Are curves coming back?


Is the thinning economy bringing the curves back in style? Lord, I hope so.

I say, let’s bring back the pre-Raphaelite women who floated around on clouds and were a bit on the pudgy side.

The ailing economy may be leading us in that direction, some believe.  I’m on a campaign to make it happen so we can all enjoy “dining” again!

From time to time, we see articles proclaiming that thin is totally in or curvy is making a comeback.

I’m reminded of some of the marathon runners I met last year in Nashville.  They were in great shape, but they had this hollow look around the eyes that I didn’t find attractive.

Recently though, an article in The Telegraph announced another potential trend, one that might have greater longevity: “recession curves.”


Oh goody, gained another pound!

It appears that the state of the economy may shape the current physical ideal. And in today’s cool economic climate, a curvier ideal might help cushion the blow, explains the article’s writer, Celia Walden. Historically, in times of trouble, we tend to prefer more curvaceous, womanly shapes. In times of abundance, however, we favor thin physiques.

So, my dear pudgy sistas, maybe we can begin enjoying our food again.

One designer quoted in Walden’s article calls this “contrarian chic”:

“In times of plenty there’s a contrarian chic to having an austere shape,” says design guru Stephen Bayley, author of the forthcoming Woman as Design. “Equally, in times of want, there is an opposing taste for a voluptuous one. What the female body illuminates is that ever-present conflict between acceptance of the real and pursuit of the ideal.”

Walden adds:

“Throughout the centuries, however, Bayley’s ‘contrarian chic’ has remained in evidence: women tended to be skinny during booms and fuller-figured in hard times, something Susie Orbach, author of Fat is a Feminist Issue and the new Bodies, predicts is starting to happen now.”

The need for fuller figures might be twofold: Curves bring comfort and our priorities naturally change. And, as they do, we’re less concerned about restricting our food intake and more worried about actually having the funds to afford that food.

“Paradoxically, lean times allow a lessening of the strictures with which women have so corseted their eating and their bodies,” Orbach says. “With the fear of what might be happening in the economy there is a new mood of concern and care and, in the personal realm, a permission to be less controlled and more forgiving. Curves also soften blows or perhaps give people a sense that they don’t need to be so angular and cut and thrust.”

During the Great Depression, the angular, gaunt ideal gave way to a shapelier, stronger woman. “The nation seemed to need strong women, and that is how the movies depicted them,” writes Lois W. Banner in her book, The History of Women and Beauty. In the 1930s, these “moderately curved” women replaced the lean flapper, which was the body-type ideal just several years before that.

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