Archive for curvy women

Why do we hate boobies?
In which I Will Not Diet officially becomes NSFW



Okay, we all knew this was coming. From the second I started blogging here this post was on the horizon, biding its time until it could finally strike this unsuspecting blog and its innocent readers. [Editor’s note—you know what, Rachel? I honestly didn’t know this was coming. But I’m so glad it is.] So here it is everybody—my titty post.


Boobs are, obviously, fantastic. Everybody likes them. Straight men, gay women, gay men, and straight women—everybody loves the tits. It’s a fact. It’s a universal constant. And the general logic with boobies is the bigger the better.

However, allow me to bring in my unpopular opinion… I think that big boobs are going out of style.

“Bwaaa?” you say, possibly doing a spit take. “But everybody likes big boobs!”

And, of course, ostensibly that’s true. I, for instance, love me some big boobs. One of the few victories I have in the world of siblings is that I have the biggest boobs of my three sisters. (I mean, they’re both A-Cups, but still.)

But I think it’s becoming increasingly apparent that, while society may talk a big talk about loving big boobs, they don’t do a whole lot to show that love.


I got to thinking about this primarily because of a recent episode of Project Runway. Or, to be more specific, several episodes of Project Runway.

See, every season of Project Runway has at least one challenge where the contestants have to design a dress for a woman who is (GASP) not a supermodel.

And every times this happens (even though this happens every damn season and the designers should clearly see it coming) there is at least one contestant who looks at their average-sized woman and proclaims something to the effect of “What? I have to sew around boobs?!?!?

And the justification they always end up making is that they’ve never had to sew for average-sized women before! And boobs are hard! And why can’t I just keep making clothes for flat-chested size double zeros forever?

And they never seem to find it concerning they they’ve gone their whole career without ever making clothes for a woman with breasts (which in my experience are a very normal and common thing for women to have).

 Tim Gunn is obviously still a gem of a human being though.

Tim Gunn is obviously still a gem of a human being though.


The truth is, the fashion industry is very hostile towards titties. Take, for instance, fashion model Jourdan Dunn, who wasn’t allowed to walk for Dior because her boobs were too big.


And we see the effects of this even outside the world of “high fashion.” Every big-boobied lady knows the struggles. All the cute lacy bras are in the little sizes, the only “modest” neckline is a turtleneck, and button-up shirts do that thing.

We live in a society that can 3-d print organs, but we can’t fix this?

We live in a society that can 3-d print organs, but we can’t fix this?


I’m sure we’re all aware that little breasted ladies have to deal with their own trials and tribulations as well. Don’t worry little titmice, I get it.

 It’s tough.

It’s tough.


But can you imagine the struggles of the ladies who are bigger than a D cup? Have you even seen a G or H cup bra for sale at Target? Because the lack of such bras is not due to the lack of G and H cup women, it’s due to a lack of interest in making such bras easily available.

And let’s not pretend that this is limited only to the fashion industry. I used to know a girl with a pretty big set of lung protectors, and she mentioned once how, at a mock interview, the interviewer told her, flat out, “you have to accept that women in your position are more susceptible to looking unprofessional. A shirt that clings like that would not be acceptable.”

I mean, she was wearing a suit, but society has still deemed this specific body part to be unprofessional. It’s worrisome.

And I think that we all know the dirty little secret behind this, which is that our society’s rejection of all things “chubby” has extended even to boobs, the two things which are supposedly allowed to be large on a lady.

But, you know, it might be a little more insidious than that. Boobs are a handy symbol of femininity. A happy bouncy fun symbol of femininity. And the lesson we’re giving to those members of the nitty gritty titty committee is that their boobs should be enjoyed by everybody but them. Yes, big boobs are fine for porn and movies and comic books, but Lord knows we aren’t gonna actually allow them out in the real world!

But Amy Schumer and her boobs continue to make the world a better place.

But Amy Schumer and her boobs continue to make the world a better place.


So my point is not that I don’t think big boobs are great, it’s that I think that everybody knows that they’re great, but society’s dumb standards towards women and bodies has trapped us in the no-win scenario of telling ladies that their badonkadonks are shameful, need to be hidden, and are generally unacceptable. The question we have to ask is—who wins from this? What monster benefits from beautiful boobies being hidden away and trapped in beige, ill-fitting bra prisons?

Nobody does. My point is, it’s stupid. Boobs are delightful and wonderful, and we need to stop punishing ladies for having them.

 I’m sure you were all eagerly awaiting a nip pic.

I’m sure you were all eagerly awaiting a nip pic.


-Rachel Sudbeck

Puberty is a Rip-Off
In which I fish for compliments and ponder the struggles of being short.

So here’s a question for you…

At what age, exactly, did you first realize that you weren’t going to be beautiful?

Like, maybe you were okay looking, but when did you realize that you were never gonna be heart-stoppingly life-destroyingly gorgeous?

For me, it was a very specific moment. I was at the orthodontist in eighth grade, and he was looking at an x-ray of my hand to determine how much longer it would be until I could get jaw surgery.

“Well, you see,” he said to my mother, “there’s no real space left between the bones of her hand, so she’s pretty much done growing.”

And that was the moment when I realized that this was where I peaked.

See, I’m a pretty short person, and I don’t mean the tiny, fae-like sort of short. I’m more like the…stubby, hobbit kind of short. I’ve been short since day one. I was a short baby probably. I started out short, and whenever I grew, the other kids grew proportionately, so it’s just been a lifetime of shortness.

This has only been exacerbated by my twin brother, who is a giant. He has always been a giant. He is, currently, over a foot taller than me. They literally thought he was going to eat me in the womb. It’s probably the biggest injustice of my life.

And the real issue is that, when you’re a short kid and your behemoth of a brother is making fun of your shortness, adults always say the same thing: “She’ll grow.”

They talk about how they were short as a kid, or they throw around fancy words like “growth spurt” and “growing pains,” and it all adds up to that fact that I entered into puberty with certain expectations. There I was—little fifth grade worm Rachel—waiting to enter a pubescent chrysalis stage and bust out of it as sexy grown-up butterfly Rachel.

Now, I knew that there would be a given amount of acne, and I understood the whole business with a period, but those were all pitched to me as being mere steps in the process to becoming Adult! Rachel.

So in my imagination, puberty was a lot more transformative than it actually turned out to be. It would straighten my nose, fluff my boobs, plump my lips, and make me taller. And by the end I would be a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, because that’s what adulthood is, right?

Now imagine all of those expectations, all of those hopes and dreams, and they’re all smushed by some orthodontist telling you that your height had peaked at five-foot-two.

Okay, five foot one.

People act as if puberty is very cut and dry, start to finish. There’s kid you, there’s teenage you, and there’s adult you. So I hope I wasn’t the only one to have the shock of a lifetime when I realized one day that, hey, adult me is already here, and she still has acne!

I hope I wasn’t the only one to have the disappointing thought that this is as good as it gets.

Please don’t misunderstand. I get by. I have no real issues with how I look. I actually think I’m pretty goshdarn cute. It’s just that I was all set to become a ten, and instead I settled into, like, a six and a half (in the right light). You know, all right, but nothing really special.

And that could have been the sad end to my puberty tale except that there’s a little secret nobody tells you in middle school—

It’s hard work to be pretty.

Being pretty takes time and determination and make-up and spanx. It requires a whole lot of effort. Pretty girls don’t just wake up that way. Well, okay, maybe some lucky jerks do, but most people don’t just wake up one day and find out they’ve become gorgeous (barring plastic surgery). Pretty is something you have to cultivate. Famous people and super models look that way partially because of fortunate genetics, but also because someone is paid a lot of money to spend two hours putting make-up on them.

And the thing is, you can approach this in a few ways:

  1. You can say, “screw it. Screw everything. Screw Tyra Banks and her stupid tv show.”
  2. You can say, “I have control over how I look, and I am able to make myself prettier if I want to.”
  3. Or you can embrace a cautious mix of numbers 1 and 2.

Now, I’m never gonna be on America’s Next Top Model. (Their minimum height requirement is 5’7, the fascists.) But I also sure as hell don’t look the same as I did at age thirteen. Even if I haven’t grown in height, I’ve learned about make-up, I’ve figured out how to dress myself better (thirteen-year-old Rachel really liked cargo pants) and I’ve taken plenty of bombin’ selfies. Turns out it is possible to take the bum deal that puberty gave you and make your own gorgeous out of it. And whether that means t-shirts and yoga pants or sundresses and sandals, we’re allowed to change ourselves into any version we like.

And, just a heads up, at six-foot-three my brother is well within the requirements of America’s Next Top Model, so that’s something for him to start working towards.


Rachel Sudbeck


Why the people at TMZ can go f*** themselves

Anthony Weiner’s wiener is all anybody can talk about these days besides the royal baby. And Weiner’s wiener raises lots of interesting questions…

Why was he willing to risk everything AGAIN just to send a picture of his junk? Is he self-destructive or just a megalomaniac? Is sexting really cheating? Why does his wife continue to stand by him? And why are so many politicians unfaithful sleezeballs?

Sadly, TMZ raised another question about Weiner—a much more offensive one.

They posted bikini shots (shown above and below) of 23-year-old Sydney Leathers, the women Weiner exchanged nude photos with, and said this:

“Sydney Leathers is now going public with the body she once privately photographed for Anthony Weiner … in a bikini photo shoot that begs the question: was she really worth it, Mr. Weiner?”

After asking this question, TMZ had the nerve to INCLUDE A POLL for viewers to vote about whether or not they thought Weiner’s sexting was worth it, clearly implying that Leathers might not be hot enough to warrant ruining his career.

This question is offensive on many levels—it’s offensive to imply that a woman’s worth can be defined by her physical appearance and that it’s acceptable to vote on such an issue.

But it’s also offensive because it implies that Leathers isn’t “worth it” because she’s not super thin.

Why else would TMZ ask this question given that everything else about Leathers fits the American definition of beauty: she has long gorgeous hair, a pretty face, and flawless skin. So they must be implying that she might not be “worth it” because she has real curves.

I don’t know what seems more awful—the notion that we should vote on a woman’s worth based on shots of her in a bikini or the implication that men aren’t attracted to curvy women.

Not only is it awful, it’s just plain ignorant.

A valentine’s gift for you from the Grammys . . .

The Grammys were Sunday night, and though I’m not someone who keeps up with the music scene, I caught some of the highlights. And I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw—women of all sizes and shapes, all different styles and ethnicities, being recognized not for their beauty but for their talent. In that sense, it was a great night for women, many of who are helping us expand our notion of beauty.

Of course, the biggest news of the night was Adele who won six Grammys including album, record, and song of the year while also delivering a show-stopping performance—her first since recovering from vocal chord surgery.

This triumph came on the heels of a hellish week for Adele, a week in which every media outlet in the world seemed to be covering the story that Karl Lagerfeld had called her fat.

But Adele responded to Lagerfeld’s negativity with a positive message: “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines,” the 23-year-old told People. “I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.” I could not agree more: I am so damn proud of Adele for being comfortable looking like those of us in the majority.

I’m also happy karma worked in Adele’s favor on Sunday night. As many have noted since then, we need more heroes like her.

But Adele wasn’t the only woman at to admire the Grammys. There were many others who expanded our notion of beauty . . . Jennifer Hudson, for instance, who lost weight without giving up her gorgeous curves . . .

Kelly Osbourne rocking not only her curves but also her norm-defying grey hair . . .

Taraji P. Henson . . .

Kelly Clarkson . . .

Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt . . .

This raises the question, if the music industry can embrace so many women who don’t fit the traditional notion of beauty (read: skinny and blonde), why can’t the media and Hollywood do the same?

It’s never too late to change: Belle Vere = True Beauty.

Well, it’s about time.


A major fashion magazine has F I N A L L Y featured curvy women on its cover. The honor goes to the latest issue of Vogue Italia, which can be seen above. (The rest of the photos I’ve included here are from the cover story.) As Time magazine says, “Vogue Italia has thrown the fashion world a major curveball — by placing three plus-size models on its June 2011 cover.” (Please not the plus-size models are size six and up.) And even better is that these women look stunning. As one blogger writes, “You see real confidence in their eyes—they KNOW they are beautiful.”

I truly believe we are in the middle of a paradigm shift about what it means to be beautiful—people are beginning to believe that beauty does not come in just one size or shape. We’re seeing more diversity in women’s body sizes in film (Bridesmaids) and television (Mad Men, Huge, Glee), and corporations like Dove are committed to helping us reassess what it means to be attractive.

For some time now, Glamour magazine has been devoted to featuring women of all sizes in its pages, and now Vogue Italia has jumped on the curvy bandwagon. And for the first time ever a first lady with a real body is seen as a fashion icon.

But in order to keep this change happening, we have to keep supporting the movement. I’ll probably not get a subscription to Vogue Italia since half the women in it are naked, but I will order the new Vogue Curvy and continue to get Glamour and support real-sized women every chance I get.
Here’s one easy thing you can do: vote in this poll about Vogue Italia‘s choice to feature real-sized women on their cover and tell them you say YES to curvy women!

Pregnant women lead us into the light

of weight each week, mourn the loss of waist—
jeans too tight to button, I prefer to blossom.
I surrender to coconut salmon in banana leaves,
miso soup with prawns, paella, lasagna, seafood
risotto, mangu and tostones, salads of blueberries,
blood oranges, and papaya, the bloom of belly,
breasts spilling over seams, petals of areolas darkening.

I’ve abandoned the lunch-break park with its tire swing
and picnic of stale chips for the circus, lion tamers,
dogs with purple tutus, magicians pulling doves
from top hats, trapeze artists somersaulting
through the air. I want the Big Top’s pillows
of cotton candy dissolving in my mouth, mounds
of popcorn shiny with butter, globs of caramel
apples, hot dogs drenched in mustard.

Blood thickening and milk springing from nipples
remind me: be open. Enough of this suburb
with its square meals served in look-alike
houses. Give me Paris with its artists scattered
on sidewalks, painted confetti, dancers
in discotheques stretching onto streets at dawn.
With more body to envelop, I’ll browse boutiques
at the Rue du St.-Honoré, lounge sipping café-au-lait,
nibbling a croissant’s flakey layers. Order coq-au-vin
or pot-au-feu, decorate the board with baguette,
brie. Will mousse aux fraises complete me?

If I’d been born with different genes—
petite, straight-hipped, willowy-tall—would I enjoy
fat bowls of kalamata olives, sliced avocado,
desserts of mangoes in cream, pumpkin pie?
I surrender to possibility, to joy, to feasts
of seven-grain breads, lamb stews, chocolate
soufflés. I thank this baby whose growing bones
demand wheels of provolone, sticks of mozzarella,
cubes of sharp cheddar, cups of vanilla yogurt
at two a.m., whose kicks remind me to taste
roast beef, venison steak, the cream of deviled eggs.

Christine Stewart-Nuñez is the author of five volumes of poetry. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in a variety of magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Calyx, Arts & Letters, and North American Review.

The themes of her work range from explorations of popular culture, inquiry into the lives of historical women, and the gendered body to pregnancy/childbirth, loss, and travel.

Turns out Sir Mix-A-Lot wasn’t kidding . . .

A friend turned me on to an article about curvy woman on The Art of Manliness blog, and it’s too good not to share so I’m posting it here. Enjoy!

Men Like Women with Curves;
Women Still Think Their Butts Look Too Big

A cross-post from The Art of Manliness by Brett and Kate McKay

I recently came across this interesting study (warning: nude ladies covering their lady parts with their hands) which showed that while women believe a thin figure is the female ideal, men actually prefer a more curvy lady. What was even more interesting is that this story made the front page of Digg, and while Digg users are known for their terribly disparaging and caustic comments, the vast majority agreed with the results. So what does such a story show us? First, men like women with curves. Second, women don’t believe this. Third, contrary to popular belief, men are not to blame for this disconnect. The blame lies instead with the media and the catty expectations of a woman’s female peers.

While men may not be at fault for women’s skewed body image problem, we can be part of the solution; we can support the women in our lives and help them feel better about themselves. I have been rather dismayed at the number of my female friends and family who on the surface appear confident and attractive, but inwardly are pained with acute insecurities. Even beautiful women often feel ugly, fat, and unattractive. True, some men also battle insecurities, but by and large we often feel fairly comfortable about ourselves. Just take a look at the beach at the shirtless men, their huge guts hanging over their Speedo, strolling along without a care in the world.

Let me be clear about something-at the end of the day, a man cannot make a woman feel good about herself; a woman’s self-esteem is under her control and something only she can fix and heal. But it would be most naive to not admit that we are all-men and women alike-influenced by those around us. To your lady, you are the most important and influential person in her life. And you must be valiant in protecting her heart and spirit.


Be generous with your compliments. Whenever your lady is looking luminous, let her know. I often fall into the trap of looking at my wife, thinking about how beautiful she is, but then not vocalizing that thought. I figure she already knows how pretty I think she is, so there is no need to repeat it. But I have come to realize that she can never hear it enough. Insecurities never completely go away, and my frequent and sincere compliments can buoy her up each day. Whenever your lady is experiencing self-doubt, be there with an earnest and encouraging word for her.

Don’t blatantly ogle other women. It’s natural for a man to look at other attractive women and women should understand this. But men should try to keep this impulse under control. If you’re at dinner with your lady and she sees you ogling some model-esque woman, even though she knows it’s a natural impulse, the message is still going to register as, “He wishes I looked more like that.” Feeling that you only have eyes for her will make your lady feel confident and secure.

Guard against harmful media sources. Women will admit that advertisements make them feel insecure, yet they keep on reading Cosmo and other trash that make them feel like crap. Try to steer your lady away from tabloidy rubbish. Buy her a subscription to a magazine that doesn’t set the standard of female beauty artificially high.

When magazines and television do present some fake, plastic surgery constructed stick of a woman as the female ideal, you may be thinking, “Yuck, she’s so gross,” but your lady may be thinking, “I wish I looked like that.” Interrupt these thoughts by vocalizing your distaste for women who look like they are strung out on heroin or are the result of a science experiment gone awry.

Quit watching porn. When you turn to porn to get aroused, you send this message to your lady: “You are cute, but when I really want to get excited I need to look at women with cantaloupe sized breasts” Your lady, and her alone, should do if for you. And she should know that in her heart.

Steer her away from negative friends. When a woman gets all gussied up, she’s not doing it just for you. She also wants to impress other women. And who can blame her when so many women are super judgmental and critical of their female peers. Steer your lady away from negative friends who obsess about their appearance, make comments about your lady’s appearance, and generally make your lady feel insecure.

The Art of Manliness is authored by husband and wife team, Brett and Kate McKay. It features articles on helping men be better husbands, better fathers, and better men. In our search to uncover the lost art of manliness, we’ll look to the past to find examples of manliness in action. We’ll analyze the lives of great men who knew what it meant to “man up” and hopefully learn from them. And we’ll talk about the skills, manners, and principles that every man should know.

Yes, we can.

When I give presentations on the blog, one of the things I talk about is the fact that, as a society, we CAN change how we define beauty. And I point out that I know we can because we have.

If you look at images of women in the past, it’s not hard to see that for hundreds of years, the model of beauty was voluptuous, curvy, rubinesque. Only since the late ’60s and early ’70s have we become a culture obsessed with thinness.

So today I’d like to offer you a gallery of images that demonstrate just how much we’ve changed and just how far we can go. . .

"All asses were not created equal."

197 pounds

Today, Levi Strauss & Co. launched their new jean line—

Curve ID, also known as “Custom Fits” for women, which they claim “will provide nearly any woman a five-pocket pair of jeans that feels custom fit to her shape.”*

Curve ID jeans come in “three fits: a slight curve (for the woman who finds that regular jeans ‘fit in the hips and thighs but are too tight in the waist’), a demi curve (if your jeans ‘usually fit in the waist but don’t flatter the figure’) and a bold curve (if jeans ‘fit in the hips and thighs, but gap in the back’).”*

Personally, I could not be happier to see the “bold curve” model for women whose jeans tend to gap in the back. This is a constant problem I have with pants, forcing me to either cinch my waist with a too-tight belt or wear long shirts to hide the gaping hole that gives people standing behind me a panoramic view of my Jockeys.

LA Times, Levi Strauss “studied women around the world, conducting thousands of interviews and looking at 60,000 body scans of women in 13 countries” from whom they learned that “jeans shopping ranks right up there with buying bras and bathing suits.”

Uh, no kidding.

Are they just figuring this out now?

To combat this problem, Levi’s even offers a type of body calculator that lets you find your “Levi’s Curve ID.”

A Levi’s rep claims that this new line “account[s] for 80% of the women’s body shapes in the world” and that ”
when we launch the fourth one—our most extreme curve—at the end of this year or early next year, then we’ll have 96% of women covered.”

What’s also interesting is that the new line is “about shape not size.” As the photo below demonstrates, women can have the same waist size (as these women do), but still have markedly different body shapes. Rage_levis_curve

Until now, all three of these shapes were shoveled into the same size four jeans. Now they have more options.

Waist sizes will range from 22 to 34-inch waist, and prices will go from $60-148, expensive from my point of view, but still far less than true custom jeans and, therefore, possibly worth the cash if it means that I won’t have a gaping hole in the back of my pants.

Levi’s is currently offering free shipping and returns on the Curve ID line. Use this coupon at checkout:

The shoe on the other foot

199 pounds

This weekend Dave and I went to see Mother and Child, a gut-wrenching film about the adoption process told from the point of view of three different woman played by Annette Benning, Kerry Washington, and Naomi Watts in her best role ever. (Samuel L. Jackson also delivers an amazing and refreshingly subtle performance.)

It’s a very good film, and I recommend it to everyone even though it just misses the mark a few times.

What’s interesting about this movie from a body issues perspective is the character played by Jimmy Smits—Paco—who is a love interest for Annette Benning’s character, Karen.

When Karen meets Paco, she describes him to her mother as “heavyset.” Call me crazy, but it’s not the first thing I would say to describe Jimmy Smits (pictured below looking smoking hot on a press junket for the film).

(Then again, the woman is married to Warren Beatty in real life, so maybe she picked up some of his attitude.)

When Paco and Karen go out for coffee, he orders apple pie as well, explaining, “I can never resist apple pie” with a smile that would melt the ice caps. Every woman in the theatre was swooning, but not Karen. She says, “Well, maybe you should.”

Despite this auspicious start, the two end up together, and when Karen meets his daughter, the two women discuss the fact that he needs to lose weight—right in front of him!

As all of this was happening, I kept thinking, what the f***?!

Jimmy Smits is heavyset?

Jimmy Smits needs to turn down the apple pie?

What kind of parallel universe are we living in???!

I have yet to discuss this in detail on my blog, but most of us know that live in a world where male actors are ALWAYS bigger than their female co-stars. The recent romantic comedy Couples Retreat offered the best evidence of this I’ve ever seen when the four couples stripped down to their bathing suits. At that moment, four women stood on one side in perfect, movie-star shape while, on the other side, four out-of-shape men sheepishly revealed their bulging middles.

And let’s not forget the plethora of television shows that have featured bigger men with tiny little women . . . King of Queens, Still Standing, According to Jim, Frasier, Seinfeld, and ironically NYPD Blue. The list goes on and on.

In our society, men are allowed to be overweight—either a little overweight or a lot overweight—but woman are not.

If a woman is the slightest bit curvy, she needs to go on a diet. If a man has a little extra weight around his middle, he’s normal.

So when I saw Paco getting so much flak over a slightly larger middle, I couldn’t help but laugh. Finally, the shoe was on the other foot. Finally, a man knows what it’s like to be under such tight scrutiny.

There’s only one tiny little problem—all of this happened only in the movies. This means that, for now, all of us women will have to dream of a time when men are held the same standards we are in real life.

  • twitterfacebook