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We Matter – 5 Historical Examples of Why Curvy is NOT a Bad Thing (NSFW)

by Donna Reid

In the past, thin wasn’t always in. Thin women weren’t considered beautiful and were encouraged to put weight on, and even to be fat. Who knew? If you’re skeptical, look to none other than the ever-iconic Coca-Cola, which was among the first to use a sex symbol in their ads. Notice how she looks?


Coca-Cola Gibson Girl_Golden Age Advertising

Coca-Cola’s curvy sex symbol “Gibson Girl,” 1909. Image courtesy of Golden Age Advertising.


Remember those renaissance paintings of full-figured women created by artists such as Botticelli and Vicellio in the 1400’s-1500’s?  Even then it was acceptable for women to have “a little meat on the bones.”


Tiziano (Titian)'s famous nude painting, "Venus of Urbino"

Tiziano (Titian) Vicellio’s famous nude painting, “Venus of Urbino.” [Censored]. Image courtesy of Uffizi Museum in Italy.


Women featured in fashion catalogs and magazines that had curves were referred to as “Stout” or “Chubby”.


1930's illustrated Lane Bryant ad describing curvy women as "chubbies"

1930’s illustrated advertisement for curvy women in the 1930’s. Image courtesy of Lane Bryant.


Skinny was out, being round and curvy was in.  Movie icon Marilyn Monroe wasn’t fat, but she wasn’t skinny either, and had curves in all the right places.

Two-panel photos of Marilyn Monroe in a white one-piece bathing suit

Marilyn Monroe. Image from Diverse Philosophies blog.


Fast forward to the 1990’s, when the first plus-size supermodel, Emme Aronson, signed with the Ford Modeling Agency.


Emme Aronson, the world's first curvy supermodel, at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards, 2010

Emme Aronson at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards. Source: Flynetpictures.com, 2009


Today’s plus size — or “curvy,” as I love to say — women have come into their own. They’re showing the world that we matter because of what we do and who we are. Our dollars count as much as women who wear regular size clothing, which is finally forcing retailers and designers alike to take notice.

What are your thoughts on the curvy woman in fashion and ads? Tell me in a comment below.



headshot of Donna Reid -- ForeverserenityAbout the Author:

Donna (aka Foreverserenity) is a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of one. She loves to write and blogs about fashion, lifestyle, her fitness quest, culture, poetry, and music. She’s on Twitter as @foreverserenity, has over 50 boards on Pinterest, and blogs at d-foreverserenity.com, fabulouslycurvy.blogspot.com and serenitybeginnersprose.blogspot.com. She considers herself to be an independent thinker, living randomly in life’s moments.



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