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Body shape

Is fat ugly? Is it beautiful? Was Rubens crazy? What is voluptuous? Does body shape matter? This is the original discussion board for you to check out. The current discussion is in our yOni discussion pages.

What you think:

The Venus of Willendorf and goddess amulets of ancient times portrayed woman, full breasted, round bellied and big hipped. It is not unreasonable to assume that the images the ancient ones created corresponded to their conception of beauty. Rubens prefered his models with love handles and voluptuous curves. Even today in African and Indian cultures larger women are considered more attractive.

Why should this be so?

A clue came for me when an Indian friend greeting me after a period of time in which I had gained a few pounds grinned appreciatively and said '' You have become more healthy". Of course, if we look behind these preferences, they have a utilitarian logic. Women with more reserves of fat and larger hips and breasts would be more likely to be able to withstand the rigours of childbirth. An important consideration in a wife when infant mortality was high, the protection of science not available and an old age pension not even dreamed of. So it made economic sense to be attracted to a big juicy lady.

But where does that leave us now?

Strangely enough it leaves us in a culture where it is really not OK to be 'fat'. It is not just considered un-attractive, it can be a subject for ridicule, pity, even disgust. An indication that one really isn't in control of ones life. As a slightly 'overweight' child I grew into a teenager with a self image of 'fat and ugly' which devastated my self confidence around the opposite sex. I wore big baggy clothes to hide my body and remember vividly longing to be able to wear a bikini, or simply a top that only reached as far as my waist. And now when I look at photos of my self at that time I see a perfectly normal young woman. It is hard to understand where I found this image of myself, yet it tortured me for 25 years. My life was something that would start ' when I loose some weight'. It is only in my middle thirties that I start to feel completely at home in the soft, curvaceous form that seems to be my natural body shape. And of course with that self-acceptance, my sensuality is allowed full reign and my beauty shines through. But it grieves me sorely to see young women freinds of mine torture themselves in the way that I did over their weight. Beautiful girls with shapely, georgeous bodies, starving and turning to eating disorders over some strange quirk of our society that cannot accept woman in a range of shapes and sizes.

Laura-Doe - Australia

It doesn't matter so much about your natural shape as long as you feel healthy and happy with yourself. I wish people spent as much time on developing there personality as they did on there appearance.

Mt.Mulla@bigpond.com.au

In my experience I believe that body shape often is not as important as the development of a well adjusted mind. A sense of fun and adventure seems to be more of an attractant to males than having the prfect shape. Although not grossly overweight, my body resembles more of a rounded pair shape and the men that I have had relationships with seem to respond really well. I think women in general are too hung up on whAT They look like , they would be better to develop their interests and not be so hung up on what men think generally. The most attractive women to me are ones that are intelligent and independent. Some of the best looking women I have encountered are also the most boring because they seem to be totally obsessed with pleasing men. Of course the type of men who are attracted to me and vise versa are intelligent and artistic as well as being quite non conformist

Janet - New Zealand

Ever notice that ALL children KNOW they are beautiful till " well meaning " adults educate them otherwise ? seems to me , it is high time we all know are beautiful no matter our "size ". i am 5 '10 tall weigh 240 lbs. have shortage of admiration respect or sexual interest from my partner (s ). when one knows inside and out whatever ones size worthy love attains it. : }>

Kimberly - USA

bodhi - canada
as a massage therapist I have the privelage to touch, feel and see many different body shapes my feeling about body shapes is that it doesn't matter how stereo typical " sexy body " you have if don't feel good about yourself there is nothing to be enjoyed by your lover>

This whole issue is complex and timly. Volumns can have and can be written on this subject. I wish to comment from a slightly different and one pointed perspective. Human sexuality has relied on the visual image from the beginning. We got it from our animal relatives and it is so today. The topic of breast size can easily be seen from the visual, actually one of the 1st images a person sees is the breast that feed them. As a small child the milk engorged breast appears huge, hince the big deal about big breasts. We will buy this image as positive for the remainder of our lives. Look at our ads ! The most glorified of women will have large, accessable breasts. The better to feed the babies. Are we all not overgrown babies at heart ? As adults we know that breast size has little to do with the ability to feed or have pleasure. Please remember this as we continue to glorify the big breast.

Jeanne - USA
jeanne353@aol.com

Diet Encased in hardened alloy for years,
My burden makes Jacob Marley look unencumbered.
I carry the remnants of fears,
hatreds, suppressed desires
like baggage strapped to a hapless porter.
Chipping at the casement from the inside
with a dull chisel and mallet:
my diet.

Mommie Dark - USA
papadark@bright,.net

John - USA
My problem with body size is rather interesting. I am 5'10" (177 cm) and 190 lbs (86 kg). Okay, maybe it's slightly overweight, but I'm the slimmest in my family. Yes, my family is imbued with large, thick bones, large muscles, AND a copious layer of fat over the whole thing. I think that's the natural way to be physically strong; check out Olympic weightlifters some time. My girlfriend, on the other hand, is slim, usually. She's originally from Germany, and when she came to America she gained a little more weight. It's easy to do because America and other English-speaking nations have really high-fat diets. (Notice how virtually everyone in this group comes from an English-speaking nation. Notice how many other nations are involved in the other discussions.) Now, she's 5'3" (160 cm) and about 120 lbs (54 kg). She's getting really body-conscious about it and is afraid she's getting too fat. I'm telling her that she's beginning to get healthy. She talks about how she has never seen so many fat young people before in her life before she came here. She seriously worries about their health. She also keeps telling me that I should lose about another 10 pounds. Sometimes I'll lose some, sometimes I'll gain it back, but that's really due to natural cycles and not dieting. I don't diet; I just try to eat well. After watching her attitudes (I don't blame her for them. That's what society can do to a person.) I've come up with these observations: 1. The healthy weight tables are slightly off. I think that a person within the "healthy weight" range is in a good range, but that being slightly over that by 5-10 pounds (2-5 kg) is still within a healthy range. 2. The waif look wasn't in. My father has this theory that the "waif look" (which, in the 1920s, when it started getting popular, was called the "boy look") was NOT created by heterosexual men. He suggests that homosexual men wanted women to look more like boys (this was before information about homosexuality was readily available, so he might have changed his opinion by now). My mother, on the other hand, thinks that women try to inflict it on themselves, as a method of control. She sees anorexia and related eating disorders as methods of gaining control, not losing weight. (Read some of the anti-woman backstabbing rants on the Bitch Board to see what I mean) 3. On the other hand, I'm not a big-bust man. The smallest breast size in my family is a 36 DD. So, whenever I see a full bust, I'm reminded of my family. Not the sexiest image in the world. Still, lots of other nations are, on the whole, skinnier than us Anglo-types. I just wonder how many of us larger folk would still be large if we grew up there.

I wish there were pornographic sites that offered photos of large overweight women. I along with many other men find them to be an exotic turn on.

Rob - USA

Let me start by saying I have the genetic predisposition in my family to run to the big breasted, big hipped, wide shouldered figure. When I was in school (Lo so many years ago) my wieght stayed fairly stable at the 130 to 135 mark BUT, I kept getting these doctor's charts shoved in my face saying I should weigh 110 pounds, and my mother constantly nagged me about my weight, and I was constantly being told how fat, lazy etc I was in gym. I struggled. I tried to reach that magical figure on the chart. I exercised, I fasted, I did everything. I never got below 125. I tried so hard. I finally became discouraged. I gave up even trying to control my eating habits. And I gained ALOT of weight. I quit exercising. I now have some minor health problems due to my weight and lack of activity. I recently unearthed some pictures of myself from high school. This is a miracle event. I don't keep pictures. I thought I had destroyed them all Sitting there, looking utterly morose, is a lovely young woman. And I think she's still in here, somewhere. So, I have determined that the next person who shows me some chart or makes some comment about my weight will get clear and loud directions on where they can go and how they can get there. My goal at this point is to reduce my weight so that I feel HEALTHY, and to hell with those who want to go on and on about how I look. I'm also adding a poem I found in a magazine, it says volumes.
Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
I walk into a room,
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on thier knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
that's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
that's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of hand,
The need for my care.
Cause I'm a woman,
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou
19/4/97

Virginia - Canada
After reading all that everyone had to say on body shape I realised that most of the comments came from places where people have abundance of food and can eat at all times and as much as they want. Well, let me tell you something. I come from a country where food has never been number one entertainment, where people don't starve themselves to death when depressed or use any excuse to eat. Obesity is the sickness of the advanced countries. I have been to many different places in the world and have never seen such large number of overweight people as in North America. Here the stores are always full of food and eating out is number one entertainment for most of the population. And of course, the cheapest food is the one that gives you a lot of extra body fat. You will not have huge portions in an expensive restaurant. There the food is valued for its quality and looks not quantity, but most of the people that claim to be genetically overweight usually go to the cheaper places where the portions are big and the quality not great. I am not trying to put overweight people down, by all means I have a number of friends that are overweight and like them as much as my skinny ones. But I also see the same pattern and the same excuse each time. I feel most sorry for children that have weight problem and have to suffer because they have inherited bad eating habits from their parents. Most of these kids come from overweight families. One does not see two skinny parents have a fat child. At least I have not seen that, unless the child has thyroid problems. To start with children should not be overweight if they eat the right amount and the right food. While yonger your body burns a lot of calories just to grow up. Many parent make their children suffer by making them eat even when not hungry. The problem also is that a lot of yonge kids don't participate in any sports activity, in particular girls. For that reason they cannot build muscles that can guard against excess fat. Where I come from we are actively involved in all kids of sports (not baseball or softball either) that are dinamic and muscle-building. Most of the girls in America - North and South do not do such a thing. It is considered not feminin and the men prefer soft and jigly women. I guess they are afraid of competition. But active excercise is the main requirement for each young person in order to stay within the limits of normal body weight for a particular height. I have never been overweight. I have large bones and excellent muscles that were acquired early in my adolescent years through participation in sports. I am 5.3" and weigh 139 lbs. but everyone thinks that I am no more that 120 lbs. or very thin as they describe me. As you might not know muscle weighs a lot more than pure fat. Reading about people that claim that they are big because of large bones only makes me laugh. I have wide shoulders too but that does not make me look big. I just look much taller than I am. And I don't have to excersice like crazy at all. I don't e ven go to a gym. But I am active. I take dance lessons, I go bycicle riding, cross-coutry skiing, ice skating and also I walk a lot. Not because I want to remain slim but because I enjoy being active. And believe me I don't look sick, or bonny. I look just right with or without clothes. I was a complete vegetarian for allmost 14 years and even now I consumer just the required amount of meat a day, never more. Mu grand parents use to say that one has to stop eating when it is tastes the best. I guess the old people knew what is healty. My main food group is fruit, vegetables and lots of sweets of any kind. I eat often but never too big meals and rarely overeat, and when some problems arise I don't run to the fridge. I don't think my body weight is only right metabolism. It is also eating right. I have taught my children the same thing about food and both are within the right weight for their height. We never have munchies on our coffee table when watching TV, or snack continuously betwen meals. We don't deprive ourselves of any food but eat jut the right amounts of everything and watch for the fat that can kill you even if you are skinny. My husband looks just the same, even better now after 20 years of marriage, muscled and slim. The bottom line is don't diet ever. It will kill you and make you very unhappy. Just limit the intake and watch for the fat. Once I heard a good proverb and I try to follow what it says, although not always succesfully "eat breakfast alone, share lunch with a friend and leave your supper to your enemy". In addition, overweight people should take care to look good too. Most of them wear exceptionally short hairdues that make them look even bigger. They don't dress according to fashion and they don't always look after their faces. What is wrong with looking good? Since when it is a crime to make yourself look better? What is wrong with applying make up? It has been done since the time of Cleopatra. What people first see is your overall appearance and if you appeal to them then they look at the details, and your mind is one of the last to be noticed. That is human nature, we are preconditioned to look for beauty in everything. So, why not look nice, smell clean and dress good. What is underneat one cannot tell until the clothes come off and by then the reachnes of the person's intelect might override the imperfections. I have a close friend that is fat but such an amasing good dresser. Her face, hair and nails are always perfect that one never notices her body. She looks just perfect.

Body shape is in the foremost part of what we "see", but rarely is it anything clsoe to the person inside. I have a good quantity of fat on my body, but it has been there for most of my life. Sometimes, I thnk this is a sheild for me, and other times,I'm glad it's there. The only bad thing about my size is I am unable to bend, streach, and move in some of the ways I would like to. This is me. People who put on weight later in life, to me, have the disadvantage of not respecting the physical limits where the body can go, and occasionally hurt themselves in learning them. I am comfortable with my body, and have learned its strenghts, and use them to help me, and find a sort of power in it.

Kara - USA

I've always been 'large boned', as many ppl so delicately put it.It comes down to the fact that ive always been heavy. Since i was adopted i dont know if this is heriditary of or just a result of how how i was raised... im now 29 and holding pushing 200 lbs. This may seem gross to some of you, espicially considering im only 5'2". I consume about 600-800 calories per day...so i dont think i 'over eat'. My point is im happy w/ myself, and so is my hubby. since i've always been heavy and can speak from experience, there's more than enough guys out there that like a 'little meat on ur bones'... so long as u are comfortable with yourself, what others think is irelevent(sp)!

AnniE - usa

Obviously this is a topic that promotes alot of opinions and feelings from people. I've always been 'big', but people have always said that I carry it well. I've even had a gastroplasty, but in the last year (for many reasons) I've been putting on weight again. My size has never (well, in my adult years anyway) stopped me from having relationships, I'm still pretty, & have a lot to offer in other ways. However I recently entered into a relationship with a man who has a weight problem, and I'm shocked at the difficulty I'm having with it. I'm certainly not one to take issue with another person's weight , but I've always made it a point to date men who are physically very fit & attractive, obviously to compensate for my own shortcomings. I think the problem is having to be presented with my major shortcoming 'in my face' day after day. He's a fabulous person, but I worry about how able I am to deal with this. I'm not a shallow person, but I certainly feel that way right now.

Tui - Canada

Everyone has preferences in terms of Body Types. And we all, well, most of us, are concerned about our looks. The things to remember are: one, don't let your preferences interfere with knowing the 'real person'. two, maintain your health through exercise, proper diet, and pampering yourself - but don't get obsessive about it. We are ourselves, not anyone else!!

DG - USA

J-Boo, you just don't seem to realize that there are some people out there that could gain weight by smelling food (ok, an obvious exaggeration) but if your metabolism is screwed up, you're going to either look anorexic or get overweight. I'm overweight myself (I try not to think of it as fat, Fat connotates ugly, and I work hard to convince myself that I am not. My SO (I am male), she's overweight also, I think that she is beautiful. Weight and body shape shouldn't matter, and Yes, men (like me) should have a say as to the subject (unlike what diane previously thought) Yes, a lot of women torture themselves with constant diets because they are busy trying to look like a supermodel, that's wrong, and stupid. Is there a man twisting their arm and saying "starve yourself or else..."?? if so, dump him, he's NOT worth it. it is better to be overweight and relitively healthy than damaging your body by starving it to death (sometimes literally) I enjoy women of all shapes and sizes, it's their minds and personaities that are the distinguishing features between them. NOT what they are built like. If I seem to be rambling , I probably am.:) -Blessed be-

I think there is beauty to be found in every body type, and that it is a tragedy when you hear little girls 12 and under who are lamenting their 'fatness'. Personally, I love the lush female curves of the Earth Mother, not the scrawny starved look of Kate Moss and her ilk. I am 5" tall, and weigh about 117 lb (or 150cm and 52 kg). A few years ago, until I was about twenty, I weighed 37 kg (82 lb). Then I went on the Pill and suddenly developed a figure! I went from an 8AA bra to a 10C to 10 D now. I can't tell you how good it feels to be woman shaped at last. I used to eat and eat, but to no avail, and cry myself to sllep because people thought I was anorexic, but I was really someone who had a hard time putting on any weight. I am really happy with what I measure now (35-27-37). I know I shouldn't connect my self image to my body, but it really sucks when you are 23 and look like you are 12 because no-one takes you seriously.

Rhianwen - Australia

I love a woman with BODY. They tend to have more passion and lust for new things as well as less inhabitions toward sex. They are, as a rule, more sensitive and willing to enjoy any new sensation that may "arise" during love making (plus the larger breast size is a deffinate factor!).....

MATT - UNITED STATES

I find nothing wrong with the feminine shape as long as it's not over a person's true "target weight", which is not that weight that they think they should be, but the one at which their body says "Okay, this is where we're staying." The female body is a beautiful ideal that should never have been criticized by society. Reubens and the other masters realized that the feminine form was more attractive when it contained its natural curves, and so chose models that reflected this. Another aspect of society that ruins the self-concept of women is the governmental military institutions. They have charts that say, for instance, that a 5'10" woman, no matter her build, should weigh 145-160 lb.(Air Force). The Army's weight standards are less than that. Thus, young women intent on joining some branch of the military spend time that could be engaged in self-education in the field they intend to pursue losing obscene amounts of weight and disproportioning themselves. I find nothing attractive in a large pair of breasts and buttocks when my hands fit entirely around a girl's waist. It's not natural.

Amanda - US

I've a story. It's not one I'm particularly proud of, but maybe it will give women (and men?) some insight into male sexuality. I was sitting on a friend's couch a while back. Our relationship up til that point was platonic--she has a wonderful wit, sharp insight, and an angelic face. She is also very "rubinesque" (5'6", 220 lb.?). We were having wonderful conversation, lasting 3 or 4 hours, and on an impulse, I leaned over and kissed her. What followed was some great love-making--totally open and trusting and natural and all those adjectives. Days later, she tried to take us to "the next level"--something more than sex--but I blanched. . . Why? Because I could not get used to the idea of being with someone that much larger than me. I know that a large part of this is my own "social conditioning." But two things happened that night that removed all that: for one, a bottle- and-a-half of wine--that classic killer of inhibition. For another: during our lengthy conversation, we were sitting very close together on the couch; my face was only a few feet from hers and we were talking very intensely, i.e. I was so focused on her face, words, laughter, spirit...I totally forgot about her body! All the cultural/chauvinistic influence--and my own narrow-mindedness--went right out the window (admittedly, the wine helped in this.) Where does that leave me? us? sexual politics in general? It did give me insight into who I was sexually. One can jump on my train of rationalization and say I'm the natural product of a chauvinistic and materialistic society. One can also place the responsibility on me for being shallow and damn my "I'm a victim of my culture" confessional. But if the unexamined life is not worth living, than I guess that incident gives me another reason to get out of bed tomorrow morning. When looking for a mate, the majority of us have some bottom line of attractiveness below which we will not venture. But I've learned that that line is very fluid, depending on a world of influences.

Chris - USA

Skinny anorexic women really turn me off. REALLY TURN ME OFF Who in God's name thinks that women like Kate Moss are hot. she is a total waif. I like either a nice soft curvy figure synonomous with that of women like Racquel Welch or a nice firm toned physique like that of an aerobics instructor. Boney women suck. Unfortunately society has defined them as the standard of beauty.

Mazzy - USA

I have been "heavy" since I was a child. I was teased in school until I graduated. I thought it would stop then, but it didn't. When I still lived in the US, people would drive past me while I was walking or waiting for a bus and yell out horrible things. Everywhere I went people (mostly males any age) would comment or laugh at me. Needless to say, I have very little self-esteem. I live in England now with my new husband who accepts me for who I am. Unfortunately, the people here don't feel the same. They don't say things TO me, but they stare, get their friend's attention and point me out like I'm a circus freak. Children stare at me like they have never seen anything like it! They snicker and giggle. It makes me angry and these days I stop them and say something to them. My husband gets angry too. I have a web page, and for a very long time I wouldn't put any real pictures of me on there. People I have talked to on the internet were begging for pictures. Finally I got tired of it and more or less said "screw it!" I put a couple of pictures on my web page. You will probably not be surprised when I tell you these people don't talk to me anymore. As if that wasn't enough, I constantly get e-mail from weight-loss companies that someone has obviously signed me up for. I don't have the willpower right now to be able to loose weight and I don't know why. It will happen sometime, I hope. If I could be granted a wish, it would be to see some of the people that have hurt me over the years get their karma back. Bitter? You bet your ass I am! But that doesn't change the person I am inside. Thank the Goddess we don't all look the same. How very boring that would be.

Brenna - UK

We have a lot of big girls in my family. I will tell you (don't spread it around, huh? thanks.)that dealing with these women is a special problem. A mere boy would go on about how she is, but that is a silly's talk. Actually dealing with her is another matter. She wants a real man. This is interesting, because where do you find a fellow like that? Anyway, that's what I have to cope with.

BigA - USA

I'd have to say that the trend today is definitely towards women with large busts and small hips. Definitely we live in a backward society! All of the women I have known who were large busted have all claimed to have expereinced pain. During their periods their breasts are tender and with age gravity takes its toll. As a man I much prefer women with smaller breasts because I find them more aesthetic and during lovemaking there are definite pluses. Hips have narrowed, when I look at the shape of a woman it is her curves that make her feminine. I wonder why it is that so many men and women find narrow-hipped women attractive; they are shaped like men! But setting aside the above, it is the woman who is happy with her body who is most attractive because she shows it in her carriage.

Alexander - Canada

There's nothing wrong with women being big. Inside they're just the same as anyone else, and its their personality that matters, right?

Paul - United Kingdom

I like pregnant women. The best of round sweeping curves without a lot of fat. Round hips and a belly that is really there.

Thumper - USA

It must be Venus envy.

Elinor - CANADA

Acceptance comes from within, not without. Before anybody else can love you for you including your body: you have to love you. Your body is the outer casing of who you are as a person, it is as ever changing as you the person. Love and honor who you are, Accept and thank your body for housing you; your love of you and your body will be reflected back to you by the people in your life. Stand up and be counted for you. Lifes short - enjoy it while you can.

Karen - Australia

I have always been heavier than my peers, as a teen only ten or so pounds, now, after a bad accident 4 years ago more than that. When I was a teen I bore no end of abuse from the boys at school, particularly because I had a larger busom than my classmates. I never lacked for dates, but I was certainly not being asked out by the captain of the football team, even though he was a good friend. This mistreatment by my peers created in me a preference toward thin men, I figured if I wasn't allowed to be a bit round on the edges why should they be. In college it infuriated me that fat frat boys were "cuddly" and had beautiful, and you better believe it,THIN girlfriends, but I was, at a weight that is within the range for my bodytype, considered fat. I know by looking at the females on both sides of my family that I am not genetically predisposed to be thin. I have a large build, bones bigger than a lot of men I know and a lot of muscle from being active when I was younger. I dress well, carry myself well and the weight I do now carry is very well distributed and proportionate. Many women and older men comment on what a beautiful and stunning young woman I am but men my own age seem to be less inclined to find me so, or at least to admit it. I believe we each have to accept who we are and what our body is meant to look like and do the best with it we can. I am trying to lose the weight I have gained since my injuries, but I have no intention of starving myself or killing myself in the gym. I know what weight I look good at and that I feel healthy at and where my body feels comfortable and quits fluctuating and that is where I intend to go. I once lost 35 pounds and I looked great but as soon as I stopped eating the same damn thing every day and exercising every single day I gained 25 of it back in no time. Life is too short to torture yourself for some unattainable ideal that isnt based on reality in the first place. Love who you are and be the best and most beautiful person you can be. That is all anyone has the right to ask.

Nance - USA

I know our society is primarily focused on what the med ia portrays as beautiful. We are insecure creatures that are visually stimulated. But one must admit that we have made progress in this area. Brett Butler of "Grace Under Fire", Jill of "Home Improvement", Gillian Anderson of "X Files", and the list goes on... No, these women are not overweight. They are luminous, healthy, real, sometimes glamorous women who are far from starved, not at all plastic, and very sexy. Marilyn was never skinny. There is a balance. Obesity is not healthy. It traps some very beautiful people. But they are that. Beautiful. If you love yourself and see room for im- provement, improve for YOUR satisfaction. THAT'S sexy! God doesn't create anything ugly.

J. - Usa

I'm a large woman. It took me many years to get used to that fact. I have always been athletic. I swim several miles a week. I play baseball softball. I hike. But this doesn't seem to matter to the people in the public. All they see is a large body. I have never had a serious relationship because of this. But I know that I look good. No one needs to tell me I'm cute or I look nice. I know I do. But I never seem to find someone who looks past the exterior to the interior. A person who wants more than friendship. I live in California where Pamela Anderson wannabees are around every corner. To the large woman this hurts. Guys eyes follow Pam down the street. When was the last time you saw someone drool over Rikki Lake before the weight loss?

Mary - USA

My ideal body type for a woman is tall, slim, long-legged and small breasted. My wife is of this type, and although she is pushing 46 she's an absolute knockout in a pair of tight jeans and a camisole. There has been a great deal of talk about Fat is Beautiful in the past few years. And although I don't think women or men should diet themselves sick just to conform to an image of beauty they may never be able to live up to, I don't think they ought to let themselves go either. Fat is most definitely not beautiful in my book. My wife and I are vegetarian, watch our intake of excessively fattening foods, and try to exercise regularly. Neither of us smoke, drink or take drugs. We are often mistaken for ten years younger then we really are.

Peter - USA

I DO enjoy my slightly round belly-I don't feel that woman's bellies are naturally flat. ..look at all those goddess statues! What's worse is hearing Vanna White say that her baby came from her 'stomach' -what is SO indecent about the word 'wOmb'? But i do think that being unhealthily overweight can cause women a lot of unhappiness, and I would reccomend a herbal 'parasite program' with cloves, wormwood, & black walnut (recommended by Dr. Hulda Clark) which may assist in some causes of overweight. Also dieting is the WORST idea of self-punishment. (I actually GAINED weight when I was a total vegetarian & restrictive of my diet. The best way to eat ,I've found, is to take time to really ENJOY your food & chew it very well-eating consciously, instead of unconsciously. And if you want to eat something that is considered 'unhealthy' or 'fattening', just don't judge yourself or feel guilty while you are eating it! Just allow yourself to indulge & enjoy it!!! Besides, if you read some of the 'parasite' information you will see that eating 'fatty' foods aren't the real cause of weight gain. Hope this helps someone!

Leah - Canada

I hate how an unachievile standard of beauty exists. I've wasted so much time being obsesses with my appearance, it makes me sick. I wish I felt as confortable as my boyfriend after just washing my face and combing my hair. I cant just leave it at that. I continue by applying makeup, forcing my hair into a texture that is not its own, I even put on devices that contour into what is hopefully what society sees as acceptable. Sure, I could go without all the preparation, but due to years of conditiong, I would feel ugly and inferior. It is incredulous that I base so much of my confidence on my appearance.

Jennifer - USA

Most of my younger years were spent miserably trying to fit the shape of woman I saw all around me, you know, Cheryl Teigs, Brooke Shields, Nancy Regan, all that crap. When I finally met the man I'm married to ten years latter, I began slowly gaining weight. I'd have to say it come on proportionally to my gaining a feminine identity. When my daughters were born, I felt very out of shape, but felt, also, "hey, this is me." And I've never heard any complaints in the bedroom. My only thoughts now are that society will always belittle a larger woman. (that sounds silly, doesn't it?) As my daughters grow, I see myself as the primary eoman example in their lives. My goal, to keep my body strong, always eat right and never show an ounce of shame at being fat. This Solstace, my husband gave me a singing goddess medecine bowl...a big blue mother with her knees apart and head thrown back in song and my first thought was that this was an infinately more womanly being than any Nancy Regan!!

Shan - US

Larger women are a total turn on. You can give me those Rubanesque women anyday, as a matter of fact, I married one. She shows her love constantly, and I don't have any of the hang-ups that I used to have when I dated those "skinny" women. The larger, softer breast size is a MAJOR plus, but this is only a physical observation. Among the other things she gives to me is someone to enjoy life with, with out all the psycological bagage of "I'm getting fat......I can't fit in a size 4 .....God I ate a whole salad today if I keep that up, I'll be in a huge size 6............ So lets trash the waif look, and the crack addict look and go back to the firm full figured look of the '40s and '50s PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MATT - USA

A women's body doesn't belong to anyone but her! I want to feel safe, comfortable, and somewhat attractive in my body, so I need to learn all about it and take care of it. My best source is other women, not a male-dominated fashion/cosmetics industry. You have to accept your body as it is, as it is given. But you can also do what pleases you and is healthy. For a woman to have a nose job because she wants to look like everyone else may really be cheating herself. But if her nose is very distressing to her, why should she suffer the rest of her life? We don't expect all men to look the same- at least I don't (it would be incredibly boring!) Then why shouldn't each woman find her own "right" body for her and just be herself? As I write this, I'm becoming more aware that the fashion industry, although there are many women in it, is really male dominated. More dialogues like the ones here on Yoni, will help us assert ourselves and move towards female "looks" which are of our own making.

Christine - USA

In my life, I've always been skinny... and in the last few years started to grow upward.. I've maxed out at 5'8" and I'm 125lbs. Sure, it's tough being tall, because shorter men are nervous that they'll look stupid next to you, more so than any women in my life has ever worried. But I've dated tall guys, short guys, gusy who work out, and guys who are happy with the non muscular bodies they already have. And I've also had women who were short, tall, big breasted and small but perfect. The bottom line is the orgasm comes from the talents, and use of their tongues, etc. etc. not from their height!

Rachel - USA

A woman should not be judged on her appearence!! I am not a heavy person, but i am sick of people saying only thin is beautiful. As a model, i am forced to care endlessly about my appearence . I wish that i could go back to a time when that wasn't so. People are killing themselves to be thin and what for? so they are accepted in society? If this world was so perfect that weight is all that matterd, then I would understand, but in a world filled with poverty and hunger, you'd think people would care more about the surroundings as a united world not as a beauty contest.

cherie - us

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Thank God for that fact, otherwise 99% of the population would be very lonely. The standard of beauty the media has created is unattainable in the real world. That sort of perfection exists only in airbrushed photos or well-lit films. People are beautiful because of who they are, not because of what they look like. Personally I prefer cuddly and soft, in man or woman. But I think a thin woman can look beautiful, too - Tea Leoni for example. And I think that guy on Home Improvement - Tim's sidekick Al - has a really nice cuddly body and I wish they'd stop making fat jokes about him. It's ridiculous. "It's in your soul - that the true distortion lies"

Angel Of Music - US

Okay, I was NOT going to comment until I read Virginia in Canada's comments. First off, Virginia you make some valid points about the excessive eating in the USA. And some of the child hood obesity is bad parenting I agree with that also. But tell me, does your 'impoverished' nation have as many food commercials to tempt these children to eat this food? I have no idea if it does. BUT BUT BUT and here is a BIG butt (no pun intended)there IS a big genetic factor involved. You mentioned families that had fat children. Surely you have seen families with siblings who differ like night and day when it comes to weight? They have the SAME parents and the SAME access to the SAME food stores. Yet one of them metabolizes food faster than the other. They have done studies on twins seperated at birth who end up having the same body type. So there is a very big genetic factor involved. I have seen fat parents raise thin children and I have seen thin parent raise fat children. My father's sister is an example of that. I agree that Americans use food to celebrate everything. That is a valid point. But many countries do the same thing but not as often probably. The thing that bothers me the most is the definition of fat. I think every person's definition of fat is probably different. By todays standards Marylin Monroe or Betty Page would be considered fat, when infact they were voluptuous. American societies standards for female beauty are unrealistic and unfair. Remember when a 'real' bust was sexy? Now girls are supposed to have a butt like a 12 year old boy and implants to be attractive. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!! Glad I am comfortable with myself.

Suzanne - USA

I get the idea... show me the current body shape discussion

Hmm.. interesting .. show me some other body talk discussions

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