Why calling a woman 'thick' is not a compliment.

It’s an otherwise average Thursday, and here we sit, another rogue butt going viral.

For the uninitiated, it would appear a photo of Hilary Duff’s bum has taken reins of the internet in the last few days, with debate as to how good/very good/on-a-scale-of-zero-to-Kardashian-good her butt really is.

Not just any butt, too! Hilary Duff’s “thick” butt. Not too bony, not too big. (Thank god – who wants to see a butt that’s anything other than totally pert saturating your feed?)

The headlines have looked a little like this:

When did Hilary Duff get thick like this?

Hilary Duff’s Butt May Have Just Broken the Internet

People Have Just Realised Hilary Duff Is Thick And, Honey, They’re Living

Curves ahead! Hilary Duff shows off her bountiful backside as she shares a laugh on set

Twitter was similarly enthralled.

Aside from the particularly perverted way we have decided to make someone’s backside public property, it appears ‘thick’ is the swanky new adjective we’ve enlisted to describe the female body.

According to Buzzfeed, to be thick is to have “a nice ass, nice legs, not skinny, with meat on your bones”.

But of course. You’re not fat. You’re not skinny. You’re thick.

Take this, from Urban Dictionary – which also happens to be the same resource Buzzfeed used to come to their own conclusion about its definition.

“They have a solid body-type, big boobs, big hips, small waist, and big butt. They have a body that won’t break when you have sex. Not only do they have a body you can grab on to, but they usually have a confident personality. Thick girls are generally more real than skinny chicks, which have nothing to grab on to,” it reads, so delightfully.

(Shout out to the men who are being silently “broken” by the bodies of women during sex – you’re the real heroes.)


The term, which first wormed its way into popular culture in Missy Elliott’s 2005 song Lose Control (she sings “thick legs, in shape” to describe herself), has since morphed into its own standalone word to describe women of a certain shape.

You don’t need to love your body. Instead, here’s the argument for being “body neutral”.

But the interesting thing about how ‘thick’ is sold to us is that it’s apparently a good thing. A great thing.

Hilary Duff’s arse is thick, so Hilary Duff’s arse is good.

Take some lyrics from Drake and Nicki Minaj’s 2014 Only hit as an example. In the song, Drake compared “thick” women to BBWs (Big Beautiful Women).

She says I’m obsessed with thick women and I agree. That’s right, I like my girls BBW. The type that wanna suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you. Yeah, so thick that everybody else in the room is so uncomfortable. Ass on Houston, Texas, but the face look just like Claire Huxtable.

Make no mistake, Drake isn’t talking about “fat” here. He is talking about that happy, almost unattainable medium between skinny and fat. Fat in all the right places, skinny in the rest. The girls that – heaven forbid – eat food! But the same ones who don’t look like they’ve eaten, and the ones who very cleverly tell their body where exactly that fat will live.

Ass? Tick! Waist? Oh, honey, no.

And yet, as the internet world all but falls over itself complimenting Hilary Duff’s thick bum and shrouding their sleazy leers in flattery, no-one seems to be despairing in the fact the word ‘thick’ even exists.

To be ‘thick’ is to own just another unattainable body type on a long line of unattainable body types we’re told we should be rocking. And just because you add a different body type to a list of ideal body types doesn’t make the world any better for women or our landscape more diverse.

It’s just another thing we told we’re need to be.

Hilary Duff’s ass might be thick, and you might be all about it, but don’t kid yourself into thinking complimenting ‘thick’ women is good for all women.

It’s a strangely misguided pursuit of body positivity, it’s missing the mark almost completely.

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