According the Oxford English Dictionary, the term voluptuous is used when describing the gratification of the senses in a luxurious manner. Deriving from the Latin root voluptas, which essentially means pleasure, the adjective voluptuous was used when noting when a desire was fulfilled or satisfied1. However, it was only until the early 1800s where this definition began to transform. The definition of the word voluptuous was beginning to be associated with the beauty of the female body, especially with the curvaceous aspects. Nowadays, the connotations that hang on to this word revolve around the idea of sexual fulfillment through the curves and proportions of the female body2.
The ideal body shape for women has constantly varied throughout human history. In certain cultures, men are more attracted towards oversized women while in others, they desire a leaner partner. In fact, in many cultures, the notion of fertility would often be reflected in the female’s structure. The size of her bust, waist and hips should accommodate the child’s needs. Men would want a partner with wider hips in order to bear healthy children. The Hourglass body shape is known to be one of the most appealing figures in today’s society. It is most lush in the bust and hip areas and slimmer around the waist and upper abdomen3. Due to this proportionality, it resembles an hourglass which is also one of the most curvaceous body shapes. The hourglass figure is truly the epitome of the word voluptuous.
In today’s hip hop culture, voluptuous women are heavily discussed in their lyrics. Despite the fact that these lyrics associate themselves with strippers and pole dancers, these artists learn to praise the entire female body as it is. From the curves of her hair to the curves of her legs, without a doubt there’s a desire for a curvaceous figure. Not to mention, in reggae dance hall music, the voluptuous body is highly regarded since it can wine (a particular dance that solely depends upon the rotation of the hips) much more effectively. The uses of the word voluptuous tend to carry positive connotations. When you want to find the right word to describe an appealing, juicy apple, using the word voluptuous would be appropriate. Even the pronunciation of the word voluptuous is voluptuous itself. The bending of the tongue and the folding of the lips when enunciating this word, feels quite rich and full of vitamins, like if you were to bite into an apple. We all strive to live fruitful lives while we attempt to satisfy our pleasures and achieve our goals. Even though it might impossible to completely gratify our desires, we can still live voluptuous lives.
1 "voluptuous, adj.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://oed.com/view/Entry/224588?redirectedFrom=voluptuous& (accessed November 20, 2012).
2 Nichol, . Daily Writing Tips, "5 Words Caught in Semantic Drift." Last modified 2012. http://www.dailywritingtips.com/5-words-caught-in-semantic-drift/Accessed November 20, 2012.
3 McCormmack, . The Independant, "The shape of things to wear: scientists identify how women's figures have changed in 50 years." Last modified 2005. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-shape-of-things-to-wear-scientists-identify-how-womens-figures-have-changed-in-50-years-516259.html.Accessed November 20, 2012.