The Triumph of Curves? Mehhh…

by Web Intern

‘We are officially over skinny,’ London Times writer Shane Watson decrees. And by ‘we,’ Watson means everyone.

‘Women have started to envy other women, not for their jutting hipbones and the amount of daylight visible between their thighs, but for their soft and shapely bodies,’ the Times column proudly proclaims, listing the popularity of Joan on the show Mad Men, the appearance of Beth Ditto naked on the cover of the new UK magazine Love, and the fact that Vogue recently published photographs of the singer Adele without asking her to lose weight first as evidence of a watershed moment in Western culture’s–or at least pop culture’s–view of the female form.

Uh, sorry Shane. While I sincerely wish this were the case, I just don’t think we’re there yet. Flip through almost any mainstream women’s magazine and I’m sure you’ll agree. With a few awesome exceptions, advertising, TV, and the rest of the media is still dominated by impossible-to-attain stick figures. And don’t you think a better sign of times a’changin’ would be women ‘envying other women’ for their accomplishments instead of their bodies?

The Times article actually says Scarlett Johansson’s body ‘remind(s) us of the power of shape.’ While Johansson isn’t super-skinny, she isn’t exactly curve central either. For that matter, it would be pushing it to say Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan on Mad Men, has anything close to a ‘soft’ body (yet the Times has the audacity to complain that Hicks ‘looks like the big girl who doesn’t quite have what it takes’ when she’s not squeezed into her flattering Mad Men outfits).

Speaking of outfits, Watson does go on to say that there are a few guidelines if one wants to pull of the new full-figure look: ‘Shape is making a comeback, but our perspective has adjusted and now the curvier figure has to obey certain rules. You need a small waist and a flat stomach to contrast with those fuller hips. A pair of nice arms, good ankles and a well-defined clavicle make all the difference.’

Curvy, yet with a small waist, flat stomach, and well-defined clavicle? Sounds like another impossible standard to me.


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