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Celebrating the Feminine Form vs The Culture of Thin

31 March 2011
I am writing this post in response to the backlash that this post by blogger and street style photographer Scott Schuman of  The Sartorialist, created. He took a picture of this fellow street style blogger on the streets of Milan during MFW. The blogger clearly has a more feminine curvy physique and he accurately pointed this out. I personally did not find any offense to his comment. To be honest he was complimenting and admiring her form. However, over 1300 comments later, it seems that many commenters took what he was saying to mean that he was calling the girl fat when in fact he wasn't.

In America predominantly and around the world there has been this trend for the last 20 years towards being emaciated aka "heroin chic." The models on the runway, the actresses on screen and on the cover of magazines feed into this mindset that in order to be beautiful you must be a bag of bones, literally. This to me is very unhealthy for women. Women are meant to have a little more fat on their bodies than men, and we are meant to be curvy. Yes, there are some ethnic groups namely Asian where the women are naturally slim, but that is natural for their ethnicity, mainly because of their diet--they eat less meat and more seafood. But this fact is not necessarily true either. I lived in China for almost a year and the women their literally starved themselves to thinness. In some cases, they were so thin that their extremities namely their toes and fingers were blue. Not good people. There has been many models and actresses who have died from anorexia and bulimia, because the industry pressured them to be thin.

There is something unnatural about women looking like prepubescent boys. It is one thing to be naturally thin--I have friends who can eat anything and still stay thin because this natural for their bodies-- and those who eat one meal a day or work out 3 hours a day (they are not athletes) to stay thin. Friends who have snorted cocaine and popped Adderal to alleviate their appetites. I am sorry, food is meant to be enjoyed not maligned and working out should be for health not to punish your body. And if you have to take drugs to stay thin then maybe you are not supposed to be.

Despite this pressure, there has been a few actresses and models who have stood up and said "NO". I will not be unhealthy for my career, love me or leave me. And this attitude I have so much respect for. I am not saying women should be obese either. I believe in being healthy for your body. For me that is 20lbs lighter than what I am now. And 20lbs lighter than where I am now is still 175lbs. However, at 175lbs I wear a size 8 in clothes. And if I were to lose more weight I would look sick. I am not big boned but I have an athletic physique because I used to run track and play volleyball. So my body is mostly muscle with 20lbs of fat hanging out on it. So I am working hard to eat more healthy and work out more to lose it. But that is what is healthy for me.

me 20lbs heavier

me at 180lbs/ size 8

I have had boyfriends in the past pressure me to lose even more weight but what I have learned is that self love trumps any pressure and once a man starts talking to you about your weight in an unflattering way, then it is time for you to let him go. If you are in a industry that expects you to be unhealthily thin then it is time for you to stand up and say "NO!" Women have more power than we believe we have and the only way the industry will change is if we as women say "NO." Collectively.

So since today is the last day of Women's Month, I have decided to celebrate the feminine form. To celebrate what makes us different from men, what makes us unique and what makes us beautiful.

In ancient art, women were always depicted as having large breasts and hips, or smaller breasts and large hips, like the fertility goddesses and the Botticelli women. These women are always in proportion and look healthy.

I have a friend who looks exactly like this.

Botticelli's the Birth of Venus

And I tip my hat to these beautiful women of classic Hollywood

Josephine Baker

Marilyn Monroe

Sophia Loren

And these women of today who have decided to buck the norm and keep their curves

Jennifer Lopez

Christina Hendricks

Nichole Scherzinger

Sanaa Lathan

Scarlett Johansson

Tyra Banks

Kate Winslet
Kasia Pilewicz

Toccara Jones

Whitney Thompson

** And last but not least, my body idol:

Michelle Obama
And Who wouldn't wear this shoe? Wish I knew who designed it.. Loves it!

forgot to add this earlier.. :D

Be what is healthy for you, rather it is a size 0 or a size 16. Never let anyone pressure you to be something that you are not. Be you, love you. Happy Women's Month

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10 comments on "Celebrating the Feminine Form vs The Culture of Thin"
  1. shocking thin they are! great reportage!

  2. Thanks Sophia! It is shocking and what is even more shocking is that it was allowed.. craziness!

  3. I really love you for this post.
    Those pre-pubescent boy/girls are frightening. You never see women in real life looking like that, so why would designers actually hunt for models with that image? It isn't realistic at all. And it's ugly.
    I applaud women who love their curves. :) It isn't feminine to look like a little boy.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  4. Well said Tanisha. I could not agree more!

  5. @Bonnie, thanks, I had to. Its been bothering me for a minute.
    @WC, glad you stopped by. This post seems to have gotten many tongues ragging which I did not expect but it must be on everyone's mind

  6. Well Blogger ate my reply to you and I am frustrated now!!


    Congrats on your fitness goals and don't give up until you achieve them!

    Crystal Renn is headed back to her extra-small size and is no longer the type of advocate (or accepting) of her fuller body.

    Scott presented a dishonest conversation in light of the reaction at his blog and is playing both sides of the fence. He doesn't know what "normal" is? BS! He can't see with his own two eyes those bag of bones models populating the fashion industry today? BS!

    Funny how the original Supermodels of the '90's would barely get signed today because they'd be dubbed FAT for a model.

    Re: curvy. Yes it does describe femininity but for black women and African-American women in particular we've been gaslighted into thinking being overweight is normal and that curvy is the same thing as having fat rolls.

    Angelikka is a trooper, regardless of what she actually thinks has chosen the savvy move of going along with his BS as it benefits her.

  7. @Faith I do agree with you on all accounts at this point after reading more of his response. I think for him it was just to get noticed however it did begin a good conversation. And recently I noticed Crystal has been losing a hell of a lot of weight I am like wtf, so I will be taking her down and putting up Kasia. lol.. Angelica is a trooper AND her blog is benefitting from it.

    And right on about Black women. so sad I say.

    Now I wish I could have seen your original comment. damn you Blogger. :D

    P.S. thanks for stopping by

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