The recent story below is about a woman with the widest recorded hip diameter known. It’s a headline which raises another major question in our community.
What size should the ideal attractive woman be? This question has varied by culture and times. Traditionally, the view has it that Black and Hispanic cultures view curvy and voluptuous shapes as more attractive, especially when those curves on on the lower half the body. This might be most famously summarized by his heinous, Sir Mix O’lot:
But White and Asian cultures are thought to see a more slender shape as ideal. I don’t really know how long that has been true for White Western cultures though. It could very well be connected with the improvements in health care and living standards over the past 50 years, making wide hips and a good amount of body fat no longer necessary for surviving child birth, cold weather, and food shortages. But if you look at the classic White pin up girls and icons of beauty before 1960, they were all curvy women:
Even ancient ideals of beauty in these cultures involved curvy women:
Interestingly though, starting in the 90’s. because of the impact of Hip Hop on White culture I believe, this ideal began to change.Suddenly, having a curvy rear end went from something to be ashamed of and avoided to being embraced as attractive, as represented by this country music video below by Trace Adkins (yes I managed to put Sir Mix O’lot and Trace Adkins in the same post):
But is there a point where too much jiggle can be bad for health? While I’m not going to say what anyone’s ideal body type should be, we all need to make sure that we are being physically active and doing good things for our heart. Fried, sweetened, and processed foods have been scientifically proven to be bad for our overall health. You can be a very curvy woman and still regularly exercise, and many do. So my concern isn’t rather the plus sized model is attractive or not, as many men will find her to be. And I do think it’s great that she is all about self-esteem and feeling good. Weight gain and body proportions are as much related to genetics as they are by behavior so we all should keep that in mind when we see people with unusual sizes. But being a Black woman in a culture in which rear end size is celebrated, the story does open a path to further discussion on health versus size. Women ultimately should do what’s best for their health and not worry about any ideas of what’s beautiful or not. We need to push this instead of the idea that simply having curves but not exercising and eating well is okay. It might be okay in the short term but will be devastating long term. Other than that, everyone’s body is unique and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.