Most are completely, and enthusiastically supportive, understanding that I have wanted to be a writer since I was about four years old.
Some don’t really understand what it is I do, in which case I am absolutely thrilled to tell them all about our magazine, and our causes and campaigns.
But then there are those few who look me up and down and say, “You work for a magazine called ‘Curvy Girl Guide’?!” And as confident and loud as I usually am, this response makes me want to curl up in the fetal position, whimper, and throw myself a pity party.
You see, I’m not what you would consider a stereotypical “curvy girl.” I am five-foot-two, my cup size is a 32 A. My pants size is 5 – short.
For years, I’ve heard:
Are you sure you’re eating enough? You look so…thin.
Oh, honey, you could really use some of my fat – here, have it!
I bet a strong gust of wind could take you all the way to the next city!
And so on, and so forth.
My “real life job” requires me to wear scrubs, which are, at best, minimally flattering on any woman. With the frame I have, when I wear scrubs, I look positively prepubescent, to the point where I make a conscious effort to never look at myself in a mirror while I’m wearing them.
I am asked by my patients on a daily basis if I have even graduated from high school (I graduated four years ago), and if I’m even old enough to be doing my job. It can be very frustrating, to say the least.
I have heard the phrase, “Can you please eat a cheeseburger or something?” more times than I care to recall, and it has always bothered me in a way I couldn’t really put into words, until now.
My feeling of self-worth should have nothing to do with what I weigh, or the boobs or butt I do or don’t have. The body I have does not define the woman I am.
There are plenty of people who have made it very clear (both to my face and on the Internet) that they do not believe I have any place at a magazine with the word “Curvy” in the title. In fact, I have even had people tell me they will completely discount every word I ever have written or will write about body image because I’m petite, and I must, therefore, have no idea what it’s like to struggle with body image.
That assumption could not be further from the truth; I struggle every day to be okay with the flat chest, flat butt, and wide hips that I see in the mirror. Every once in a while, I’ll come to a day where I can think, Yes. This is my body and I love it because it is beautiful, just the way it is. Far more often, however, I’ll want to drape a sheet over my whole body, to hide the absolute lack of curves that so obviously mean, “I am a woman.”
Enter my utter passion and enthusiasm for Curvy Girl Guide – our philosophy, our magnificent, outspoken, and beautiful writers and editors, and our push to help prove to those who have been so influenced by the media’s horribly damaging message of “Thin = Sexy, period,” that beauty comes in absolutely every shape, size, and stature.
This magazine and what we stand for (both together and as individual writers) have nothing to do with glorifying one body type over another, saying one is right and beautiful, and one is wrong and ugly. We stand for the belief that every woman deserves to feel beautiful and desirable because she is that way from the inside, out…not just because of what her body looks like.
This, my friends, is why such a small woman writes for a magazine with the word “Curvy” in the title, and why I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.