I was going through my newsfeed on Facebook a couple of days ago when a status caught my mind. It read : 'Real Women have curves, deal with it'. And although I do advocate the normalcy of all shapes and sizes in women, somehow the phrase 'Real Women' is something that infuriates me (If you've never seen me angry and would like to, saying this phrase will suffice to unleash my inner Caitlin Moran and end up with both of us yelling at each other).
Girls, there is no such thing as a real woman. Curves don't make you real. Boobs, fat rolls and a big ass don't make you real, just as a size 0 doesn't make you real either. In fact, there is no such thing as 'real' woman. 'Realness' is a clever 21st century marketing concept. And the first problem with this 'realness' idea is that it is a divisive one. If you don't have curves, you're not real, and thus you are fake. Worse, you don't exist -I mean, you're not even real! And to be honest, I feel that there is nothing worse than being reduced to nothingness because of the way my body is. Yes, I know that some girls mean well by trying to subvert the unattainable ideal of a size 0 to another ideal, but what they end up doing is the same : setting an ideal of beauty, of femininity and realness. And this leads to shunning others who are not part of this 'curvy girls group' (and by curvy, I mean Scarlett Johansson curvy. Fat is not curvy. Obese is not curvy. Don't try to make things prettier. Being fat and obese are medical issues that affect your health, they're not a fashion statement).
I am all for raising the self-esteem of women of all shapes (and yes, skinny girls have body issues as well, self-esteem doesn't necessarily increase as your weight line drops, this is not an economic graph), but telling someone what their ideal of beauty - even worse, what their ideal of being a 'woman' and being real is the most vile thing one can do in the beauty industry- and god knows it's a big industry. Yes, I am aware that this happens on a daily basis throughout the media, but take a time to think next time you hear something along the lines of 'Real women have/are...'. No one holds the power to dictate your way of thinking and your way of seeing yourself. Concepts of realness are vapid and not supported by any valid arguments. Women's bodies are commodified through this 'real women' phrase and it suggests you have no power over your own ideals and beliefs, when really, you do.
Real women ......identify as women.
Ps: this picture is to be taken as seriously as the sentence 'Real women have curves'