What assumptions pop in your head when you see this actress?
If you don't know who that is, it's the lovely Melissa Rauch from The Big Bang Theory. What I LOVE about her character is that she's a busty blonde who's smart. She plays a microbiologist who's the bread winner in her family. It's nice to see someone breaking the stereotype instead of having her appear as a cheerleader or ditsy.
Problem is that many haven't moved passed the stereotypes and ASSumptions associated with having curves. Don't believe me? Just read this article. I'll be honest and say I couldn't make it very far into it because I feel pretty sick reading the stupidity from that author. However, I think it's important to deal with the most common Curvy ASSumptions:
1. Large Breasts are Fake
Nope. Mine are 100% real. Actually, I've even thought about getting a breast reduction in the past. My mom has had one and when I was younger I used to think that was what I'd do after I was done having kids. My mind has changed a lot since then but I guarantee you that many, MANY women have naturally large breasts. Actually, mine have gotten larger after pregnancy/nursing.
If anything, I'd wager that due to the number of overweight/obese women around the world that breast sizes have increased. Certainly, not all women with large breasts are overweight (I'm only 9lbs away from a healthy weight at this point and I can promise you that those 9lbs aren't going to magically turn me from a 28HH into a 28C) but, in general, weight gain has to go somewhere and often it goes at least partially to your breasts.
2. Women with Large Breasts are Easy
Um.. no. Sure, some may be just as some small breasted women are easy too. But large breasts don't magically change something in our brain chemistry that makes us want to have sex with random strangers. Actually, many of us large breasted women are happily married in monogamous relationships. I promise you we're not all strippers.
If you make this ASSumption, I've got to ASSume you're probably an idiot.
3. Women with Large Breasts are Stupid
I have a Ph.D thank-you-very-much. I also know a number of large-breasted women in my field of research and there is absolutely NO correlation whatsoever with intelligence. That's one reason why I love Melissa Rauch's character from The Big Bang Theory. Up until this point in the show there has been absolutely NO reference whatsoever to her chest size. She's treated like any other scientist, which is simply awesome. ;)
4. Breasts are for Men to Oggle
Nope. We do have faces you know? I always enjoy Darlene's ideas on getting men's eyes off of our chests. Tights, and ideas on getting eye contact. Butterfly Collection and FullerFigureFullerBust have also had some good posts lately regarding cleavage.
Also, believe it or not but in the biological sense breasts are made for nursing our children (I should know after doing just that for 2 years!). If anything I'd say that the sexualization of breasts has harmed breastfeeding efforts among women because some women are ashamed to nurse in public and/or seek out help even when they DO want to nurse.
Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with breasts being used for sex. BUT that's not their only purpose in life and I think it's important to acknowledge that. I've heard of women who choose not to breastfeed because they're worried that it'll affect the appearance of their breasts. In reality pregnancy is already going to do that to you and I really do think it's a shame to avoid something that is good for both mother and child simply for vanity reasons. Just to be clear, I'm NOT criticizing moms who have to use formula. I know there are a lot of valid reasons for that, but it bugs to me to no end that the sexualization of breasts can cause women not to nurse.
Also, some women with large breasts are not interested in men at all. And I'd be willing to wager that most (regardless of sexual orientation) don't want some creep staring at them just because of the size of their mammary glands.
5. Large Breasted Women Purposely Show off their Chests
Of course, some women DO show off their chests. Those women may have large OR small breasts. Those breasts might be perky or they might belong to a grandma.
BUT some of us just seriously have a hard time finding clothes! Either shirts are too big and make us look about 30lbs heavier than we really are OR we have strained buttons, empire waists that cut across our breasts and cleavage that goes on for a mile.
Just think about Christina Hendrick's problems finding dresses. She's an A-list actress who designers refuse to make dresses for. How are us everyday ladies supposed to find anything?
I count myself extraordinarily lucky because I know of clothing brands that cater to busty gals but I'd say that the vast majority of curvy women don't know about those brands and are still wearing the wrong bra size (if you are one of them check out my Resources and Finding Bras that Fit pages).
6. Large Breasted Women Enjoy All the Attention
No. No. NO. Many of us have some MAJOR body image issues after years of struggling to find clothes/bras that fit, being told that we're fat when we're not, and having men stare at us while women jeer. Do you think we actually like that?
Most of us just want to be treated like a normal human being, being judged on our merits, NOT our looks. Actually, that's a big reason why I don't reveal my identity on this blog. It's certainly not that I'm embarrassed by it or about my body. But rather I don't want my coworkers to judge me based on my blog. I want to be judged simply on my merits at work.
How many times have you seen a gorgeous women dress in super baggy clothes to hide her body? It definitely happens. There's actually a book: The Astonishing Adventure of Fanboy and Goth Girl
7. Large Breasted Women are Plus-sized/Fat/Weak
I can't tell you how much I hate this one. You can be curvy and plus-sized, straight and plus-sized, thin and curvy or thin and straight and there's also a whole lot in between! I'm 9lbs from a healthy weight and still need a 28HH/28J bra size and curve id pants. I have a feeling that's not going away in 9lbs. I also do some serious strength training and have well defined muscles on my back, shoulders, arms, and legs. I'm strong AND curvy!
It bugs me to no end when I hear women say "I don't want to exercise/lose weight because I'll lose my curves". You might actually find that you get curvier with weight loss!! Now, I have no problem with a women saying "I don't want/need to lose weight because I like my body the way it is". That's ok. I'd actually argue that learning to love yourself for who you are with all your positive traits and flaws is extremely important.
I DON'T think choosing not to exercise because you're worried that you're going to turn into She-man is remotely a valid choice. Health comes before vanity every day in my book (ok, obviously there are some caveats and you have to consider the statistic chance of certain things but I think you can understand my basic point here). Actually, I'm going to tell you that you WON'T turn into she-man due to exercise either. You can look at any of my latest progress photos to see that someone who swims 3x per week, does heavy lifting 1x per week (and has been lifting heavy for about a year now), has a naturally large frame, and a muscular build doesn't look like she-man! Mostly, I just look like a shrunken version of myself. ;)