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I am not fat, but I'm also not, by any stretch of the imagination, thin.
So, curvy is overweight but still attractive to the average person. In his profile, he had "a few extra pounds" or the yahoo equivalent.
"A few extra pounds" generally is taken to mean MORE than a few extra pounds. Since I had only seen pictures of his face, when I met him I was expecting him to be a bit heavier than he actually was.
I was chatting with a few gals a few minutes ago and we were talking about how we'd describe ourselves on an online dating site (one of them is single, the remaining three--including yours truly--are married). They ALL said, Urban Chic, you cannot describe yourself as curvy online, because online curvy means fat! One of the gals who I estimate to be a size sixteen, at least, said her size is what people conjure up when they hear the word curvy.
They insisted that, while I might be "curvy", I'm not curvy.
They agreed, but said that it's all different once you start talking about online dating.
In the world of online dating, curvy and "few extra pounds" are understood code words for fat. Curvy and having a "few extra pounds" is precisely how I'd describe myself!
I considered going with "full-figured" for a little while, but decided that in online-dating speak "full-figured" probably equals "huge" -- which I am not.
Nor am I "big and beautiful," and "stocky" and "heavyset" have always seemed like words that apply to men.
Conversely, you can be a size eighteen and not be curvy (think linebacker shaped). Curvy means voluptuous to me, which is probably not "fat". She was also voluptuous, but in the real way - not in the personal-ad way.
But I'd use voluptuous, it has a better feel on the tongue. Starr Jones is voluptuous in the personal-ad way - think BBW.
You can be a size four and be curvy (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Halle Berry are thin and curvy).