Let’s talk about labels. Watch our video of RunwayRiot’s managing editor Iskra Lawrence on the topic of labeling women by their size here. As Iskra puts it, “you’re all beautiful women of all different shapes and sizes, and why does one portion of you need to be labeled?”
One fine day, we envision a time when we will not need labels. We wish no one had to use them. Because it’s precisely the use of labels and categories to dehumanize women that we take issue with. But you’ll notice that we have chosen to use the words “curvy,” and “curvier,” to describe women who wear larger sizes for the sake of clarity.
We acknowledge that this is not a perfect word. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need one. We believe strongly that women should classify themselves– not society, not a designer, and certainly not a tag on a pile of fabric.
We respect that some women take issue with this term. After all, some believe “curvy” is about a woman’s ratios, but if curvy means having a human body that isn’t a straight line…well, that’s everyone. We recognize that curvy doesn’t translate to one single size or stereotype because people and magazines use “curvy” to describe everyone from Solange Knowles to Melissa McCarthy. As a term, curvy is indiscriminate, which just proves we still need to move away from stuffing women in categories.
But of all the ways to describe the majority of women – the underrepresented community of women that we are dedicated to serving – curvy has emerged as a positive word for a significant number of women who use it to exchange expressions of self-love and style. So after thinking long and hard about our language, we concluded that it’s the most dignified word currently available when we need to make it clear to readers that we’re talking about women who wear larger sizes.
We want to know what you think because we want to hear your voices on this and all issues. Any ideas on how we can make it clear we’re talking about women who wear larger sizes in a headline? Do comment below. Thank you for coming to RunwayRiot.
Photo by Anthony Velez, No Future Photography
Watch: RunwayRiot’s Iskra Lawrence on Why the ‘Plus-Size’ Label Is Outdated
RunwayRiot’s Iskra Lawrence Asks New Yorkers About Her ‘Plus-Size’ Label