Jezebel points out that Scott Schuman a.k.a. "The Sartorialist" faced a bit of commenter backlash on his namesake website after posting photographs of fashion blogger Angelica Ardasheva along with the adjective "curvy." You can see the images here.
Schuman wrote, "I loved that she's a bigger, curvier girl than most of the other bloggers who you see in the press and tend to represent the genre," adding, "The subtle thing she achieves so successfully in these two looks is to complement the sturdy but beautiful shape of her legs with an equally strong shoe."
The entry garnered over a thousand responses, such as:
Your patronising comments on her style, calling her 'bigger', 'curvier' and back handed compliment on her dress sense just serve to further alienate readers who are not a sample size, which I would assume is the larger portion of your audience.
I find the words chosen to describe this obviously fit and slim woman inaccurate, rude and offensive. You wield enormous influence in the fashion world and on women's perception of what is or is not the norm. Please, choose your words when describing people's shapes and sizes as carefully as you choose your subjects.
regardless of her size, i find it unnecessary for you to comment on it. i have never seen you address how some tiny little waif did a kick-ass job of camouflaging her protruding clavicles.
On the other hand, there were a bunch of readers who didn't see an issue, leaving remarks like:
if a duck is a duck, you call it a duck. scott did not write anything offensive here.
i am a woman with a very similar body type, if not more curvy, and find it hard it exhausting how badly everyone is taking your comments. i don't see what you said as offensive, if anything i think the fact that you said you loved it is being overlooked. it must be hard to comment on a woman's body type at all with all of us feeling constant personal evaluation.
Schuman eventually added an update to his post reading:
A number of the commenters are upset by the word "curvy." They feel I should have used the word "normal." However, normal is relative. There is a young lady on my team who is 5'0", and another who is 5'9". Which would be "normal"?
Remember, curvy is a body shape, not a weight. To be honest, you can't really see in these photographs most of the curves - chest, stomach, hip - this woman has.
And the woman, herself, seemingly had no problem with it, writing on her own blog: "i just can say that i never felt hurt.i think i have a normal body neither fat nor thin,curvy is ok,of course my body was pretty different fro the other girls where around there,wheter they are models,editors,bloggers of whatever,I was taller and more...curvy! but I did not mind at all."
So if she doesn't mind, should we?