Real Women Have Curves, And Don’t Have Curves, And Have…

by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C.

Lot’s of very well meaning people, when they find out what I do for a living, say something to the effect of:

Real Women Have Curves: The Movie

“Right on!  Real women have curves!”

I know they mean well.  They’re saying that women’s bodies are more curvaceous than the emaciated bodies that are often held as an ideal by the media.  But the whole concept drives me bonkers.  And if it hasn’t driven you bonkers yet, let me explain why it drives me bonkers and you may end up agreeing with me.

1) Women Are Women, Curvy Or Not – Women’s bodies (just like men’s bodies) come in a diverse range of shapes.  There are plenty of curvy thin women and curvy fat women, not curvy thin women and not curvy fat women.  There are plenty of fat women with proportionately small hips and proportionately big hips.  There are plenty of thin women with the same.  Same for breasts.  Same for everything.  There are also some men with bigger hips and smaller hips and bigger breasts and smaller breasts.  In other words, there are plenty of “real women” who are not f-ing curvy and are still quite real, and sometimes even, quite fat.

2) What The Heck Is A Real Woman, And Why Should We Care? – Personally, I think that anyone who identifies as a woman is a woman.  I don’t really care if she has curves or a vulva or whatever.  I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you probably don’t care to much about it either.  But aside from that, does it help anything to refer to larger women as “real”?  Does that make thin women fake?  Or not really women?  Ugh.  See item #4.

3) Can We Just Say FAT For Once? — I personally hate the curvy euphemism.  I hate it more than most

Which of these women is more real? Kate Moss or Beth Ditto?

others, like large or even plus size (though I agree with Queen Latifah that plus size should be “buried“).  Curviness has way more to do with chest/waist/hip ratio than anything else, and I think our fixation on those measurements has added to the negative way that most women view their bodies for decades.

4) Relegating Thin Women To A Lesser Status Isn’t Helpful – I realize that bigger women have been put down, discriminated against, considered non-ideal, and worse, and that is really, really wrong and needs to change.  But I don’t think the way to create that change is to try to prove that bigger is better.  How about we just start to see that bigger is great too. We don’t have to relegate ourselves to a scarcity model of beauty and “realness” belong to only a select few.  Perhaps one doesn’t have to be better than the other.  Perhaps we can see that there’s a thing called body diversity, that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and that attraction is viable among people of varying weights.

So, yes, real women have curves, and don’t have curves, and whatever, at least that’s what I think.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. is a certified holistic health counselor who specializes in transforming your relationship with food and your body. Go to to sign up for her newsletter and get your free download — Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining!

Cross-posted with permission; Original piece from











9 thoughts on “Real Women Have Curves, And Don’t Have Curves, And Have…

  1. Thank you for this… I do have a rounded belly but that’s not what people normally refer to as “curvy.” As a normal weight person (no I’m not rail thin, and no I’m not fat, I’m in the healthy range) who basically has the same width up and down. I think I’m still a woman last time I checked, even without an hourglass shape…

  2. I agree with your idea that a woman is a woman, regardless if she has curves.

    This is a bit off topic, but important anyway.

    But when it comes to posture, all women should have curves with their belly & their bottoms! Women have been told to always ‘suck it in’, and that a flat stomach – like a man’s, is desirable. If women constantly deny themselves these natural curves, we are just setting ourselves up for pelvic dysfunction. Loss of bladder control, and prolapse are the natural consequences of this unnatural posture so many of us have. We should not be sucking our bellies in, and tucking our bottoms under. BRING BACK THE CURVES!!

    – Mum of 2 (and a 1/2), who has had terrible incontinence issues, and a prolapse, both of which have been largely fixed by allowing myself to have curves. xxoo

  3. I really agree with what you said : that anyone who identifies themself as a woman, is well, a woman, regardless of the possession or curves or non-curves. I think the reason that people like the say “Real women have curves” though is because they don’t want to offend anyone. I know that if someone outright called me fat I would get pretty upset. It’s definitely the way that society has made “fat” seem like a derogatory term that makes me think this way but we can’t really change the way people think with just one article or a couple. It’s a long process, but I really did like reading your article. You make a really good point for #4. Talking poorly of others doesn’t make us any better!

  4. Well put, Golda! I can’t stand that “real women have curves” thing either! It’s annoying! Some do, some don’t. Neither are any more real than the other. As a skinny woman with an hourglass shape, I would say there is a curve to my figure. I hate when I say it and people argue with “You’re not curvy cause you’re skinny!” If you took a ruler to my sides, the ruler would not fit perfectly into my side because it is straight, am I right? But anyways, I agree that beauty comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes and we really should be emphasizing that real women have curves, and don’t have curves, and whatever. This article made my day. Thank you so much for posting this!

  5. Yep I totally agree. As a thin woman, of course I hate the phrase. It insinuates the idea that most thin women of society aren’t real because they purposely became that thin. Natural thinness isn’t fake. It’s not even what I would call rare. And the phrase also insinuates that women are supposed to have curves and if they don’t then something is wrong. Well that’s bs as well. All that doesn’t is tries to create another standard of beauty, one that compliments larger women. But why is it necessary to compliment larger women while also putting down thin women? If you are seeking a beauty revolution, a way to redefine what it means to be beautiful, reversing the standards isn’t going to do you any good. It’s just going to start a backlash from all of the oppressed thin women who feel offended by that. But still, I see tons of fat women seeking approval, but they often have to add in some kind of criticism of the thin women. I mean how hard is it to just say, “Skinny women are beautiful. Fat women are beautiful. And everyone in between is beautiful. So we all win. The end.”

  6. I think I love this blog post, that is what I think. Very well said. Thank you! One of my favorite photos is of two eating disorders advocate friends – a curvy larger one and a not so curvy thinner one. I adore them both and really don’t care what size either of them are. They are hugging each other in the photo and it makes my heart sing to see it. They are both AMAZING women and they are alive and doing very important work in this world and I’m glad they are in it and are both healthy and well.

    I’m glad you are educating people on this important subject, it all comes down to respect. Tina Turner got it right.

    Becky Henry
    Hope Network, LLC
    Award Winning Author of Just Tell Her To Stop: Family Stories of Eating Disorders

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