The hashtag #loveyourcurves went viral during the pandemic. The idea was to fall in love with your bodies in isolation. The pandemic has changed our relationship with our bodies. Sociologist, author and former plus-size model, Dr. Amanda M. Czerniawski, in her book, Fashioning Fat: Inside Plus Modelling, says, 'Plus-size women claimed their space in the social media landscape by self-initiating hashtag campaigns to raise brand awareness for fledgling virtual boutiques and promote body positivity.' Czerniawski is professor in Sociology, affiliated faculty in the Gender, Sexuality and Womens Studies Program at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.Curves are to flaunt. Curves are beautiful. 'Over the past few years, curves have, indeed, dominated media. It is becoming a big movement. Social media is giving these women an outlet,' Czerniawski says. 'The rise of hashtag campaigns on Instagram and Twitter coincides with the decline in influence of mainstream magazines and traditional advertising campaigns. People today consume and engage with fashion in multiple formats that include personal style blogs and platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. As media space shifts from the printed page and billboards to digital files on scrolling feeds, social media, and influencer marketing open fashion to those who do not fit the traditional model mold. This allows for more diverse representations of bodies.'Celebrating CurvesThe love your curves movement attempts to overhaul the image of the larger woman as homely and unattractive and replace it with one that they believe is, sexy and desirable. There's an attempt to break with conventional stereotypes. The love your curves movement is freedom from self-perceived flaws, shame and trying to cover up the curves. 'We can now also reimagine beauty, promote greater bodily self-acceptance, and place greater emphasis on the functional capabilities of our bodies than appearance. I dont want us to simply be OK with our bodies. I want us to love and value them for how much it helps us accomplish,' Czerniawski quips. 'Lets look at one example of the 'curvy' phenomenon in media. Since 2015, Sports Illustrated, has taken steps to diversify the models included in its annual swimsuit issue. These models, by way of posing, expose their sensual curves. Their flesh is exposed; plus-size models have appeared topless, in only body paint, or completely naked. The truth is that women, including plus-size ones, are sexualized objects subject to the male gaze. The only progress made around the conversation over beauty and body positivity is that of inclusivity more types of bodies are now worthy of objectification.'Body Acceptability!We see body acceptability as a changing narrative. Contemporary standards of feminine beauty have devolved to a point that can only be described as impossible to naturally attain, which leads to high levels of body shame. We see the rise of what some are calling the postmodern beauty. The message is that women should be skinny, but healthy; they should have large breasts and a large butt, but a cinched, flat stomach. Czerniawski points out, 'A negative understanding of the fat body not only dominates the flurry of images inhabiting the media landscape, but also manifests itself as weight bias in everyday lived experience. As empirical studies have shown in detail, we equate fatness with a lack of self-discipline, laziness, and even stupidity. Experimental studies on weight bias point to the pervasiveness of negative attitudes toward fat in multiple settings including employment (with the fat wage penalty), education, healthcare, and the media, which impact the impressions and expectations others have for fat individuals. There is a movement to combat this body shaming.'Is notion of 'ideal' body really a myth? 'Standards of beauty and the 'ideal' body have changed dramatically. During the first half of the twentieth century, life insurance companies were instrumental in categorizing bodies and raising public awareness of the dangers of obesity. They created height and weight tables that established the notion of 'underweight,' 'overweight,' and 'normal' weight categories. In 1998, the federal government shifted the boundaries between normal and overweight, and an estimated 29 million Americans were redefined as overweight, overnight. There is no absolute, measurable definition of the 'ideal' body,' Czerniawski explains.In her own way, through extensive research, Dr. Amanda M. Czerniawski is bringing a quiet revolution and making body acceptability the new normal.HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCurvesDayNational Curves Day on the second Wednesday in October, falls on October 13 this year. There are several ways to participate in the celebration of your curves: Wear something RED on the second Wednesday of October Share your favourite styles with flair. Stop body shaming. It takes a lot to feel comfortable in our own skin theres no room for stigma about our bodies. Share a selfie on social using #NationalCurvesDay, #DapperBomber, or #CurvyBombshell rocking your red to show support.