Why ‘Real Women’ Shouldn’t Be Told What To Look Like

We’ve heard it a million times: “Real women have curves.”

This statement is an absolute lie, and it is skinny-shaming.

I am sure that those who have made this phase famous didn’t have bad intentions. My guess is this sentiment is in response to the incessant declarations from the media that women have to be skinny. Very skinny. The goal of being a size 0 is unattainable for many women. This leaves ladies frustrated and embarrassed, desperate to do anything to be beautiful, sexy and desirable which leads to eating disorders, dangerous dieting practices, and a smorgasbord of exercise fads being marketed to women. Women are sick of this. I understand.

I have always had to work very hard to maintain a healthy weight. I say no to most delicious treats that are offered to me, and I have spent many, many hours in the gym since I was a teen. I don’t eat burgers; I eat spinach. I don’t sit still and watch Netflix; I do squats and watch Netflix. Still, my hips haven’t seen a size 0 since… well… ever. So when I see super thin models being paraded as beautiful, sexy and desirable I too start wondering if my body is good enough. Let’s be real for a second: I start wondering if a man will want my butt or my thighs or my stomach. This is all very exhausting. So, in a way, I can commiserate with those who created the comeback: “Real women have curves.” Except I think the concept entirely dangerous, unfair, and untrue.

On the other side of the spectrum are women who shovel food into their faces and still can’t gain enough weight to make their clothing fit right because their metabolisms are so fast. Some women genetically don’t have curvy hips, and some women genetically were given flat chests. These women do not have any curves. But they are real women too.

Whenever we portion out a group of women and call them “real,” we are entering very dangerous territory. We become exclusive. This is negative in any aspect. Fat shaming and skinny shaming are the same thing: shaming.

So let’s get down the heart of the matter:

Question: Who are “real women”?

Answer: Women – each and every one of them.

Tall, short, average. Fat, skinny, in between. Large chest, small chest, fake chest, no chest. Heavier on the bottom, heavier on the top. Big feet, little feet. Eyes of all shapes, hair of all colors and textures, skin of every shade.

All women are “real women.”

So instead of fighting exclusive ideas with more exclusive ideas, let’s throw them all out the window! We are women. We are beautiful, sexy, and desirable not because of our body type, but because we are who we are. No particular body shape makes us “real,” ladies. “Real” is our birthright.

Feature Image from Dove

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