Feed that Woman a Cheeseburger!

by KristenS on March 19, 2012

in Self & Body

When I tell people that I work for this magazine, I get varying reactions.

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.

Laurel Ann March 19, 2012 at 8:08 am

I applaud your openness and honesty. How awesome it is to read a refreshing post from someone (anyone) about this topic in a non-judgmental, non-skinny bashing way. I love that you’ve completely reaffirmed my love for Curvy Girl Guide by noting that CGG is not about glorifying one body type over another but by supporting that ALL body shapes and sizes are beautiful. Keep on being awesome, please!

jodimichelle March 19, 2012 at 8:35 am

I second Laurel Ann. Well said!

Angie March 19, 2012 at 8:40 am

“Curvy” is a state of mind of womanhood. “Curvy” is a traditionally stereotype for a womanly body and one that we all take to heart.

I’m proud to have you as a fellow curvy writer, Kristen!

Liz March 19, 2012 at 8:57 am

Well put!! I love that Curvy Girl Guide is here to make everyone find the beauty in themselves no matter the shape or size. Thank you for sharing!

Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy March 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

I think it is often hard for us to understand that just because someone’s struggles look differently than ours, doesn’t mean they don’t HAVE struggles. I have been a literal curvy girl since elementary school. This year I have committed to getting healthy (not skinny) and I have a LOT of weight to lose. In this process I have met and regularly talk with a a lot of women on this same journey who have varying amounts to lose. I had to work hard to remember that it does matter if someone has 20 or 200 to lose, the key is how you feel. Telling someone they look great doesn’t mean much if they don’t feel great, curvy, skinny or otherwise!

SwingCheese March 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

Very well put, Lisa!

Suebob March 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

Thanks for this. It’s educational and made me realize I have been guilty of this type of behavior. I remember one day at the swimming pool when the women in the next lane were discussing trying to gain 10 pounds and I interrupted them to scoff and roll my eyes. I won’t do that again.

Sherry Carr-Smith March 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

I think this too, when I see a very thin woman. And it’s a jerky thing to think. It’s one of the many judgy mcjudgepants behaviors I’m trying to quit. Thanks for the great post!

Fallon March 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

“ The body I have does not define the woman I am.”

This. One million times this. Great article, Kristen. I am glad to call myself a member of the same team.

Maya March 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

Love this.

Crystal March 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

When are people going to understand that EVERYONE struggles with body image at some point? Just because you are not “curvy” doesn’t mean you aren’t a capable writer for a magazine that covers everything from sex to diet pills. The name of the site isn’t “Curvy Girl Guide where all our writers MUST weigh over 150 lbs and wear a minimum of a size 12.”

Someone thinking you can’t write here because you aren’t curvy is like saying someone can’t work at a bowling alley because they are wearing tennis shoes.

Sydney March 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

ahhhhhhhmeennnn! I have a friend who says the same thing, I am a bit on the curvy side, and while she does have a boottayyyy (thats what we call it), she just like you! small frame, short, no boobs. and we have decided to celebrate our bodies. We are both women and proud of what we do have…even if to society today, its not so much! :] Great article!

bellawriter (Nuala Reilly) March 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm

LOVE YOU!!

Allison March 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I love you, sister. xo

angi March 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm

“the body I have does not define the woman I am” for all of us. Well said.

Michelle March 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Just discovered this website and am so glad I did! What a great post. Women are so hard on each other but hardest on ourselves. Let’s break the cycle and share the love! :)

KristenS March 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Love this! Thank you, we’re so glad you’re here! :)

AmazingGreis March 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Great post, Kristen!! We all struggle with body image, regardless of size/weight…I’ve been a lot of sizes and I’ve struggled at every size.

Thank you!

Hannah March 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I know exactly what you are talking about. Some people assume that because you are skinny you are anorexic or something. They make judgements and stereotypes about how you feel towards food based on what you look like. This really resonated with me and i applaud your attitude. Thanks!

Mandy March 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm

When we stop fighting each other — stay at home moms vs working moms, moms vs non-moms, thin vs not thin, curvy vs not curvy, whatever it is we’ve decided to fight about and differentiate — maybe that day we’ll be unified enough to ensure no one tramples on our rights as women.

In other words, great post. Thank you for saying this.

Ashley Taylor March 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Bravo to you for being so open and honest! And I totally agree with what Mandy posted above. We are truly our own worst enemies. Sad really. We should try validating more because this woman gig is hard stuff.

Carla March 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Ahh! I love you for this. Growing up super skinny had me avoiding the bathroom after dinner dates and fending off truly nasty comments. In the same way a larger woman struggles with what God gave her as a body, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with mine. I’ve birthed 3 children and my job is sedentary and I’m at my heaviest right now. I’m still not that heavy but I’m a long way from being afraid to wear shorts when summer came. No covering up sticky chicken legs in shorts weather. I was flat cheated until my second child. And I’ve had random strangers seek me our just to tell me I’m too skinny and need to eat. All of these things and more have made me sensitive to other women and how they may feel about their own bodies. As hard as it is for us to love our own bodies, we should recognize that very same struggle in every other woman out there. It amazes me when we label each other negatively. Our bodies are short, tall, lanky, pale, overweight, curvy, and skinny. We are all women. Who should be focusing on what makes each other who we are. Not what we look like.

Kelli March 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I can’t relate to the too skinny, but the body image? Oh hell yes. Every day I have to remind myself that I am perfect as is. This is true no matter what size I am.

Miss Britt March 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I’m so glad to see this. The goal for women today, I hope, is not to be OK with being “curvy”, but to not let society tell us what we are supposed to look like.

Jess V March 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Thank You. I am 5’7″ and THIN. I struggle everyday to accept me for me because my entire life, I’ve been told to EAT! Thank you for writing this and you’re not alone.

Grace March 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm

So happy to see this. I find many of CurvyGirl’s articles interesting when they aren’t weight centered, but I’ve often felt alienated, and almost unfollowed when I’ve seen some posts so ‘weighted.’ I didn’t bc as a whole I like the majority of your content.
However, I’m naturally very thin, and also have body issues. It is irritating that my curvier friends (many of whom fall in the normal weight ranges for their heights) completely discount and dismiss any insecurities I have… But then think it is ok to make fun of my flat butt? I’d never to the alternative to them, so why is it fair to do to me?

Grace March 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm

And, like jess above I’m also 5’7″ and weigh about 105, but what people don’t realize is that I have extensive food allergies which, since I was a kid caused me to have low appetite and stick to basic (generally healthy) foods that are unprocessed. So no, I won’t go eat ‘cheeseburgers,’ but not bc I’m trying to be thin, bc I don’t want to deal with the sickness that follows.

Kristie March 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Yes! We all have body issues. I am tall and athletic, and still pinch inches and criticize pieces and curse parts of my body on a regular basis because nothing short of absolute perfection is “allowed” in the social mindset. I caught some (good natured) flack when I said I was going to start writing for CGG. “But you’re not curvy.” Um, STFU. I’ve got a female body that I want to accept, and it turns out that’s exactly the requirement to be a curvy girl.

Grace March 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Kristie, I wish I could ‘like’ your comment. What I want to say just about every day!! :)

RileyKay March 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Back in my high school days, my mom (5’8″/114 lbs) always badgered me about my weight (5’1″/125 lbs). Then I managed to contract a gnarly case of food poisoning that left me 20 pounds lighter (which my naturally curvy frame is really not suited to) and with a drastically reduced appetite. Suddenly, Mom was going on about how I was “scary skinny” and anorexic.

Years later, after my body had a chance to balance out again (read: I *gasp!* gained weight), the heavy-bashing was back on in spades. Pictures from my sick days were held up and it was pointed out how “great” I looked back then. That was when I finally realized that I will never be able to please my mom or anyone else by being a certain weight. The only people who have any say in the matter are my doctor and myself.

Leana March 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I loved this article! Throughout my life I have struggled to gain weight, even during both of my pregnancies (I managed to get several stretch marks anyway) I always thought curvy women were so beautiful and so womanly. In my opinion curves are what make a woman’s body gorgeous. I am 5’6 only 100 pounds. Butt? Nope. Boobs? HELL NO. Therefore I always felt ugly and awkward looking and people were ALWAYS telling me I was too skinny and asking me if I ate. I have two daughters and I want them to feel beautiful no matter what shape their body is. Women come in all shapes and sizes and they are ALL beautiful. I applaud all you women. You are all inspirations!

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