“The thing is, if I buy a size 12 it doesn’t fit on the hips but if I buy a 14 it’s too baggy around my waist. I end up looking like I’m wearing a tent. They should make a size 13 or maybe design some clothes to suit curvy women.”
Never have words rung more true to me than when I stood in a changing rooms with my best friend pondering what size to buy.
We left feeling deflated, as if the hugely desired and beautiful play-suit had just been ruled out.
With the terms ‘curvy’ and ‘plus size’ being banded around with little importance placed on definition, people are confused.
What’s more, designers are confused, brands don’t know who they’re catering for and the consumer just doesn’t know where to buy.
At a size 12 to 14, my friend is by no means large. In fact, I’d go as far as to say she’s pretty tiny. However, she does have boobs and a bum and a pretty dinky waist thus earning her the label of curvy.
Surely this can only be a good thing? Not in our current society, apparently.
The often forgotten reality is that curvy is a shape and not a size. Being curvaceous does not mean that you necessarily qualify as plus-size.
It is this confusion in definition that has lead to #curvy being banned on Instagram, models speaking out about what shape they are and industry experts having their say.
It is also a word that women sometimes to see as a compliment as people think it to be synonymous with being described as fat, chubby or overweight.
In turn, it is taken for granted that both under weight and over weight women can be curvaceous.
Models such as Ashley Graham are campaigning tirelessly to change the way society understands these terms.
Yes, it’s a case of semantics but we all know the power of a word. It can change the way someone feels about themselves and is often attributed to body shaming, body hating and a severe lack of confidence.
So today, ask someone what they think of as curvy. Remind them that curvy is a term that falls into the same category as pear shaped, hour glass, apple, oval and straight.
Moreover, these shapes are nothing to do with your size or how skinny/fat you are and certainly nothing to do with how healthy you are.
Be body confident. Be body positive. Support one another.