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Curvy Or Fat ?

Updated on October 21, 2015

The Dove campaign

Tyra Banks. You Call This Fat?

Do you call thsi fat?
Do you call thsi fat?
Tyra, 1997 Sports Illustrated' cover
Tyra, 1997 Sports Illustrated' cover
Tyra in one-piece bathing suit in Sydney
Tyra in one-piece bathing suit in Sydney

When Does A Curvy Woman Become A Fat Woman?

I grew up in Peru, thinking that real women have curves. Real women have breasts and hips, and round bottoms. And if you do not have them, you do anything from exercises to plastic surgery to have some curves. This is specially true in Brasil where every year hundreds of women decide to go for the Brasilian' butt treatment.

In Latin America curves are not fat. It's not natural to have models who resemble hangers just to please untalented designers who seem to forget that hangers don't buy clothes, but women do. And I say untalented because I believe it is easier to design for shapeless sticks than for real curvy women. Women would like to see how clothes would look on real women and not just hanging onto breastbones.

Before this week, I had never heard of Tyra Banks but it caught my attention that in this week's cover story of PEOPLE magazine she was defending herself against her critics about her recent weight gain. Weight that has been seen by some as disgusting for a former model.

Tyra Banks

Tyra was the first African-american model on the cover of Sports Illustrated. At the time, she thought that she was looking bigger but when the pictures came out she liked them and felt insane at thinking that she had too much boobs or butt. So what is the limit?

When do we stop being curvy and become fat?. New photos of Tyra show her new figure in a one-piece bathing suit in Sydney. The headlines are abusive. But is she really fat now? At 161 lbs. today, Banks is 30 lbs. heavier than when she was modelling, but she says it's important to her to tell girls that this photo "is not ugly." She is not a model anymore, she is a real woman with a real body. Is that bad?

Global warming will threaten our crops, so natural food will be scarce. Hourglass, curvy bodies will be the aspirational beauty standard, representing that those women have access to bounties of fulfilling yet healthy food, which means they are affluent.

— Tyra Banks

Liv Tyler Has To Lose Weight

Another screen star who is risking her career by refusing to lose weight is Liv Tyler. The 26-year-old has been told by movie bosses that she risks missing out on top film roles unless she reduces the size of her shapely figure. Liv at 5ft 10ins and 9st - insists that she is happy with her weight and doesn't want to diet.

Does she have to? She is an artist and as an artist what should count is your talent and not your weight!

Liv Tyler. Does She Need To Lose Weight?

Liv Tyler at the premiere for The Incredible Hulk.June 2008
Liv Tyler at the premiere for The Incredible Hulk.June 2008 | Source

Salma Hayek. Is She Fat?

Also, going against Holywood trends Salma Hayek gained weight for one of her latest movies. Unlike 99% of all actresses, Hayek gained weight for her nude scenes. She thought the character, a1930s Mexican lady, should be curvy. For this, she put on weight and she says that she has not been able to lose all of it. But she says that it is okay, she likes her new shape and she is happy with it. So, maybe this "stars" on their own way are paving the way to a new body image, where natural curves are again accepted and seen as beautiful. I hope so!!

Salma Hayek at the Cannes film festival

Salma Hayek at the Cannes film festival
Salma Hayek at the Cannes film festival | Source

Tyra Banks - Dress Sexy At Any Size

Actress Christina Hendricks in Sydney 2012. Curvy Or Fat?

Actress Christina Hendricks  the sexiest woman in the world in 2010
Actress Christina Hendricks the sexiest woman in the world in 2010 | Source

A poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine named Hendricks "the sexiest woman in the world" In 2010

"I'm a curvy girl and that will never change", Holly Madison

Model/actress Holly Madison at New Orleans Mardi Gras
Model/actress Holly Madison at New Orleans Mardi Gras | Source

Sofia Vergara Was Told She Had To Lose Weight

Did you know that early in her career career, Sofia Vergara – who is known for her curvaceous figure – was told to lose weight to help her career?

Fortunately for all her fans, the Colombian-American actress, model and producer, Sofia Vergara stood her ground and refused to lose weight to further her career.

In 2014, she was ranked as the 32nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara | Source


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    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 2 years ago from France

      Andy, you are right there, as long as the person is healthy a bit of fat to create head-turning curves is just fantastic ;-)

    • profile image

      andy 2 years ago

      Hi Princessa we need fat for great curves as long as you eat right and healthy so good fat equals great curves or am i wrong ?

    • profile image

      bec12 6 years ago

      Does anyone realize that being a size "zero" is not normal and neither is obesity? I don't see too many with "curves" these days (Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren had curves) but plenty of fat. Anyone with any sense knows that the models today are unhealthy, but so is fat. Just as anorexics convince themselves they're "fat" when they look in a mirror, so is the fat people telling themselves they have "curves".

      The women pictured would NOT be considered fat(to anyone who is not blind) but there are quite a number that are very obese and try to pretend they look like the women above. Do you not realize that they are just as "sick" as anorexics? Neither one is healthy!

      Very fat people now try to make fun of others, which I find insane. No one tells themselves "I can't wait to be 200 pounds" It does not help that others for some unknown reason want to suck up to those fat people and tell them they're "sexy".

      I'm sick of hearing goody goods say everyone in beautiful. Bull. There are many who make fun of others because of the way they're born, things they can't help. Everyone should look good? What fairy land do you live in? I think people should treat others well or leave them alone, but they don't. So not everyone can "look good" You're only generous to yourselves, and cruel to others. People can help being fat, but they can't help being born with the faces they have. And the more you tell yourselves you and everyone (when you conveniently feel like it)is beautiful, sexy, and just all-around important, the more blind and obnoxious you really are no matter what weight you are.

      And please stop using big-nosed unattractive "models" as an example to excuse obesity. Anybody with common sense would realize, like I said, that neither is normal. Try to open your eyes and find some middle ground. You seem to not know the difference between the two anymore.

    • profile image

      Jenna 6 years ago

      I eat very healthy. I usually try to eat a plant-based diet. But since I'm a tennis player I need to get my carbs also. I only eat meat 2-3 times a week. And I work out every day for 3-4 hours. Yet I'm still a curvy teenager. I have C cup breasts, a flat tummy, and lately as I go through changes like puberty my hips have been getting bigger. I'm very muscular and lean. Everyone tells me I'm skinny. But I'm actually curvy. In my eyes.

    • profile image

      Jessica 7 years ago

      I gave up my slim body for some real curves and guess what, I feel healthier, prettier and better than ever before!

      Stop starving yourself, it gives you nothing but problems ;)

    • profile image

      Laura 7 years ago

      Mandy, I agree. You don't have to be a certain size or shape to be "real". I wish the media would stop the whole "skinny vs curvy" thing. They should use ALL body types in magazines, not just skinny and not just curvy. EVERY woman is beautiful, regardless of her body.

    • profile image

      Jen 7 years ago

      Okay firstly a designer is not untalented because they use stick figures in their runway shows. That is done for practicality reasons. If you use girls with the bodies of boys you don't do as many adjustments to make the clothes perfectly tailored. It saves TONS of time.

      Secondly why is it admirable for Selma Hayek to put on weight for a role and admirable for Liv Tyler to obstinately stay static? Seems like a double standard to me.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      Hausisse: Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      Mandy: I DO apologize if I insulted anyone. I did not mean to insult the naturally slim women or indeed anyone. As you said I just shared MY views and yes, I am fed up of stereotypes and the media constantly forcing their views of perfectly slim bodies. There are lots of naturally slim bodies, but there are also lots of women who virtually starve themselves to have that shape because they feel that being slim is fashionable.

      I do believe that a woman is a woman regardless of her shape and should be accepted as such, and she should not feel bad about herself if she does not fit into media stereotypes.

    • profile image

      Mandy 8 years ago

      By sharing your views on what is a "real woman" you have also insulted people who are naturally slim/ slender and cannot help it. Can you not see how inconsiderate it is to use phrases such as "shapeless sticks".

      A real woman is someone who maintains a healthy body weight by eating healthy and exercising regularly. So keeping to their natural shape, and I believe everyone has one.

    • profile image

      Hausisse 8 years ago

      Well, I dunno if I think that's so bad- that just comes with age and stuff, I agree there. But most people if they make an effort to keep fit when they're older stay healthier into old age and feel better- I can't generalize, of course, I'm not a doctor. But that's just the way I've been raised, really- I genuinely enjoy exercising and feeling energetic and healthy.

      I don't think that 40 year old women should get plastic surgery to look like 20-year-olds, though. :|

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      Hausisse: Yes, I agree that the most important thing is to be healthy and to be happy with your body regardless of your shape.

      Biologically women are meant to carry children, therefore the wide hips and big bossoms (to feed their babies). It is not possible -without great sacrifices- for most women to remain thin and whith teenager bodies all their lifes, so why not just be happy with the way your body evolves?

    • profile image

      Hausisse 8 years ago

      Haaaay... I just have to say. I'm really skinny. And I wanted to mention that the body that's portrayed as ideal is pretty much impossible to obtain for most naturally skinny girls, just as it is for most naturally heavy girls- thin, but with big boobs and a large behind. It happens, of course, but not many girls are slender AND curvy...

      The ideal body image is NOT to be rail-thin, unless you want to be a runway model. But their entire purpose is completely different. Really, they're just supposed to act as hangers for the clothing they're showing.

      The most important thing is health, I think.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      BellaB0oo: it is difficult to accept oneself when the media is all day showing us pictures of "perfect women". It takes time to learn to accept and love yourself by who you are regardless of your shape. The good thing is that once you come to terms with your shape, it is like magic and everybody else seems to find you prettier because they feel your confidence.

      There is not a perfect shape, but there is confidence irradiating from your acceptance!

    • profile image

      BellaB0oo 8 years ago

      I'm totally with ya there Princessa. This is a bit late for a comment (since the last comment was posted 5 months ago lol). I've always had a problem accepting myself because in this day and age, as you have mentioned in your article, being unhealthily skinny is IN. Now, I'm not saying being skinny is bad, but being curvy or on the meatier side isn't bad either, which the media makes it out to be. It's a twisted society we live in today, but articles like this keep me, and many other women who don't fit society's standards physically, motivated. So thanks for this encouraging article.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Sam and chelsea: so what is the limit between curvy and fat? and WHO sets the standards?

      A few days ago I watched a TV programme about African women doing anything to have generous curves. They eat whatever they want (no diets for them) and even use special herbal creams to increase the size of their bottoms. A big, sticky out and "meaty" bottom is a sign of beauty and sexiness over there.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      starrkissed: I liked the video too, I like someone having the guts to say all that :-)

      desertblondie: You are so lucky, not only for always having the right curves regardless of your weigth, but you are lucky for accepting them, enjoying them and loving them.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Just found this one, don't know how i missed it...but great advocacy of CURVES! I have been one of the lucky ones I matter what I weigh (and like Tyra I'm 30 pounds heavier than I was 20 years ago), my bust and hip measurements always match....AND...even luckier, my waist always 10-12 inches smaller than bust/hips. So I've been curvy no matter what I weigh, with my curves in the right plastic surgery needed, I am one curvy woman...and happy about it! (As is my husband! LOL)

    • starrkissed profile image

      starrkissed 9 years ago from Arizona

      they're all gorgeous. i love that video with tyra. cracks me up. she's awesome. :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Rhym O'Reyson: You are welcome :) as they say: "No matter what a woman looks like, if she is confident, she is sexy".

    • Rhym O'Reison profile image

      Rhym O'Reison 9 years ago from Crowley, Tx

      Thanks for this hub. As a curvy girl myself, it took a long time to like my body. No matter what your body shape, one of the biggest keys to being sexy is how you percieve yourself and being confident that you look good.

    • profile image

      Cressida 9 years ago

      Hey. Is is true that guys find curvy girls sexy?

    • profile image

      Florence 9 years ago

      I think they all look great too. On the other hand I find the new trend to calling women with more curves than average "real women" very unkind and thoughtless to naturally thin women.

      It is also very sad and extremely unhealthy that some women now feel so desperate to be a "real women" that they have to stuff themselves with unhealthy food such as potato chips (as one poster above claims she is doing) and risk diabetes and a heart attack from such a diet. That's at least as unhealthy as someone who restricts their diet to lose weight.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      fortunecookie: absolutely right, fashion should be enjoyable for everybody regardless of their body shape.

      dieta: thanks for passing by and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      dieta 10 years ago

      Great article

    • profile image

      fortunecookie 10 years ago

      Fashion should not be limited to only the unhealthily skinny, but should be an enjoyment for all. Everyone should look good!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Rusty: Thanks for the comment. I do hope that curvy women start to appreciate their curves and love their bodies the way they are rather than starving themselves to meet unrealistic shapes. Bravo for those girls like Salma, Shakira, Beyonce, J.lo and of course bravo to Dove's campaign for 'real beauty' !

    • Rusty Green profile image

      Rusty Green 10 years ago

      Hi Princessa:

      Sorry for the late comment: I am just reading your hub.

      Even though it happened over a year ago, the issue is still current because young girls are still killing themselves trying to look like the Olsen twins. What they don't realize is that these girls are sick! Tyra is 5'10"; weighing 161 lbs is still "slim" for that height.

      If ex-models, like her, and actresses like Salma Hayek (as you mentioned in your hub), can endure the pressure of the media and keep their weight, maybe they can start influencing the fashion industry to stop making clothes for anorexic models, and start making them for "real" women, i.e. curvy women.

      Great hub... You are doing a service to all the curvy women out there who think they are fat! I am planning to write a hub on Tyra Banks and I will link back to this hub.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Erin: You are welcome and thanks for the comment. I hope I can do 'my little bit' and encourage women to love their bodies the way they are.

    • Erin M profile image

      Erin M 10 years ago from Portland, OR

      I LOVE this blog - one cannot say too much to encourage women and girls to love their bodies as they are - to embrace the sacred feminine and shine! Thanks for the lovely hub!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Hi highwaystar, I am not sure about others, but I am certainly happier when I am not feeling hungry. Like my husband says: "a hungry woman is an angry woman... an angry woman is a witch" :-)

    • highwaystar profile image

      highwaystar 10 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Princessa, which butt is best? The answer may surprise real women feel good about their curves, reagrdless of feeling hungry and deprived?

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Dawn French is always a good laugh!

      Happy new year Compu-smart

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      Love the pics and Dawn French quote lol.

      Happy new year:)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Thanks Veronica and Happy new year too!

    • Veronica profile image

      Veronica 10 years ago from NY

      Brilliant beautiful article, Princessa! I could not agree with you more. Thumbs Up, and you have a new fan in me.

      Happy New Year

    • Tasteful Tidbit profile image

      Tasteful Tidbit 10 years ago

      I always wondered to what extreme models and actresses go thru to stay thin. I would rather look at a curvey woman than a stick. I agree that once you can't see the curves anymore than you have fat. I think men like a little to hold on to.

    • Hot Rocks Review profile image

      Hot Rocks Review 10 years ago

      Women who are too thin appear unhealthy. Look at the Olsens as an example. A woman with some nice curves is alot healthier looking in my opinion.


    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      You are right RFox. a healthy weight gives you a younger look.

      In France they say that eating cheese increases your bust size, (there are more than 200 varieties of cheese) and do not forget the glass of wine that goes with it to lower cholesterol!

      Enjoy your new curves :-)

    • RFox profile image

      RFox 10 years ago

      I agree! As someone who has been stick thin for my most of my life due to genetics I am ecstatic to be finally putting on some weight and gaining curves. As a woman ages being underweight is not a good thing. Lacking (good) fat causes more wrinkles and usually makes you look older than what you are. People don't seem to realise this. When you are curvier and within the healthy weight range for your height you look younger and sexier!

      I personally have embarked on a potato chip rich diet in order to increase my calories in the hope of achieving a more womanly figure. It's a desperate measure I know but it does seem to be working and it's definitely enjoyable! lol

      Kudos to the curvy! :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Cheers Kenny. And just for a laugh I am leaving you a quote by Dawn French: "If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush."

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 10 years ago from Chennai

      Cheers to those curvy beauties who boldly keep their curves! Keep going, Princessa!

    • Brandy Owens profile image

      Brandy Owens 10 years ago from Wherever life takes me

      I think it's better to be curvy than to be stick thin. I agree with everything you've said in this hub. In times before the 1960s, curvacious women were top stars, such as Marilyn Monroe. I hope America begins to lose obsession to be anorexic thin, and starts to understand that "real women have curves", as the saying goes. Great hub. :)

      Also, I think the difference between "fat" and "curvy" is when a woman has no curves at all due to fat, and is unhealthy because of her weight.

    • Denmarkguy profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 10 years ago from Port Townsend

      The obsession with "skinny" is very unhealthy, I think.

      Sometimes I cannot help but think that it only exists because if what people were to "want" was what most people actually HAVE, then they wouldn't be able to sell as many products in service of helping people "achieve the ideal."

      Yes, I'm cynical, I know...

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      They are, Rudra... they are beautiful!

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 10 years ago

      wow arent they beautiful..


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