Is "curvy" a euphemism for fat?

I was chatting with a few gals a few minutes ago and we were talking about how we’d describe ourselves on an online dating site (one of them is single, the remaining three–including yours truly–are married). I immediately said I’d describe myself as curvy. They ALL said, UrbanChic, you cannot describe yourself as curvy online, because online curvy means fat!

Come again?

I AM curvy, this much I know. They insisted that, while I might be “curvy”, I’m not curvy. One of the gals who I estimate to be a size sixteen, at least, said her size is what people conjure up when they hear the word curvy. I agreed that she, too, was curvy, just curvy at a different size. I protested that curvy is not related to size, but rather to shape. You can be a size four and be curvy (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Halle Berry are thin and curvy). Conversely, you can be a size eighteen and not be curvy (think linebacker shaped).

They agreed, but said that it’s all different once you start talking about online dating. In the world of online dating, curvy and “few extra pounds” are understood code words for fat.

Wow, it’s a good thing I’m not dating. Curvy and having a “few extra pounds” is precisely how I’d describe myself! I am not fat, but I’m also not, by any stretch of the imagination, thin.

I guess part of the issue is that fat is subjective. To one person, a size fourteen is fat; to another that size is not. I know when I was a size fourteen I thought I was fat and would have described myself as fat.

So, tell me, are “curvy” and “few extra pounds” euphemisms for fat?

It’s in the eye of the beholder. For some, a size 0 or 2 is perfect. For others, nothing under an 8 will do.

As for online, descriptions are helpful but an accurate and flattering photo really tells the story. Digital dating has not revolutionized eons of evolution based on physical attraction.

To me, curvy means voluptuous, or a little extra padding in all the right places. A few extra pounds should mean exactly that, a few extra pounds, but in my experiences delving into and its ilk it tends means a few *dozen * extra pounds.

‘Curvy’, to me, means “isn’t slim, and looks good with it”.

‘A few extra pounds’ means “isn’t slim, and doesn’t look good with it”.

In real life, curvy means curvy and “a few extra pounds” means just that. However, on an online dating site, people tend to try and be as flattering about themselves as possible. So, curvy is overweight but still attractive to the average person. “A few extra pounds” generally is taken to mean MORE than a few extra pounds.

Anecdotal evidence: I met my fiance on yahoo!personals. In his profile, he had “a few extra pounds” or the yahoo equivalent. Since I had only seen pictures of his face, when I met him I was expecting him to be a bit heavier than he actually was. When he put “a few extra pounds” he meant it literally - just a few pounds. When most people do it, they mean it as a nice way of saying fat.

If I see or hear “curvy,” I will be intrigued enough to find out more! Curvy women are the best.

To me at least, curvy is a good thing. Paris Hilton for example is too thin and could use “a few extra pounds.” Like 20 or so strategically placed pounds. Jennifer Tilley is curvy, and also sexy as hell. Some people may think she has “a few extra pounds” (IE. slightly overweight) but IMHO she has exactly the right porportions. [Homer]Mmmm, Jennifer Tilley[/Homer]

Based on my experiences with on-line dating and personal ads, here is a helpful glossary of a few common terms:
curvy = fat
few extra pounds = fat
voluptuous = fat
zaftig = fat
plump = OMFG!!! fat
social drinker = functioning alcoholic
enjoys long walks = unemployed
likes to party = chemically-addled hosebag
thirtysomething = fiftysomething
unconventional = deeply warped

I gotta agree with you. Curvy means voluptuous to me, which is probably not “fat”. But I’d use voluptuous, it has a better feel on the tongue. And I don’t do online (or any) dating, so can’t neither confirm nor deny your friends’ interpretation.

And allow me be the first to ask: Cite?


Hmmm . . . I’m female and “voluptuous” to me means much fatter than “curvy.”

I can’t really think of any celebrities who are curvy. Perhaps Jennifer Lopez in Selena. I would not have called her voluptuous with that body; just curvy. She was also voluptuous, but in the real way - not in the personal-ad way. Starr Jones is voluptuous in the personal-ad way - think BBW.

I have often described myself as “curvy” and I want it to mean: "not stick-thin, not ‘athletic body,’ but also not huge - just curvy, with boobs and hips but also an actual waist. Not six-pack abs but not 7-months-pregnant-looking either. I would say someone from roughly around sizes 12-18 can be curvy, depending on her shape.

Classic Anna Nicole Smith (back in 1993, when she was a top model, and hot as hell) was perfectly curvy.
Jennifer Connelly, when she made The Rocketeer and Career Opportunities in the early '90s, was curvy. Not now–she has looked really skinny ever since The Hulk.
Jennifer Tilly, Rose McGowan, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez, jazz singer Jane Monheit, Food Network personality Rachael Ray… those are some curvy, sexy-as-hell women.

In real life, I don’t think curvy means fat.

I would suspect that in the online dating game, curvy means fat.

I still haven’t heard defininitively if infectious smile means herpes. Is that just an urban legend?

The extra “in” is for “infectious smile”.

I’m a female currently in the midst of the on-line dating thing, with profiles at both and the Onion personals (SpringStreet). I’m fat. The Onion personals don’t have body type descriptions: you either enter your weight or leave that field blank. has the following options:[ul][li]No Answer[/li][li]Slender[/li][li]Athletic and toned[/li][li]About average[/li][li]A few extra pounds[/li][li]Big and beautiful[/li][li]Full-figured[/li][li]Curvy[/li][li]Stocky[/li][li]Heavyset[/li][li]Other[/ul][/li]I describe myself as “a few extra pounds,” and I include two full-body pictures and one headshot. I considered going with “full-figured” for a little while, but decided that in online-dating speak “full-figured” probably equals “huge” – which I am not. :slight_smile: Nor am I “big and beautiful,” and “stocky” and “heavyset” have always seemed like words that apply to men. I recently had a “critique my profile” thread, and I asked if people thought I was misrepresenting myself by saying “a few extra pounds”: the consensus was that it was fine because I included the pictures.

I agree that “curvy” can mean “fat,” but I take it as meaning an hourglass figure – I have the top and bottom parts of an hourglass, but not the middle. :wink:

In my OD experience I’ve found that “average” can mean some extra pounds. From just a few to many. Apparently they’re thinking “Hmm, the average woman is overweight so…”

And “curvy” and “voluptuous” can be pretty much the same thing. I think most women online make the distinction between “extra pounds”(what they think is unattractive by societal standards) and curvy/voluptuous(what they discern as not thin or average but still appealing). I think some fudging of their descriptions is understandable but some don’t realize that not all men are into Barbie.

With all those choices, what the hell does “other” mean? :eek:

It’s all in how you wear it. Some ladies can be all of 160 lbs and absolute knockouts. Some can’t. “Beauty, like history, is in the eye of the beholder.”

BTW, what the hell is up with women’s sizes?

We don’t know either - I have clothes (that fit) in sizes from 8 petite through a 12. However, my male friends clothes are always the same waist and height measurements, no matter where they came from.

LOL … I don’t know, but when I do searches I never include the “other” category. :slight_smile:

I second that: I would never, ever, ever put my weight in the Onion’s sadistic little field, not because I’m trying to hide anything, but because I don’t look my weight. Whenever people guess, they come in waaay below the actual number – don’t get me wrong, I’m still obviously overweight, just not to the point you’d expect if you knew the number. So while in person I’m not all that scary-looking (honest!), on paper my height/weight numbers make me sound like Ricki Lake back in her Babycakes days. :eek: :wink:

It baffles me. I’d almost be sad to see it changed though, because it’s one of those funny cultural idiosyncracies. I don’t know why anyone puts up with it, but it’s high entertainment to watch my g/f get aggravated while trying on clothes. I’m so mean.