The Language of Magazines: Is "Curvy" Completely Meaningless?
I should have known the term “curvy” was on the fast track to obsolescence when Marie Claire used the slender-but-busty Katherine Heigl as an exemplar of the body type. What makes a woman curvy? It used to be the word was bestowed upon those lovely women who, nonetheless, were heavier than the Hollywood-lollipop standard. Now? The definition has loosened. It seems any celeb who hasn’t retained Rachel Zoe as her stylist could one day be worthy of the term.
That’s not to say that celebrities—or anyone else—should be shunted into an easily definable body-type box. And fashion magazines should absolutely not be arbiters of what any woman should look like. Even so, is the pressure to be slim increased by expanding the definition of “curvy” to include slender women? Are women with different, heavier bodies being squeezed out by the broader definition of the term that once belonged to them? Does it even matter?
Decide for yourself. Here are three women who’ve recently been dubbed “curvy” by magazines.
Jessica Biel and her “curvy figure” in August’s Bazaar:
Kim Raver has “serious curves” in September’s Glamour:
And Anna Faris has a “curvy bod” in the fall edition of InStyle Makeover:
What do you think?