First off: apologies for the poor quality of this picture, it is a clumsy coloured sketch done very quickly but I just wanted to illustrate a point quickly whilst I remember. And that point is Big Girl Body Types
This is inspired by a post on tumblr about this issue and by a journal/writing on deviantART that I stumbled across that made me goggle with appalled amusement as the (presumably male) writer went on the describe exactly what heights, weights, measurements and proportions described a BBW and a SSBBW. My first thought was who the hell does this person think they are to be telling women that they are or aren't beautiful because they don't match his scientific list of qualifications but then it occurred to me that the body type he was describing as 'beautiful' is the same one that is almost always
portrayed in media whenever they want to depict a 'big girl'. And I just want to say right here and now there is NO right or wrong way to be a big girl
. Just because the media only ever depicts one body type of big girl that is as unrealistic for most of us as a supermodel build is for most slender women does NOT mean that you are not beautiful women. You can be beautiful in any size or shape.
So onto the picture! Here is just a sample of the various body types a 'big girl' can have! For continuities sake I kept these girls all around the same weight but with different builds! From left to right we have: The 'classic' pear
: Occasionally portrayed in the media as one of the few types of bigger girl, and although you can't tell in this picture because I had to crop it, she is standing with her legs wide apart, hence the crazy looking hips! This type is characterised by a slender face and neck, narrow shoulders, visible collarbones, petite breasts and rib cage, flat(ish) stomach and flaring curved hips and thigh, smooth thighs. Whilst the pear shape is common in women, very few ladies have such a sleek, smooth outline as this, though of course it does occur, like all other body types here. The 'realistic' apple
: I have very, very rarely seen this figure in the media or in the drawings of non 'BBW artists'. Depending on the weight of the lady this body type tends to have round facial features, a double chin, thick neck, broad, strong shoulders and rib cage, large breasts, a large stomach, rolls around the sides and narrower, more toned hips and legs. Compared to the 'classic' apple shape the stomach is larger, the body folds/rolls around the torso that are present in most big girls are present and the facial features are softer. The 'realistic' hourglass
: Another body type that is rarely seen but in my experience is one of the most common body types for bigger ladies. Features round facial features and neck, somewhat broad shoulders, largish breasts, stomach, hips and thighs with the stomach being smaller than the other features though still pronounced. Compared to the 'classic' hourglass to the right of this picture, the body is softer with more folds and creases and a thicker middle and stomach region whilst still maintaining an hourglass shape.The 'classic' hourglass
: This is the one body type that tends to get shown over and over again whenever the media or mainstream artists want to portray a 'big girl', often to show that they have a diverse range of body types in their program/artist range whilst not actually having to research anything about fat or weight or size. I want to make it very clear that this body type is not bad or wrong, but it is rare and the fact that it is the only body type ever shown in mainstream art/media to represent a 'big girl' annoys me greatly. Because believe it or not, you don't have to have the body of Christina Hendricks to order to be an attractive larger lady. This body type features more slender facial features and neck, a visible collarbone, slender shoulders, large, firm breasts, a slender, narrow waist often little larger than that of a typical slender woman and wide, firm hips with toned thighs and arms. Certainly a possible body type and very pretty but tell me, how often do you see ladies that look like Christina Hendricks walking down the street? A form of beauty, for sure, but far from the only figure that can be beautiful on a larger lady, I am sure you will agree.The ruler
: Probably the rarest of all larger body types to be portrayed, even in the BBW/FA community is the ruler. The name does not suggest a lack of curves, but rather a balance of them. The entire body is soft with a plump face and neck, moderately thick shoulders and arms, moderately large breasts with a stomach of matching size and a full, round hip and thigh area. Distinct from the 'realistic hourglass' in having a waist area that is close in size to the chest and hips with an overall full and pleasing appearance. A common body type in real life but sadly underrepresented in art and media.The 'realistic' pear
: Large in the hips and thighs with narrow shoulders and more slender arms, neck and facial features, often with a visible collarbone depending on the amount of weight carried. Breasts are small and petite but the stomach is larger, round and soft, often with folds/rolls along the sides. A less sleek look compared to the 'classic' pear shape but more common, as wide hips are most commonly found with larger stomachs as well. Again, I am not implying that the 'classic' pear does not exist, rather that it is rarer and it is extremely unusual for the 'realistic' pear to be shown in art work or media. I have noticed that this is a favourite body type of most FAs however!The 'classic' apple
: The main feature of this body type are the large, usually perky breasts and broad shoulders, tapering smoothly down to more toned and slender hips and legs. This is the second most common body type to be shown in media when relating to a larger lady, with delicate, toned facial features compared to the 'realistic' apple shape and a firmer, more sleek appearance over all. Often this body type is shown when people refer to an 'attractive' big girl in mainstream media. It certainly can be attractive but again is a rare body type.
Can you see the pattern here yet? The most commonly portrayed body types for the larger lady focus on a firm, sleek outline that is rarely found in girls or size whereas the more frequently found features in real women of size - rolls, folds of flesh, softness, protruding stomachs and less exaggerated proportions - are ignored as though they are unworthy or being shown, or are unattractive. And this irks me greatly, because let me tell you, ladies you are BEAUTIFUL
. Whatever your size or shape. Most women are somewhere in between these shapes and sizes and this is just a sample of women's uniqueness.
Loopy is over and out! x