On a most basic level, the title “Real Women Have Curves” shows how far feminist arguments have come since the release of the film in 2002. At the time I’m sure this was one of the most empowering public/popular statements for women who did not fit into the cookie-cutter ideal of feminine beauty, but it does not feel or sound that great in 2013. It may still hold up for many ciswomen who do not mirror the images we see in magazines, television, and other popular media, but the statement manages to continue to exclude so many other types of people that it seems just as harmful as people who argue that only very thin models are beautiful (if that still exists?). This is embarrassing to use as a reference, but it reminds me of this picture I keep coming across on Instagram and all over the internet:
I guess I don’t really understand why one group always gets pushed down so another group can finally be appreciated/accepted and why we have not moved passed trying to define and categorize beauty altogether. What makes women with curves more ‘real’ than any other person who identifies as a women? And whose (definitely male!?) gaze is allowing* this shift in the definition to occur?
*’Allowing’ being used in the most sarcastic way, in case that was not clear.