America is obsessed with being skinny, losing weight and waif-like female icons who probe us to be thin. What ever happened to the concept of women being beautiful and shapely? The 2002 film with the same title starring America Ferrera popularized that catch phrase “Real Women Have Curves”. So, where are these real, curvy women? Is the industry finally changing it’s ideals of what constitutes beauty or are we once again diluting ourselves to believing that they are? I like to, perhaps naively, think that our culture is finally embracing the idea of being healthy, beautiful and confident no matter what your size or or shape. But maybe I’m just one of the thousands of women who are endlessly being fooled by fashion, female icons and consumerism.
We are constantly bombarded by images of beautiful women advertising brand names. Models and celebrity endorsements run the market and dictate what we purchase. It’s unfortunate but as consumers we’re always judging ourselves and what we see on TV and in ads. The skinny obsession must have begun sometime in the 80’s with the workout movement and our desire to become healthier. But over the years it has seemed to back fire. I imagine the intention was to provide women with a greater sense of self esteem but with the 90s the idea of healthier looking models like Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Tyra Banks shifted to the waif like ideal of Kate Moss. Waif-like movie stars endured as well- Meg Ryan, Wynona Ryder, Jodi Foster. Yes, fashion and hollywood dictate what we consider to be beautiful. It always has and it probably always will. But has the industry really changed or is that just what we like to tell ourselves. Looking at the fashion industry today, the ideal body type for a model has become thinner and thinner with male models looking less muscular and more like their female counterparts.
There will always be a handful of female icons with either waif-like figures or a more voluptuous physique on the cover of magazines and in films. Fashion icons, models and movie stars will always have varying shapes and sizes. And the industry that pushes forward their fame will also always pushed them to look a certain way. What’s considered beautiful is constantly changing. And the celebrities we see on the screen will almost always look a certain way. It’s beyond our control to dictate industry standards of the perfect body type and image. Although it often is, the idea of what one finds sexy, should not and cannot be dictated by an industry of money hungry individuals. Hollywood will probably never change it’s idea of what sexy is. However, there is one ultimate definition of the word that can be agreed upon world wide. Being the “ideal” weight for your body type is not sexy. Trying to conform to society’s standards is not sexy. Confidence is sexy. Confidence is hot. Confidence is steaming. Confidence is a killer because no matter what your shape if you have confidence you’ll always come out on top.
My short list of actresses with killer curves and killer confidence are:
I watch Mad Men and Christina Hendricks’, Joan Harris every Sunday night at 10pm. When the show first began airing, Joan was only supposed to be a guest star. But the character became an instant smash and the sultry Joan was written in full time. Christina Henricks is among a handful of actresses today who don’t feed into the skinny obsession.
2. Kate Winslet
I consider Kate Winslet to be the ultimate beauty. She’s sophisticated, graceful and has a figure most women would kill for. We first fell in love with her in Heavenly Creatures. Titanic drew us in even further and the affair has continued since.
3. Jennifer Lopez
In 2000 J.Lo wore a very low cut Versace gown to the Grammy’s. The world fell in love with J.Lo and 12 years later our admiration has endured.
4. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson has the body of a greek goddess, the mind of a nuclear physicist and claims she doesn’t work out. But with comparisons to Marilyn Monroe aplenty, I beg to differ. Whatever she’s doing to keep that hourglass shape is working. Keep up the good work, Scarlett.
5. Sofia Vergara
One thing that screams confidence is a sexy comedienne and I can’t think of a sexier funny lady than Sofia Vergara.
These women are beautiful, voluptuous, have smashing bodies and killer confidence. They’re inspired and are inspiring to others. We admire the Christina Hendricks and Scarlett Johansson’s of the world because they are proud of their figures, have the confidence to show them off and the balls to tell anyone who thinks they need to change to F-off.