Big Girls Thrown a Curve Ball

In what seemed like a step in the right direction, Italian Vogue created Vogue Curvy, a section on its website dedicated to fuller figures.

But most women pictured on it aren’t full-figured. With few exceptions, most look thin or perfectly proportioned but wear baggy, saggy clothes and designs which make a figure look bigger – designs which any stylist will tell fuller figures to avoid wearing. What’s particularly disturbing is an artist’s rendition of chunky Disney Snow White with a tattoo on her sagging breast, no visible neck beneath her expanded face, and huge thighs. “Diabetic” is the word which comes to mind, not “curvy” as the caption says. She’s also surrounded by rats and a two-headed fawn (I’m not making this up), neither which are part of the original Snow White’s coterie of cuddly forest friends.

Scroll down and you’ll find a casting call for “curvy” models size 44-46 to be ambassadors for the Elena Miro brand. That’s Italian size 44-46, which translates to size 10-12 U.S and size 12-14 U.K.- but only if you’re 173 cm (5’6″) or taller. In other words, normal figures are now labeled “curvy” which is a euphemism for “fat.

Somehow this new curvy section isn’t helping me feel catered to and accepted.

Also featured in this section is an article about last year’s Miss Italy Curves contest. The finalists pictured have perfect figures. They supposedly were sizes 42-44 (Italian) which means 8-10 U.S., 10-12 U.K., yet they look thinner than that to me. Some genius decided to dress them all in identical bathing suits with black sides and a mesh middle – an obvious design to make the torso look thinner – and this on women who didn’t need it. This year the “Curves” label disappeared due to backlash. At least the article ends with a statement on hoping that beauty will no longer be an “exclusive synonym for thinness.”

Is this the best this famous magazine can do? Why can’t the curvy chicks be featured alongside the anorexic ones? Why single us out at all, as if we’re not normal? Then again, the September issue features a cover model inspired by Ethel Granger, the woman who holds the record for the world’s smallest waist (33cm/13 inches).

Italian Vogue, you suck.

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