Trying to Understand the Curvy Girl Backlash

We recently ran a series that everyone here at the CollegeCandy offices thought would be an awesome way to give our usually pro-body-acceptance readers a self-esteem boost. But instead Celebrating Celebrity “Flaws” turned into a body-bashing he-man-woman-hater’s club. We didn’t see that coming. We were just trying to celebrate our differences that everyone, from the media to our friends, is telling us are wrong and ugly. Instead the very people we wanted to celebrate (you!), cut each other down.

How are we ever going to learn to love our bodies, if we can’t even talk positively about differences?

The conversation about flat celebrities wasn’t about the pressure to have big boobs (and of course a skinny frame), but rather about how all skinny, flat woman “obviously” have eating disorders. The conversation about big noses and bushy eyebrows wasn’t about the pressure to have petite/adorable facial features, but instead about how these women didn’t have big enough noses, or weird enough noses, or bushy enough eyebrows.  It’s as if you’re saying that it has to be one or the other. A small nose or a huge nose; groomed eyebrows or a unibrow. There’s no middle ground.

While we were pretty disappointed by all the body-bashing in the first 3 posts, we seemed to touch on some real issues in the curvy girls post and we were really interested by what we read. There was tons of backlash about who we chose — and a lot of people were upset that we included people like Monique, Nikki Blonsky, and Gabourey Sidibe. Apparently there’s a line between curvy and fat; and we crossed it. Not were we unaware of that line, but we were also pretty surprised that so many people defined “curvy” so differently.

So we wanted to open up these questions to everyone and find out what our readers really think.

Is someone who is overweight more unhealthy than a skinny person? Even if the overweight woman works out and eats healthy and the skinny woman stays thin simply because she’s naturally thin?

Has the word curvy become a catch-all phrase for anyone who is not stick-thin? Are obese woman curvy? What is the real definition of curvy?

Where’s the cut off from curvy and voluptuous to fat and obese?

Is it irresponsible as a society to celebrate an obese woman and call her beautiful?

What determines being healthy and fit: Being skinny? Having a good BMI? Eating well and exercising?

Let us know your thoughts below.


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