Body Image: “curvy”, “fat”, and “plus-sized”

One of the things that drives me absolutely batty is when people assume that large cup size = fat person. Sure, a lot of people who wear D+ cups are overweight, but there are plenty of overweight people who are smaller than a D cup and plenty of tiny D+ people out there. I happened to realize that I needed a larger cup size after I started gaining weigh, but the truth is, even when I was underweight, I needed a D+ bra. It’s not the amount of fat you have… it’s where you have it. Cup size is a proportion. So it drives me nuts when my mother insists that, if I lose weight, I will no longer need a D+ bra. That just isn’t true. If I happened to lose weight mostly from my bust, then it could happen… but when I lose weight, I don’t lose from my chest, I lose from my stomach. Sure, I’ll probably go down a few inches, but I will lose more from my waist and underbust. In fact, it’s very likely that I’d need a larger cup size (and smaller band size) when I lose weight. So “D+” and “fat” are not the same things. “Fat” and “plus size” are not the same thing either. Many plus sized people are overweight, but some are just tall. Again, sizes are relative to height! I am suspicious that the reason for the conflation of the terms “D+”, “fat”, and “plus size” is due to the fashion industry’s (often inappropriate) use of the word “curvy”. “Curvy” usually refers to “plus sized”… and is frequently used as a “polite” alternative to the word “fat”. Plenty of curvy people are neither fat nor plus sized, plenty of fat people are neither plus sized nor curvy… etc. For example: I am currently fat and curvy. I am overweight, but my waist is a US size 6 or 8, which is far below plus sized. When I was at a lower weight (almost underweight), I was very curvy, but neither fat nor plus sized. Plenty of thin, large-busted people are told that their bust size makes them “fat”… and many are effectively forced to wear plus-sized clothing to accommodate their chests. And plenty of overweight people feel insecure about having small breasts and not really being “curvy”. Please, let’s stop conflating these terms. Maybe then the fashion world might realize that the needs of “curvy” people aren’t covered by plus sizes and start making clothing for us!

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