I’ll never forget the first time someone called me “voluptuous.” I think I was fourteen, and had no idea what it meant. I had to look it up before I realized there was cause for serious screaming, especially at my age, barely a pubescent teen.
1. a voluptuous woman has a large curved body and is sexually attractive; a voluptuous blonde ; voluptuous curves ;
2. suggesting or expressing a strong sexual desire; slow voluptuous caresses;
3. a voluptuous taste, smell, etc. affects your senses in a strong and pleasant way; the voluptuous scent of roses;
I can hear it from some of you now: “Being “voluptuous” based on the definition isn’t so bad! It even says, “sexually attractive!”
Yeah, yeah yeah. Sexually attractive, blah blah BLAH You could tell any fourteen year old girl she is the most incredibly talented, amazingly brilliant, strikingly gorgeous voluptuous young lady you’ve ever seen. What she’ll hear is “large body.” Another definition used the term “ample.” You say sexy? She’ll hear “ample.” It’s in the blood.
Take it from me guys. If you love the feel of those ample hips and dream about larger than life breasts, that’s fine for you. I’m happy for ya. But say any combination of words or phrases like “you’re curvy” “something to hold onto” “you’re not too skinny,” and you can expect to be in for the discussion of your life. There will probably be tears at some point and you may have unwittingly elicited an incredibly strict diet. But do not try this in order to elicit a diet. Reverse psychology tends not to work if women are already over weight. Besides, if she has any brains, she will impose her diet on you too.
It’s not that we don’t want to be attractive to you, it’s that most people in general suffer from that grass is greener syndrome. Add estrogen to that, and suddenly every curvy girl struggles to be wafer thin, and ballerina types will do anything to not be so thin (including getting boob jobs).
Rare gems are comfortable enough in their own skin to embrace what equipment they were born with.
I’ve had a few “tune-ups” along the way due to some unforeseen – er – mishaps in my physique that were beyond my control (like droopy nursing mom’s boobs and enough extra skin on my de-babied belly to tent a small village), but I think I’m finally okay with me.
That’s why I know this shit and can advise you with authority.
IX-NAY on the URVY-CAY and OLUPTUOUS-VAY words.
image credit: http://1977shockwolf.deviantart.com/art/Voluptuous-Wonder-Woman-320043673
Tara Fairfield says
So true, I’ve never met a women who didn’t struggle with some image of her body at some point! Thank you for boldly breaching this topic which is so important to women. As a counselor I’ve met many stunningly beautiful women who don’t think they’re attractive, or focus on something negative. I pray women can overcome our culture and accept they are perfectly and wonderfully made!
Thanks Tara! You’re right… women do need to be comfortable in their own skin. And they all struggle with it! XO
Elyse Salpeter says
Other words I’d recommend guys stay away from are frizzy, fat, tired and “oh, it must be that time.” Trust me, no good comes with any of them. Great, funny post!
Why yes Elyse! HAHA! I would HOPE those go without saying?? LOL!!
Onisha Ellis says
I tell myself Ruebens would have loved my body and if I had lived in his time he would have made my body famous.
I’m sure many would love your body… we women just never think so. 🙂 LOL
Elise Stokes (@CassidyJonesAdv) says
First, I’d like to shake whoever called you “voluptuous” at age fourteen. But I hear you. I had the opposite problem, stick thin and all legs. Lifted weights, tried to gain weight, hoping to create a few curves. Didn’t work. Having a baby changed my body type, and now I wonder what was so bad about stick thin? I have a daughter who some would describe as voluptuous (an unfortunate soul would do so within her mother’s ear shot). She’d hear “large,” too, and the fashion industry feeds her skewed perspective. Clothes shopping with her is heart-wrenching. Clothing for teens is designed for girls without a lick of curves.
HA – yeah I can’t recall Elise — I was surrounded by six brothers and four sisters. It could have been any one of their friends, but I seem to think it may have even been my mom or someone who was really trying to help make me feel BETTER about it. LOL FAIL! Yep – teen clothes are TOUGH!!!
Bob Nailor says
As a man, bandying those words are definitely a death-blow. It is like the deadliest question: “Do you think I’m fat?” Every man knows there is a less than 1 second threshold in which to answer. Any hesitation on the male’s behalf is…okay, it’s not a pretty sight. My friend told me his wife was Ruebenesque. She hit him with a purse and nearly killed him. He meant it as a compliment because he’d just learned the word and the artist — unfortunately, he didn’t really learn the meaning. He thought they women were beautiful, which they are, but just a little “fluffy” — yes, that is a word I can safely say and not get abused. lol. Besides — beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My wife is as beautiful today as the day I first met her. Four sons and 37 yrs of wear and tear have taken tolls but they are battle scars she wears with pride and I love her for them.
Well Bob… We LOVE you then! LOL Great comment! And take care of your friend!
HA! I spent SO much time and anxiety in HS and college living on salad and in exercise classes because I always thought I needed to lose 20 extra pounds. Thanks in part to my riding coach who actually wanted me to be flat chested (not without surgery.) It wasn’t until I was OVER 40 that someone talking to me one day said “You were almost too skinny.” SERIOUSLY? I thought I was a walking blimp. I finally dug out pictures (which I hate looking at) and found that I was actually okay. I could never see it then. Yeah, from second grade onwards we hear the words, fat, lard-butt, chunky and think immediately they apply to us. Conversely, we hear someone talking about how beautiful so & so is, or how slim they are, gorgeous hair they have, high cheekbones, etc. and we make comparisons in the mirror so we KNOW where we don’t add up. By the time we reach adulthood there is little to no self-esteem in that department.