- Locate your shape.
- See which styles flatter you most.
- Step out looking smokin'.
So for Shorty we've got Vanessa Hudgens (sounds about right), Bitty Booty is AnnaLynne McCord (no argument there), Baby Got Back is Shakira (we'll give them that one), and Curvylicious is...Hilary Duff?
Here's how Cosmo describes the most flattering styles for "curvylicious" women:
"Wide-leg, boot-cut, and flared denim balance out fuller thighs. Opt for a dark rinse or fading in the center of the leg - both are slimming."
If I had heard that description without knowing anything about the cutesy category names, I would have assumed that this was the category for plus-sized women, or maybe for women who are pear shaped or something like that. Hilary Duff isn't really the first person that I would think of when thinking about people who need "slimming" pants that balance out their "fuller thighs". (Not that anyone of any size ever really "needs" to wear anything just because it's allegedly slimming.)
Here's another recent picture of Hilary:
Wow, it's so courageous of her to be out in public with her fuller thighs exposed like that. Good thing she's wearing a slimming black dress or we'd all be overwhelmed by her curvyliciousness.
Now, I admit that this is really far from the worst or most offensive thing that Cosmo has ever done. It's a minor point. But it annoys me because I feel like they chose these "fun" names for their categories so that they could sort of vaguely allude to the fact that there are lots of different body types out there without actually having to show anyone who isn't conventionally attractive and thin. At the same time, by throwing someone like Hilary Duff into the category with the tips that would best apply to people who are plus sized, they're basically leaving people thinking that if someone who looks like Hilary is supposed to be wearing slimming pants, then the rest of us are just screwed.
I did start to think that maybe I was being a little too hard on Cosmo on this one, but then I picked up the August issue of Glamour. It's their Jeans Issue, so they also had an article on finding the best jeans for your body. It's got twice as many categories as the Cosmo piece, and with more helpful and descriptive names: Tall, Skinny Legs, Hourglass, Apple-Shaped, Short-Waisted, Short Legs, Plus-Sized, and Pear-Shaped. And instead of the celebrity photos, they've got before and after pictures of real women who truly fit the categories. Imagine that. There's also a piece called "What's Your Perfect Pair of Jeans?" that features a fairly diverse group of "stylish" women (models, actresses, musicians, stylists, artists, and even a blogger) talking about their favorite jeans. There are a couple of seriously "curvylicious" women in there, and they look awesome. So I think the lesson here for Cosmo is that it's really not hard and doesn't take much to show your readers just a little bit more respect.