Real Talk: Love Thyself, Not Who Cosmo Says You Should Be

by Madeleine St. Marie


Ladies, I realize it’s a man’s world, but we need to be nicer to each other and ourselves. It’s time for some real talk.

I saw something on Twitter yesterday that made me pretty mad. The College Town Life, touting itself as the “number one college entertainment magazine in America” tweeted “Saying that you’re curvy and proud is like saying, ‘I’m fat and don’t intend to do anything about it.’” Now, I don’t follow this account, but I follow someone who does, a female freshman at an all-girls college who has some pretty clear issues with her weight/appearance, despite being very thin.

Now, some of College Town Life’s other tweets are simply “hilarious” gems like “A bong is always a good investment, you’re saving on papers in the long run!” or “I wanted to defriend you, but your pictures and status updates help me feel better about myself.”

But the tweet about the “curvy” issue really got me going.?

First of all, I’m a realist. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the probability of me reaching a “normal” size, like 4 (?!) is going to be next to impossible. It’s not the way my genetics want my body to be and I’m having a really hard time thinking of how I would function at 5’8” fitting into size 4 clothing. I think I would be nice, maybe, to look at but when it came to actually doing things like not being blown away by the wind (which I consider to be fairly important when the Santa Anas come around), I think it would be bad.

It goes without saying that I will be curvy if I continue to embrace the idea that I do not want to look like a toothpick. And I’m proud of that. I don’t want to be emaciated. It’s not a sexy look. I’m not ok that a common topic of conversation amongst me and my girlfriends is our diet, our weights, and whether or not we can afford to have a “cheat meal” when we’ve already cheated once in the last few days. Appearance is such a source of anxiety that it’s become a conversation starter on par with “So, what do you think about the weather?”

This is not, by the way, a diss to all my sisters out there who are my height and taller and are naturally a size 4 or smaller. What I’m trying to say is that you can only be who you are, naturally, and all of us should strive to be the most awesome versions of us. That means taking care of ourselves, eating well, and exercising. And that could mean CrossFit, AMRAP, or ballet barre classes, pilates, even walking the track for an hour. I will probably never look like the Demi Lovatos or the Keira Knightlys of the World. I’m ok with that. And I have to be proud of the fact that I do look the way I do, curves and all, or what’s the point? That some how I am less awesome because I don’t conform to the societal ideal that has been constructed by Photoshop? I call bullshit.

I’m hoping that the girl who tweeted this learns to love herself and her body, and learns to love the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes. I hope that any young woman who saw that tweet realized that it was in poor taste and doesn’t take it seriously, at all. Because she’s beautiful and better than that.


  • love everything about this and totally agree. women are held to crazy standards. it’s better to just be healthy, embrace who you are and your own sexiness. every woman is sexy, and it makes me sad so many can’t see that!

  • Probably doesn’t help that we live in L.A., Ashleigh, where there is an especially unhealthy fixation on body-image.

  • Devon

    Snaps to this in its entirety, sister. As a fellow tall girl for whom a size 4 is probably just not going to happen I feel like we need to start a better narrative. That’s why I love Arena. No one has ever said, “girl you should loose weight,” but Jon has said, “girl, you need to get that butt moving faster or I will crush you.”

    The second one is so, so much better, and so, so much more rewarding in the long run 🙂

  • Kathryn

    I loved reading this! I am just recently coming to terms with the fact that having developed hips means I will never be a size 2 again! I am 5’4 and a 6 and that’s from taking care of myself…I have curves and love them as should all women 🙂

  • Totally agree, Kathryn. We love curvy women; they’re beautiful!

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