So, let’s talk about “real women.” We hear this phrase a lot, often in the sense that “real women have curves” and that, by extension, skinny women are somehow not “real.” And this article from the Sydney Morning Herald articulates the problem:
Women have been caught in a pointless feedback loop as we debate what does and doesn’t constitute ”real women”. That the bulk of it is a marketing strategy – Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty, which sold a lot of fake-tanner, is a case in point – appears to have flown over most people’s heads….
In the majority of cases, ”real” is code for ”average” or ”normal”, but perhaps more insidiously, ”anything but skinny”. As Dye’s response has demonstrated, women who – whether by luck or long hours in the gym – more closely resemble media ideals of beauty are not considered ”real”. Slim women such as [model Jennifer] Hawkins are not allowed to be positive body image role models because their bodies don’t look like most women’s.
Thin women are often in a position of privilege, particularly thin white women, and we can’t ignore that. However, the whole “eat a sandwich, I’m a real woman!” dialogue is damaging in its own way. It keeps women running after and policing each other in a little circle of body obsession, while men get to go off and run the world. And that’s why it has to stop.
Thanks to Jenfu for the link!
Posted by mo pie