In which we take a brief respite from shilling my work as a young adult author to consider body image issues and representations thereof in the popular culture.

So, one of Noah’s favorite bloggers, Scott Schuman (aka The Sartorialist), has come under fire  for his descriptions  of an atypically “full-figured” model. The Gloss has links to the full story, including a hilarious slideshow of ironic captions.

On his blog, Schuman responded to the criticism with a genuine query:

So help me understand; what is the modern way to speak about size? I’m not married to the word curvy. I’m just trying to describe her in the best way I know how. Let’s not hide from this issue; I don’t want to be afraid to talk about it on my blog. Help me describe this young lady without using the word “normal,” but in a way that addresses her body size and still references my point about the size of her legs relative to her shoes.

And The Gloss admits, “He raises a fair point that we seem to bury compliments of not- skinny women in what  comes off as a strangely back-handed supposition that their bodies typically aren’t beautiful. As if we can only find curvaceous women beautiful in spite of their curvaceousness,” concluding, “…It seems like a waste of outrage to direct it at someone who was genuine in his praise of a stylish, pretty young woman, if not mistaken in how to say so.”

I think I agree.

Yeah…I think I do. That women’s bodies are a source of public debate at all is an issue, but not one he created, and that deficiency of our vocabulary is something we should all give some thought to. Right?

But what say you?