Amber Riley and Christina Hendricks

Hey curvy girls all over the world,

I’ve been in a number of heated conversations when it comes to the topic of women using the word curvy vs plus size. Some people believe that you can only be one or the other, while others believe you can be both. I’ve even received flack from social media bullies for my blog name having the word curves in it. In a perfect world, how we identify ourselves, especially our bodies, shouldn’t matter to anyone but us. Unfortunately, the world we live in is not perfect. Ever since Plus Model Magazine put out their article in the January issue asking the question, “What is Plus Size?” (Read HERE), even the Huffington Post has weighed in on the topic.

When it comes to the word curvy, what body type do you think represents that title? Is it limited strictly to an hourglass or pear shape figure? Is it a certain weight or size? When I think about the entertainment industry, women like Beyonce, Christina Hendricks, Serena Williams, and Kim Kardashian are often referred to as curvy. However, women like Amber Riley,  Queen Latifah, Oprah, Melissa McCarthy, and Rebel Wilson are referred to as plus size. The controversy comes in when someone like Christian Hendricks is referred to as plus size and someone like Amber Riley or Queen Latifah is referred to as curvy. The word says you shouldn’t do that.

One of my blogger buddies Chastity of Garner Style who I deem plus size and curvy due to her voluptuous pear shape,  posted this quote on her facebook page from Kirstie Alley (see photo below)


I think in the plus size community we use the words interchangeably. Personally, I believe you can be plus size and curvy.  I think the word curvy references shape more so than weight or size. As a plus size woman, I am not in denial about my body and I think society thinks we use the word curvy or plus size because we are in denial about being fat. Listen, there is one thing I know for sure, fat people know they’re fat, but should it matter to the world what we refer to ourselves as, and can we NOT be considered delusional or in denial if we don’t refer to ourselves as fat?

ALSO READ: Don’t believe the hype, plus size women do workout

No, every woman in America isn’t curvy but being plus size and curvy can coexist in one body.

So, I pose this question to you:

Do you think the terms curvy and plus size can be used interchangeably? Share your thoughts and take our poll below

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  1. Nic
    January 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm (4 years ago)

    Yeah, it’s funny b/c a lot of people who claim curvy get “upset” b/c they think too many fat women use it, and therefore they feel as if they are lumped in with fat women now. But you can be curvy and fat, you can be curvy and average weight, you can be curvy and slim, b/c it’s all about proportions and ratios in my opinion. I actually would put Oprah in the category with the first set of women you describe b/c she has a perfect hourglass figure. I think pears and hourglasses are curvy based on ratios. I don’t think apples or triangles are “curvy” but there are women who have those shapes who aren’t plus sized. I have plenty of friends who fit into small sizes who have no waist line or whose shoulders are wide but have no hips or visible curves. I know some women who are pretty slim who still have an obvious curve at the hips.

    • alissa
      January 8, 2014 at 10:00 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, I would put Oprah in a curvy category as well. It’s funny how we all have different views but I definitely do agree with you that you can be plus and curvy or slim and not curvy.

    • alma
      January 9, 2014 at 2:50 am (4 years ago)

      I think someone like Christina Hendricks gets annoyed by being called curvy, because in Hollywood it is probably code for fat. Of course you can be curvy and fat. Personally I would never call myself curvy, because I am more stout and straight and unfortunately lack any kind of shapely hips. I am also absolutely o.k. with calling myself fat, but somehow bristle everytime at the description apple-shaped. I really hate it. I feel more like an upside down avocado when it comes to it.

  2. Nic
    January 8, 2014 at 9:46 pm (4 years ago)

    I’d also say you are a good example of a woman who is “plus” but curvy. You have a visible waistline. It’s not either/or are but plus and curvy aren’t synonyms either.

    • alissa
      January 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Nic!

  3. Shelly
    January 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm (4 years ago)

    I think you can be both. Some people have fuller curves than others.

    • alissa
      January 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm (4 years ago)

      @shelly, I totally understand what you mean. Its like what Nic said. Oprah is curvy but I think she is definitely a thicker curvy shape.

  4. Christelle
    January 9, 2014 at 2:39 am (4 years ago)

    Really interesting topic.
    I’m certain that the real thing behind, is that curvy is positive term, and plus size a negative. So lot of persons prefer being curvy. Sadly they can’t stand to accept being fat, using curvy make them feel better.
    For me you can be plus size and curvy, but you can be curvy without being plus size like Christina Hendrincks. Because curvy is for describing the outline breast/ bottom/hips.
    (And please excuse my english, it’s not my motherly language )

  5. Vreed64
    January 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm (4 years ago)

    Curvy is a shape. Not a size. Agree with other people naming Oprah as curvy-plus. Gabourey Sidibe isn’t curvy; she seems to lack waist definition.


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