Sunday, December 4, 2016

The World Has Curves

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Fitness

39930958In its September issue, FITNESS magazine plugged a new book due out September 15that looks like something I want to read.

A play off Thomas Friedman’s book on globalization (The World Is Flat, a personal fave!) this book is called The World Has Curves: The Quest for the Perfect Body.

In her research, author Julia Savacool, articles director at FITNESS, interviewed 100 women in eight countries around the world to learn what defines “gorgeous.”

In a blurb that caught my eye in the September issue, South Africa, Jamaica and Japan are featured.

In South Africa, she discovered that a round figure is the sought-after shape; in a nation “ravaged by AIDS, thinness is associated with illness.”

In Jamaica, where “the social scene revolves around hip-centric dancing,” the sought-after shape seems to be a narrow waist and a wide bottom.

And in Japan, “slim but strong” is the sought after shape. As she notes, “modern women reject the old-school demure, kimono-clad archetypes.”

In my experiences traveling and living abroad, I’ve seen all kinds of beauty, beauty that wouldn’t necessarily be what an American woman might strive for, but is the “ideal” elsewhere. So I think a book like this has a lot of potential to open our eyes and explore beauty on a whole different level.

While globalization has surely impacted standards of “beauty,” (and body image issues are becoming more and more  universal) it seems like Savacool’s research will show us that in some places, curves are most definitely not only in, but greatly desired. After being bombarded with images of stick-thin celebrities, I’m guessing it’ll be a refreshing reprieve.

If you’re interested, you can read the first few pages of the book here. After I get my hands on a copy, I’ll do a proper review — but in the meantime, I wanted to call attention to a book that seems to have a lot of promise.

How about you? What do you think about sought-after shapes around the world? If you struggle with your own body image issues, would you feel more comfortable if you lived elsewhere? (i.e., not the U.S.)?

WATRD

Comments

11 Responses to “The World Has Curves”
  1. greenbunny78 says:

    I am an American living in the Netherlands, been living here for 7 years. It is interesting how certain things just are NOT as big a deal here as they are in the US. Not that thin isn’t coveted to a degree, nor that eating disorders do not happen here, but there is far less American-style “perfection” amongst the BNers (bekende Nederlanders= Famous dutch people). And I do think being here has helped me be a bit more accepting of the body that I have.

    • lissa10279 says:

      That’s awesome Greenbunny. I lived in two Latin American countries where women of all shapes and sizes wore bikinis on the beach and seemed proud of their figures; here in America there’s this stigma that unless you are flab-free you “shouldn’t” wear one –but that just isn’t so.

  2. greenbunny78 says:

    I am an American living in the Netherlands, been living here for 7 years. It is interesting how certain things just are NOT as big a deal here as they are in the US. Not that thin isn’t coveted to a degree, nor that eating disorders do not happen here, but there is far less American-style “perfection” amongst the BNers (bekende Nederlanders= Famous dutch people). And I do think being here has helped me be a bit more accepting of the body that I have.
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  3. Fab Kate says:

    I believe that if I’d grown up in a different hemisphere, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as fat as I eventually did. I grew up hearing I was fat all the time. When I was a teen, it was particularly difficult. I was shapely, and in the time of Twiggy, that was pretty rough on a kid. Now I’d have been considered sexy: Large hips, large breasts, narrow waist. Back then it was just considered freakish. There are plenty of places in the Caribbean or South America, even in Europe and Asia as well as Africa, where my shape would have been complimented. It was the North American view of beauty that made me feel awful in comparison.

    • lissa10279 says:

      FabKate, I think your experience is similar to something many of us have felt. I’m glad you see that your shape would have been complimented elsewhere, and I hope you can embrace yourself now!

      • Forestroad says:

        Kind of related, I just looked at a gallery of “Miss World” contestants from the pre-war era, and it had a similar effect. Soft, full faces, tiny demure lips, strong noses, fuller figures…I could have competed back then!!

        Also, the title might actually be a play on The World Is Curved by David Smick, who IMO is an awesome economist and writes really accessible articles for WaPo. He was playing on The World Is Flat.

  4. lissa10279 says:

    Yea, I actually didn’t know but was guessing at what it had been a play on words for — there are a lot of similar titles but since I have a massive crush on Thomas Friedman anyway, I made the correlation in my head.

  5. When we eat or drink in food that does not allow them even seem to have stabbed our minds. We just enjoy the food and feel full or empty (still hungry). The second problem is that, enjoy the food you usually eat and eat quickly.

  6. Kelvin says:

    Nice job! Working your abs is really imporant: it makes you look fit and healthy. I personally try ab exercises from http://www.buikspieren.nl and do these exercises 3 times per week. It takes quit a lot of discipline!

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