Verve for Curves
Researching this article, I came across a subsection of the Cosmopolitan website devoted to Diet, with the disclaimer “because we all want to release our inner skinny girl.” Undoubtedly, any idiot flipping through any given glossy mag would realise that the fashion world has a penchant for the skinny girls, with their protruding ribcages and hip-bones poking out everywhere. What is worrying, however, is that the fashion world’s fetish extends even to unhealthily skinny girls. Where do we draw the line? Thinness? Emaciation? Death?
Just ask Ana Carolina Reston, the 21-year old Brazilian model who died of heart failure caused by Anorexia recently. The 5’8” model was under pressure by her agency to lose weight, and used the eating disorder as a crash-diet. She weighed 39kgs when she died.
So my question is, is it true that all women want to be skinny?
No. Definitely not all women because you can count me out. I don’t want to be skinny, nor do I want to be obese. I want to be healthy: the sexiest body is the body which comes when you lead a healthy lifestyle. That is what glossies should be promoting: healthy eating, regular get-the-heck-off-your-butt-and-exercise,
and most importantly body love. (All you perverts who thought that was a euphemism, out! Now!) Body love is learning to accept the way you look and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
Having said that, a niggling voice at the back of my mind keeps reminding me of another point I want to bring up: people who study art (especially people who went to the same tutor as I did) know that ‘a curve is a sign of beauty’. Why? Because essentially, the straight line represents the male, while the curve represents the female. Curves are attributed to fertility, hence ‘Il-Mara il-Hoxna’ being the goddess of fertility (I can hear your minds clicking even now). Besides, women are meant to have bellies- they are there to provide padding for the uterus. Betcha didn’t know that!
Throughout the history of art, curvy women have been celebrated. Just picture Botticelli’s Birth of Venus- the goddess of Beauty. Take a look at Rubens’s Women, all lush and soft; Tamara deLempicka’s women, all curves; statues of Grecian goddesses, with their almost semi-circular hips. I could go on forever. What went wrong? Well, my guess is that with the fertility problem out the window (thank you, in-vitro), we have begun to experiment with alternative forms of beauty- androgyny, distortion. That’s great, in my opinion, but not when you lose your original idea of beauty and Beauty stops being subjective. Who are we, Plato in his imaginary world of Forms? If everything else in the world can be subjective, why can’t Beauty, of all things, be too. Don’t stare at me blankly when I declare that I’m proud of my curves- I have reason to be.