It has taken quite a long time for society to see the beauty in non-skinny people. For years, being skinny has been the standard of beauty and fitness. But due to the continuous effort to promote body positivity, infiltrating social media, news, and pop culture, we see love and appreciation for bodies of different shapes and sizes. Elle’s Jes Baker shares her thoughts on the impact the movement has done:
Curvier women with this feature are often called “Rubenesque,” after the voluptuous female nudes famously captured in great fleshy detail by painter Peter Paul Rubens five centuries ago—women whose body type was an ideal of the time. Rubens’s subjects, usually themes from Greek mythology, often included women lounging or twisting about, their bodies irresistibly soft-looking. The Flemish artist is quoted as saying, “My passion comes from the heavens, not from earthly musings.” Whether that was specifically about painting women or not, it certainly speaks to “heavenly bodies.” They are otherworldly. And suddenly Rubenesque is starting to feel more and more modern (and desirable) today.
On the modern-day canvas of Instagram, curvy models like Paloma Elsesser, Tara Lynn, Ali Tate Cutler, Tess Holliday, and Charli Howard have amassed devoted social followings, often garnering more likes and engagement when they post clear images of their “rolls.” Some influencers, like Megan Jayne Crabbe, who has more than a million followers, have built entire communities around normalizing their shape.
On the runway, rolls were anything but hidden at Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show, where models like Margie Plus, Raisa Flowers, and Alva Claire walked in the singer’s cult-loved lingerie (lauded for its size range of XS–3X and 32A–46DDD). What once was almost always hidden has now moved proudly front and center. Witnessing this celebration of a body type we used to singularly abhor brings me an indescribable amount of joy; it’s apparent that a cultural shift is happening.
image via Elle