‘Sometimes my husband forgives me or even praises me for my curves or lungs’

An Instagram post of a man praising his curvy wife has gone viral. Tara Flynn has some thoughts

Curvy2leadpic

Don’t laugh: curves are brave these days. Not just for the bearers of the curves. Even being curves adjacent is worthy of applause. File photograph: Getty Images

 

I’ve never been the kind of woman you could slide through a letter slot, but I remember the first time I realised that my husband saw me as more than a set of geometrical shapes.

We were in a north London beer garden, one of those sticky days where you just want to take your curves outside and get some air on them, while drinking and eating barbecue. “Pass the salt, please, honey,” he said. My curvy jaw fell to my ample chest. We hadn’t been dating long, but it was the first time I saw that he understood that my limbs were functional and attached to me for non-decorative reasons.

In that moment, I realised I loved this man.

It was a turning point. He was able to take a moment off from assessing me for shape and to appraise my body as he might his own: as a sort of suit for doing things with, like passing salt, just as if my shape didn’t matter at all. In that moment, I realised I loved this man.

I was reminded of that moment this week when a brave man wrote an Instagram post about his curvy wife. She is so lucky that her (lovely) body is not shunned by him, but rather celebrated on the internet, for brownie points no one should need.

I’m lucky, like that woman, although there are whole days where my husband doesn’t mention that I’ll never be in Cosmopolitan but never mind because he loves me anyway!

Sometimes he forgives or even praises me for my curves or my lungs or my ankles or something and I can’t even . . . He doesn’t even judge me for needing somewhere to keep my organs. There are days where I’m not a straight line and he doesn’t leave me and I’m like, “wow!”

If someday we do part and it’s not because of geometry, I won’t know where to look. I won’t know what went wrong. I’ll have to get a set square and a protractor to work out what went wrong, just so I have the right kind of graphs to show a relationship counsellor. They won’t even see you without them, you know.

I’ll have to ask myself some hard questions, on carefully ruled paper: Did I throw the wrong kind of shadow? Was I thicker than somebody in America said I should have been? Was I thick in the wrong places? Like, is it okay that my earlobes are chunky? Did I generate too high a waterline in the bath? And all this time we were working out lots of other stressful issues, was he just too brave, too gallant to mention the strain my imperfection was putting him under?

But screw that noise, he loves her anyway. Somebody knight this man.

Other men made fun of that Tripp guy’s love of real-life women and instead of telling them where to go, he turned it around: not only was their opinion important, he was ground-breaking in his approach to seeing his wife as a person. Substandard, by their standards, sure. Lumpy. Imperfect. Not a straight line. But screw that noise, he loves her anyway. Somebody knight this man. Just make sure it’s a straight sword.

“If this were a fair world, there’d be a Nobel prize for treating people like they’re not drawings or theorems.” Photograph: Getty Images
“If this were a fair world, there’d be a Nobel prize for treating people like they’re not drawings or theorems.” Photograph: Getty Images

If this were a fair world, there’d be a Nobel prize for treating people like they’re not drawings or theorems. It’s a bold, innovative approach. If you were already doing this, give yourself a pat on the back . . . if you can. Those pesky curves might get in the way, so look out.

The only trouble is that – with breasts back “in” this year (this is a problem, mine definitely go “out”) – what’s deemed desirable is always changing. I’m not sure how the gallant knights will keep up. What will happen when women don’t just have to be straight lines? That’s already unattainable for most.

What happens when the fashion is to be transparent? Or to be liquid at room temperature? Or when we’re required to be triangles, octagons, or a pile of iron filings? Don’t laugh: curves are brave these days. Not just for the bearers of the curves. Even being curves adjacent is worthy of applause. “First, they came for the curve bearers, and I said nothing because I was a straight line.” Well, you’re lucky. For now. But look out, because I can’t help but feel that the days of the iron filings are nigh.

This can be the only reason he never mentions these things

Today, I’m just grateful that, as a fellow non-straight-line female, I’ve managed to find a mate who loves me despite this shortcoming. He doesn’t crow about it on the internet, almost as if this were a normal way to relate to someone you love, but I’ll work on him.

I’ll use my fleshly thighs to pin him down, my back-in-fashion-though-over-the-hill breasts to distract him; I’ll hypnotise him using wrinkles, stretch marks and other ravages of time. This can be the only reason he never mentions these things or writes Insta posts about them. Almost as if he acknowledges that unrealistic expectations for a body are nothing to do with the relationship a body finds itself in. Or maybe my brain is curvy, too, and I literally can’t think straight.

My breasts and I have never wanted chips more than this week. With lashings and lashings of salt, for which I’ll reach with my own wobbly arms.

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