Allow me to share a few words about the word "curvy."
First, please know that I do get along with most words. I cozy up to the words I really like (take, for instance, my serious crush on the word "heretofore"), and I keep a safe distance from the words I like least.
When a word offends me, I typically don't hold a grudge (and we're not talking racial-slur offensive; more like when a guy calls me "cute," and I'd rather be called "sexy"). I've even learned to love words that I once hated because I thought the people who used them were just trying to sound smarter than me (overcoming that suspicion led to my abiding affection for the word "sartorial").
Yet there are some words that I can't stand, that I can't even be in the same room with, and when I hear or read them, I'm like, "Get the hell outta here with that (screeeech!)! What the (fire truck!) does that even mean?"
"Curvy" is one of those (car-colliding screech! blaring horn! crying baby! fire truck siren!-ing) words.
When I hear it, I think about how all those bogus "curvy-fit" jeans have these ridiculous built-in hips, as if being curvy is all bottom and no top; how some blog might announce "Eva Longoria embraces her curves!" and I can hear women my mom's size the world over saying to themselves, "What the hell curves does Eva Longoria have? She's just as itty-bitty as she wants to be. If she has curves, then I must have arcs"; or how a well-meaning women's magazine editor is somewhere in Manhattan explaining to her staff that a story needs a "curvy girl" when she really wants to say "fat girl" (after which, she'd think, but not say, "probably not Lane Bryant fat").
As a descriptor for body shape or body type, the word "curvy" just doesn't satisfy me.
All I'm saying: I never really liked the damn word. But yesterday, when I saw the April issue of Vogue at the drugstore, I decided the word "curvy" is officially dead to me.
The word "curvy," an otherwise straightforward adjective used to describe an object or person's relative un-straightness (linearly, not sexually, speaking), died on March 16 when Vogue debuted its 10th annual shape issue with Rihanna on the cover and a bold headline proclaiming the scoop on how the singer "really feels about her curves." Although the coroner's report has not been released, reports suggest that one related cause of death of the word "curvy" might have been catachresis, a condition that involves the misapplication of words and phrases.
Many people (particularly women and black women, especially) have suspected for years that the word "curvy" was in failing verbal health -- on its last legs, even -- as it was simultaneously used to dub celebrities like Queen Latifah (who's widely considered plus-size) and Beyoncé (who's so not plus-size).
The word "curvy" is survived by the words "thick" and "shapely," as well as the expression "Damn, ma."