Differences between plus size & curvy

Written by bonnie ross coleman
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Differences between plus size & curvy
A more realistic view of women is important for young girls. (Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

There are many beautiful plus-sized models who are also curvy. Women with curves should be proud whether they are a size 2 or size 20. The commercial view that all women are or should be very thin to be fashionable is fading as more women embrace their plus-size and curvy figures.

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A curvy woman is not necessarily a plus-size woman. The designation of curvy has to do with body measurement and the differential between the size of the waist and hips. Curvy refers to a waist-hip differential of .75. If a woman has a waist size of 27 inches or less and a hip size of 36 inches, she is considered curvy. A hip size of 46 inches and a waist size of 34.5 inches or less is also considered curvy.

Differences between plus size & curvy
Curvy has to do with proportion, not size. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Plus Size

The definition of plus size depends on who is defining it. Some people believe that any woman's size over a 12 is a plus size, while others declare that plus size starts at size 16. As women age and gain weight, the plus size designation is changing. In an article for the website Skinny vs. Curvy, Queen Latifah, who designs a clothing line for HSN, states that the term "plus size" should be buried. She says that all women are beautiful no matter what their size.

Plus Size vs. Curvy

Toccara Jones, who is considered a plus-sized model, defended having curves in an interview with Hip Hollywood. She states that what the media considers as curvy is not really curvy, no matter what the size. Curvy women come in all sizes, but the misuse of the term confuses young girls.

Women do not have standard sizes. A size 12 in one brand will not always be a size 12 in another designer's fashions. So even designating a specific size as a plus size is confusing.

So, What is the Difference Between Plus Size and Curvy?

Women of any size can be curvy, because the designation has to do more with proportion rather than size. Plus size women can be curvy, and so can skinny women. Some people prefer to use the term "curvy" rather than "plus size" because it sounds less intimidating, but just getting rid of the term plus size would accomplish the same thing.

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