Is Curvespo the New Thinspo?

by Frugivore

For a while now, it seems like the Internet was conspiring to make everyone skinny, even if that meant engaging in dangerous practices like starving or following dangerous diets. All over so-called fitness blogs you’d read the Kate Moss quote, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” and boy did people feel good about shedding the weight.

On Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram Thinspo  journals, or pictures of extremely skinny women meant in inspire others to get equally skinny, popped up all over the web. But a growing number of people are starting to push back.

Perhaps it’s because many on the Thinspo blogs were attempting to attain an impossible goal (to be supermodel skinny), or because people wanted to encourage a healthier movement for women to embrace what they have, but these days Curvespo blogs are giving Thinspo blogs a run for their money.

So what’s Curvespo? Like it’s Thinspo counterpart, Curvespo serves as visual inspiration for those looking to live a healthier life. But instead of reaching some unreal goal of being rail-thin, Curvespo encourages women to appreciate their body and their inherent curves…no matter what the size label says.

Instead of declaring that nothing feels as good as being skinny, the Curvespo crew asserts that, “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.” The focus on health rather than size makes the Curvespo movement a bit more accessible, and perhaps healthier, for women.

While many of the Curvespo bloggers seem to be praising the Healthy At Every Size/plus size movement, seeing a diverse crop of women with “average,” strong, and often times very  healthy bodies can be much more appealing to women struggling to lose weight.

These days, although the average size of a supermodel is a two, the median size for women hovers around a 12 or 14.  So while the media tells women that they need to be coat-hanger thin the be healthy and beautiful, medically, that isn’t quite true.

According to WebMD, when trying to figure out your “healthy weight” women should consider a few factors like body shape, waist size, and body fat percentage.

Dr. Pamela Peeke writes:

  1. Know your waist size. Take a tape measure to your waist, measuring across your belly button. Your goal is a waist circumference less than 35″. More than that is unhealthy because it’s associated with too much internal belly fat, and that’sassociated with heart disease and diabetes.
  1. Identify your shape. Pull out that mirror and embrace your hour glass, pear or apple shape. This is where genetics plays a significant role. Your job is to optimize your genetics. So long as your waist size is less than 35 inches, you’re OK. You apples need to be on red alert to rein that waist in for health’s sake. Pears should celebrate the fact that lower body fat is not usually associated with disease.
  1. Measure your body fat. You can buy a body fat scale or have a fitness professional perform a measurement at a health club. Average women should keep their body fat in the range of 20-29% until they become menopausal. After that time, body fat through age 60 can peak at about 32%. Too much body fat all over the body increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Too much inner abdominal fat leads to heart disease and diabetes.
  1. Calculate your BMI. Check out the BMI Calculator Plus on WebMD and plug in your weight and height for your BMI. It’s best to keep this in the range of 20- 25. If it’s greater, it’s associated with the consequences of overweight and obesity. If it’s less than that range, you may be too thin and headed for trouble. The only exceptions to the BMI rule are truly athletic and muscular people. That means their BMI may be higher than normal, but their body fat is usually lower than normal.
  1. Live a healthy lifestyle. If you’re eating a healthy diet and getting in at least 30 minutes of cardio activity 5 x week along with some form of strength training 2 x week, then you’re living an optimal lifestyle. No one’s perfect. The key is not to be sedentary all of the time, and eating trash 24/7. If you are, you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle fraught with increased disease risk. Also, you’ll never know your ideal clothing size or body shape unless you make better lifestyle choices. These healthy habits will correct the red zones you may be occupying right now in the other categories in this list.
  1. Note your clothing size. Whip out a piece of clothing (jeans) that fits you perfectly. That’s your current size. How do your other numbers look? If you find that you’re in an unhealthy range, you’ll need to shed some excess fat. Your clothing size will change with healthy lifestyle choices. Once you’re no longer in the red zone for health risk, look at your clothing size and that’s where you belong. The only way to continue to improve that size is to take it up a notch and add more intensity and exercise, while paring away excess calories.

While the Curvespo vs. Thinspo bloggers will continue to battle it out, women must figure out what works for our bodies instead of living up to ANYONE’S ideals.

Do you visit Curvespo or Thinspo blogs for inspiration? Which do you prefer? 

  • Jaslene

    I hope that women are able to understand what it truly means to he curvy. A lot of women believe that fall in that category when they are actually fat.

  • Mina

    I used to look at some of the thinspo pics. Not all the women and models were inspiring to me. I just liked the clothes the girls would wear sometimes. The models were kinda bland and ugly looking to me. I do like fitspo and curvespo but I’m not a fan of muscles and I do have curves but I’m trying to diminish them. But instead of looking at all of that, I just look at Ulzzang and Gyaru pics for my fitness inspiration. I guess in a way, it would seem like thinspo but they don’t show off their skin and have quotes about starving themselves. It’s just mostly fashion and the fashion is really cute and it inspires me to want to tone and minimize my thighs and hips. That’s what I’m mainly working on. Don’t really care for a flat stomach lol just leaner, slim legs with no muscle mass or booty.

  • Free Your Mind

    A curve is a curve Jaslene. How about encouragement for those that might be overweight to embrace their curves. Comments like yours perpetuate the thinspo ideology. If you read closely, the main point of the curvespo trend is… “Curvespo encourages women to appreciate their body and their inherent curves…no matter what the size label says.”

  • Mina

    Yeah most of the “curvespo” women you see on Tumblr now are actually overweight. I guess I would already be curvespo then because I’ve got plenty of hips and I’m 168/164. My weight fluctuates on a daily basis. But I haven’t seen any really good curvespo pics as of lately to motivate me. I’d love curvespo more if the women would tone up their thighs and stomach so I can actually be like “Amazing! She’s my size and she’s so tone and smooth looking. She doesn’t even look 168 or have a gut”. Fitspo has better, inspirational pics. Gets you motivated to eat right, work out, and not quit.

    So yeah, I’m a fan of curvespo and fatspo when it’s done right and the women look really fashionable and cute. It motivates me to dress cute no matter what size I am. I especially love gabifresh’s blog. I haven’t found any other plus size blogs as good as hers though.

    Thinspo is kinda boring. Just the same old recycled quotes and everyone’s usually wearing the same style clothes: high waist shorts with studs, red bottom heels, floral print skirts, bikinis, bra and jeans, etc. Then they tell you to do the Ana diet where you eat 500 calories or less. I mean I can do that just by eating cereal all day. It’s super boring lol. And usually the pics are usually in black and white. I’m guessing it’s supposed to be more sophisticated that way but I need some color in pics to actually be motivated. Black and white thinspo pics just look super depressing and make you want to die out of boredom and lack of motivation. The only motivation is to starve yourself and die a slow death.

    Plus I don’t get the obsession with collarbones. I’m overweight and I still have collarbones protruding out. I mean really I don’t get it lol. My pelvic and back bones also show too. Weird right? And I don’t get why Tumblr took off all the thinspo tags but didn’t take off the thinspiration, pro-ana, or pro-mia tags. Like it’s still up there if they thought they were trying to make a change or something and stop people from being this way smh.

  • chanela17

    um “curviness” is just as unattainable for some people as being rail thin. in fact a friend of mine is trying soo soo hard to gain weight because she is only 98lbs and 5’2. it’s difficult as hell for her just like it’s difficult for me to lose weight and look similar to her body type.

    also, if being “curvy” was not unrealistic, then why are so many women attending pumping parties out of desperation for a big behind?

    people seem to think that gaining weight will give you a body like the women in those pictures (that’s how my friend thinks) but gaining weight does not guarantee a beyonce body. some people gain weight and the “curves” are backfat,double chin,big hanging belly,and big legs…. some people gain like 50lbs and STILL have a flat booty.

  • The Patient One

    Those women are promoting their thighs and butts more than being healthy.

  • jourdan

    I agree that a curve is a curve and we should embrace our bodies no matter how they look. However, we can’t use that as an excuse to not get healthier. I’m not saying that you are, Free Your Mind, but I’m saying some curvy women that actually are “fat” do. You can love your body and still strive to take care of it.

  • aedivine

    Yeah,these types of pictures are just as unrealistic as the Thinspo pictures because not all women have butts or thighs that big. Your body has to already be genetically portioned like that,I could do 1,000 squats and lunges a day but it’s not going to make my butt look like that,nor my thighs. I’d probably gain muscle but loose the fat. And who’s to say who has a butt like that now-a-days anyway with everyone and their mama getting butt implants and injections,esp the strippers and videos girls. kudos to the women who got it,but if you don’t,I see no point in idolizing something your body isn’t designed to do genetically.

  • Amber

    lol they probably get those butts and thighs from eating healthy/fitness though…

  • Jaslene

    So I’m not trying to perpetuate any type of ideology especially one that promotes unhealthy habits. Curvespo is about accepting accepting curves but also accepting a healthy lifestyle. If one is fat they are not healthy being obese or overweight is not healthy they may have a big butt or bust but they are not curvy.

  • Angel Sara

    Plus Size Women are nice and kind. Want to make more friends who are bbw or their admires—
    BBwpal is the best place to plus size

  • Angel Sara


  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 3

    I think you are using a very narrow definition of curves. Every body has curves and angles to it so everyone has curves. Curves doesn’t just mean Beyonce’s body or bigger bums. There is the curve of the breast, the curve of the hips, the curve of the thighs, the curve of the shoulders, etc.

    People need to define what curvy means to them and stop looking to others for the definition. I am an average size six and fat by some people’s standards, but I love my body. I love that it can run 30-40 miles a week, bike 20 miles at a time, participate in marathons and triathlons, contort itself for yoga, and carry me from day to day injury-free. I love that it is strong and fit and I thank God that I am healthy.

    If this curvespo is really about health and fitness, it is a wonderful thing.

  • Working on my fat!

    Coming from a big girl, I am tired of my full figured sisters calling their humps, bumps and lumps curves. I agree if a woman’s waist is larger than 35″ you are not curvy. We need to stop embracing this FAT and get to a healthy weight not to say rail thin is healhty but having a excessively high BMI and high hip to ratio is not healthy at all. Young girls walking around thinking it is cute to be fat with their bellies jiggling everywhere not cute…it is time to get healthy Black Women.

  • http://[email protected] Jennifer

    I. See. A. Lot. Of. Pro. Curves. This. Anti. Skinny. This. All. Women. Are. Beautiful. But. If. You. Have. To. Put. Down. One. Group. To. Appease. Or. Appeal. To. Another. Group. Then. Your. A. Moron.

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