I didnt look like, and started loving and working with what I got. Now it shows on the outside and I know the world sees me differently just like I see myself differently. Society should have told me that years ago. That it was ok to be different looking, you know, not the norm.

  • Anonymous

    October 4, 2011 | Reply

    The obsession my mom had with being thin made my sister and I view it as a challenge we could never meet. We lived in California and I was sporty, I had a muscular body, able to play soccer, softball, swim. But at age 11 my mom started me doing diets with her (she worked at Diet Center if you remember that place – basically a starvation diet). It made me hate my body. I remember standing next to her bed in my swimming suit when I was in 6th grade and she pushed on my lower belly and told me to “suck it in.” She’d kick me under the table if I ate too much.
    At a certain point I started to eat as a way of acting out against my mom’s hatred of my body. You don’t like it? I’ll show you! And I got bigger and bigger.
    I was always curvy and proportioned so I carried my weight well. And I always got attention – white guys would call me fat and men who weren’t white would ask me out.
    When I turned 30 I decided I was the only one to blame for my weight because now I was an adult. It was a huge breakthrough. I started exercising, eating right. Funny thing though I stayed curvy, muscular and still attracted the most attention from non-white men.
    I’m now married to a wonderful black man and I am the first white girl he ever kissed. When I told him about how I struggled with my weight my whole life he says he thinks I looked sexy at every weight. I don’t know….It’s a huge culture thing. I hoped when the JLo booty became popular it would change things, I think it has a little but not so much for most white guys I encounter.

  • Valerie

    October 5, 2011 | Reply

    Love this post!! One of the reasons I read your blog is because I was happy to finally find a fashion blogger who has curves similar to mine! For years I was self conscious for being a little white girl with a big butt, but the older I get the more I embrace it. If only more people would stand up with this same message, younger girls would grow up happier with their bodies!

  • Sharde

    October 5, 2011 | Reply

    another reason why i happen to like you. im a size 6 too and whenever i think that i need to go back down to the size 1 or 3 that I used to be (and looking disgusting) I think about things you’ve said before. and what my hubs thinks. he loves the curves, and begs me to never lose them pretty much! i totally got hit on today (which doesn’t happen often, but i was bummed today so it was totally a nice pick-me-up) but the guy was like:
    “i like your bag”
    as i was walking by i said “thanks, i made it” and kept walking. then when i was barely in ear shot he said “i like your ass too, youre hott” hahah. and it made me laugh :)
    but girls at work all the time say “oh well you can wear that because you’re tiny” and i’m like dude seriously i’m not that tiny!! you just have to learn how to dress for your body type. they just think i’m lying though.

    anywho, i think this comment has gone on long enough. :)
    sharde @ the style projects

  • Kat

    October 5, 2011 | Reply

    Absolutely love. I run an organization that provides scholarships for eating disorder treatment and have been in treatment myself (though I was atypical and didn’t have body images issues) so I know the importance of this issue… I think it’s great when people stand up and say that it’s okay to be who you are, because not everyone is meant to be the same size… and that thinner does not always equate to healthier.

  • Anonymous

    October 8, 2011 | Reply

    such a wonderful post, i find it to be especially relevant in our time today. you’re a beautiful woman and your confidence is inspiring

  • Anonymous

    October 23, 2011 | Reply
  • Sharon

    October 23, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry to break it to you honey, but I see no ‘curves’, ‘big round booty’, or ‘big boobs’ in your photos. Sticking your flat ass out toward the camera or bending your leg to make shape does NOT equal ‘curvy’. Delusions of grandeur.

  • dich vu seo

    March 6, 2012 | Reply

    “I have a big round butt. I have a muscular build and strong legs. I have boobs.

    I am a size 6.

    While Id like to be more toned, I DO NOT want to be a size smaller.

    My goal in life is not to lose weight. In fact, I find it a waste of time and energy to be worried about such nonsense on such a level that society tells us we should be.

    I like my curves.

    As I age, I see my butt that was once quite high, now a bit droopy and lifeless and it saddens me. I liked my bubble.

    Ive had this body for a long time. Ive never gained or lost so much that it looked too different from what I see now.

  • dangerouscurves

    October 23, 2013 | Reply

    You have a healthy attitude. I feel sad that my white sisters are saddled with the expectation to be bone thin. Maybe it is a racial thing, a way to be different and superior to women of color. It’s hard to be toothpick, particularly past 25 years of age. It takes an iron will of discipline to diet and it takes privilege to live in a gym, run marathons, etc. But still, I say just as many white women who are built like women and not 12-year-olds or long distance runners, but you can be almost sure if that woman is professional class or rich she’s more likely to be really thin. The white guys I see also prefer the really tiny women. I find it weird that straight, red-blooded men want women without considerable T&A because it’s not what I grew up with. I was always on the thin side and I grew up hearing I was bony (I wasn’t, just average) and that if I didn’t put some meat on my bones I’d never find a man.

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