Friday, October 21, 2011

"Real" Women

Recently a picture has been circulating on Facebook that has provoked some very intense feelings in many people. It is a comparison of two very different body types, in two very different times. Some look at it and agree wholeheartedly with the attached caption, some partially agree but have other thoughts to add to it, and others are vehemently against the implied message.

I fall somewhere in there; perhaps a mix of all three.

I suppose that it would largely depend on who you are as to which camp you would fall into. Perhaps you are a person that really does prefer a woman on the very thin side. Maybe you're one who craves a little more meat on a woman. 

What I'd like to address mostly is a comment which I've seen people post when they see this picture:

REAL women have curves!

Do they? Is there a rule book somewhere that dictates that the only way you can be considered a "real" woman is to have curves? I've not seen one, and I challenge anyone to show me such a thing. And if there is, what constitutes curves? Again, you have to rely pretty heavily on public opinion as to what curves are considered "proper" curves to make up the aforementioned "real" woman. 

I used to be one of those people saying "Real women have curves". Every time someone skinny looked my way and commented, rudely or otherwise, I would bring out the old catchphrase as if it were a shield that could protect me against the world. 

I used to be quite comfortable in saying "Men don't want stick insects that are going to break, they want something with a bit of meat on their bones". 

I used to be......ignorant. 

Plain and simple ignorance. 

Every time you say "a REAL woman has curves", you are implying that those women who don't, aren't. Every time you utter that one simple phrase, you are doing exactly the same thing to those women that many have done to you when they comment on your weight. 

One of the guys who originally shared that picture, and whose name still shows under it with each share, is a father. When he posted it, he added the comment:

I would hate for my daughter to grow up thinking she is supposed to look like a stick 

I can understand that, I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking she HAS to be SKINNY either. Society places a certain pressure on women to be a certain size, that isn't necessarily appropriate for every woman's body type. But that's a post for another time. 

When I re-posted that picture, I did so with the disclaimer that I was NOT talking about women who are genetically predisposed to being very thin. I have a couple of friends who fit into that category and yes, they are very thin and next to me look like waifs, but NO they are not anorexic/bulimic, NO they do not need to "go eat a burger", NO they are not starving themselves. Actually a couple of them can out eat me!

When I re-posted that picture with my agreement that "this is more attractive than this", I was referring to those women that you see on many of the fashion runways and magazines nowadays. The women with bones jutting out everywhere and sunken faces. 

There is a difference between the two. There is a vast difference between the way your body is meant to be and the way that some women starve and overwork themselves to MAKE their bodies appear. 

**Don't get me wrong, I realize that anorexia & bulimia are horrible diseases and CLEARLY I have never suffered from either. I wish that women didn't feel the pressures that they do to look a certain way that pushed them to those points. **

Real women. 

What are they?

Are real women curvy? Are real women straight up and down with boyish figures? Are real women very thin or very muscly?

Real women? They're just women. All body types, all shapes and sizes and colours and ethnicities. 

Real women are everywhere. 

Re-define REAL. 

Change the way your mind works, change the things you say. Telling a thin woman that "real women have curves" or that she needs to "go eat a burger" are just as hurtful as telling an overweight woman that she's "gross" or needs to "staple that stomach".

We'll talk about re-defining sexy another time, but for now...go hug a REAL woman. Find the closest woman and give her a hug because no matter what she looks like, she's real. 


Come "Like" my Facebook Page and get updates, fun stuff and the chance to win things! Click HERE!


  1. Brilliant!

    (sorry my account is going haywire and can't log in, but you don't me anyway. Catherine)

  2. so true! i agree with this wholeheartedly.
    and, by the way, i would never want my daughter thinking she has to grow up with "curves" (aka shapely hips, nice round butt, small waist, big boobs) EITHER. because that's what the "ideal" REALLY is.
    i was an incredibly disordered eater in high school, but not because i wanted to be as skinny as a runway model. i wanted to have the "perfect" body (slender, but shapely).
    and you know, i could have starved myself down to runway model size. but the "perfect" measurements weren't going to just magically appear out of nowhere. not without plastic surgery.
    so, really, people need to stop attacking the whole "runway-model-skinny" thing. not only because 1. some women just LOOK LIKE THAT naturally and yes, they are women too, but 2. that's hardly a threat anymore. let's stop telling our young women that they need to be CURVY, slender, but FIT, and highly sexualized like beyonce or scarlett johansen, etc etc.

  3. Great post.
    I will be a "real" women when I feel healthy, fit and comfortable with myself. It doesn't matter how others perceive me. It's all to do with how I perceive myself.

  4. Real women, like real men, come in a million shapes, sizes, and colors, and they are all beautiful. Glad to see you writing again.

  5. Found your blog through Skinny Emmie & particularly loved this post. I wrote on my blog about the same topic (or a close one, the thing that was making the rounds on Facebook about "Mermaids vs Whales) and the whole issue of obese women calling themselves curvy, what makes a woman "real," etc. recently myself. Looking forward to reading more of what you have to say.

  6. WEll said Chick!
    Certainly made me think about that issue.

  7. Naturally skinny boy here, late to the party, but you've summed it up very well. People shouldn't feel a need to choose sides. They should just be themselves.

    Props to you!