She Has Thighs!

Guest post by Molls

Standing in front of a high-end lingerie store in the city center, my (male, American) companion was tilting his head and staring at the approximately 10 foot tall advertisement featuring a busty blonde in lacy black bra and panties. I chided him for ogling and he looked at me, confused. “She’s got thighs,” he exclaimed with a smile. And it was true…the blonde woman in the ad was downright curvy.

I expected a lot of things to be different in The Netherlands. I knew the cars would be smaller, the weather would be drearier, and the cheese would be tastier. I didn’t expect the lingerie models to be larger.

I found this especially interesting, since it appeared to me that Dutch women were actually smaller than American women. I have only seen four or five very obese people since I’ve been here. The statistics back me up. In The Netherlands, according to the The Institute of Health Sciences, 51% of adults males are overweight, with 10% classified as obese. 42% of adult females are overweight, with 12% classified as obese. According to the CDC, in the US, 72.3% of adult males are overweight, with 32.2% classified as obese and 64.1% of adult women are overweight with 35.5% classified as obese. (These statistics are based on BMI, which I’m not suggesting is an accurate measure of obesity, but serves as a useful comparative measure.)

You would think that if 64.1% of your potential customer base was overweight, we’d see a lot fewer models which look like this:

Photo: Victoria’s Secret

and more who look like this:

Photo: Hunkmoller

While I realize the model from Hunkmoller isn’t exactly plus-sized, she is quite a bit more curvy than the Victoria’s Secret model. Her thighs even touch! *Gasp*

And she’s not the only one. It seems as though all of the lingerie ads I see in The Netherlands depict women who a lot less than prepubescent boys than the American models do.

Not-So-Curvy                                                   Curvy
Photo: Fredrick’s Of Hollywood Photo: Sapph

I can’t understand why. Shouldn’t Dutch advertisements reflect the smallness of the population? Shouldn’t the American advertisements reflect the largeness of the population?

A number of feminists have argued that the American obsession with thinness is an example of the patriarchy exerting control over women. It’s an argument I find compelling. Does that mean that the Dutch patriarchy is less controlling? Dutch men prefer larger women?  Frankly, I have no idea what the reason is.

However, if I’m going to be subject to giant billboards of scantily-clad women, I’d certainly prefer they look like this:

rather than this:

This entry was posted in Caterwauling About The Patriarchy, Standards of Beauty, With A Little Help From My Friends. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. FernsNo Gravatar
    Posted June 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    “Shouldn’t Dutch advertisements reflect the smallness of the population? Shouldn’t the American advertisements reflect the largeness of the population?”

    Um. The Dutch advertising *does* reflect the smallness of the population. Those women are small!

    I would venture a guess that it is more about a different attitude towards women’s sexuality in the Netherlands (and Europe as a whole) vs the US rather than having any relevance to reflecting an overweight population, or not.


  2. MollsNo Gravatar
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 6:04 am | Permalink


    My point, however, is that, advertisements in the Netherlands depict larger women despite having a smaller (by size) female population than the US does. I realize that the women in Dutch advertisements aren’t “plus-sized” (a point which I note in my piece.)

    I’m not sure I understand your point about a “different attitude towards women’s sexuality as a whole.” I agree that the attitude is much, much different here (and, in my opinion, better) but I’m not sure how that would influence the size of lingerie models.

  3. Ashly StarNo Gravatar
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Those women aren’t “large” by any means. Sure, they’re larger than the super skinny models used in most American advertising so of course in comparison, the Dutch look larger. Once you stop comparing them side by side, she’s just an average sized woman.

    The problem here is Americans are so used to the idea of “small” just being super slender, sculpted and very lean/athletic looking bodies. So when you see a perfectly average sized curvy girl that’s not big by any means, she seems big in comparison to what you’re used to seeing.

    In my opinion, thinking ads should reflect the size of the population is silly anyway. Saying the Dutch should have smaller models in their ads only promotes the image that the ideal woman should look like that. Which is why so many people in the US feel bad for being curvy, chubby or anything less than thin because so many feel they need to be that smaller size that’s constantly shown everywhere because that’s what’s beautiful and accepted.

    I’m not trying to be a bitch or trash the post because I think it’s a great post for the most part. I just wish people would stop focusing so much on body image and what they should look like and just focus on being happy and healthy without worrying about what the rest of the world thinks. It would also be nice if companies used people of all shapes, sizes, races etc to do their advertising with.

    • MollsNo Gravatar
      Posted June 30, 2011 at 4:03 am | Permalink

      I certainly wasn’t trying to suggest that the Dutch advertisements depicted women of all sizes. Perhaps I didn’t make that point clear enough. My only interest was in the difference between the sizes of the models in the US and the Netherlands vs. the difference between the size of women in the US and the Netherlands.

  4. EastCoastSteffNo Gravatar
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    People always find it funny when I tell them how uncomfortable about my weight/curves I am with them. I used to be one of those waify women who look like a ten year old boy. Then I hit 26 and put on 50lbs. I have more than enough tits and ass at this point and I’m self conscious about it, but reading well articulated articles like this really just make me want to rock my curves loud and proud. Thank you.

One Trackback

  1. By She’s Got Thighs! « Neamhspleachas on June 29, 2011 at 4:40 am

    [...] I’ve got a guest post up at Brit’s blog. Check it out! [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe without commenting

  • This site contains adult content and is not intended for anyone under the age of 18. Under 18? Click here:


  • Britni TheVadgeWig

    PhotobucketI'm Britni, a snarky bitch and generally awesome person. I write about sex, love, and bullshit. If sex-positivity, discussions about BDSM and kink, queer issues, and topics that are completely inappropriate by society's standards make you uncomfortable, then this blog is not for you.
    Photobucket Photobucket
  • Because I Am a Shameless, Broke-Ass Bitch

    All donations are welcome, of course! You can always buy me something off my wishlist, as well.

  • Get Yourself Off

    Good Vibes PinkCherry Sex Toys Love yourself. Everyday. Tickle. Photobucket ER-150x250-1a_3 / JT's Stockroom
  • Photobucket
  • See My Writing At

    Photobucket Photobucket
  • Watch Them Get Off

    visit Photobucket visit
  • The What

  • The Who

  • Go Back In Time