Wednesday, 6 June 2012

We are all real

Notice my new widget. It is brought to you from Brittany at Va-Voom Vintage and can be found here. She wrote a post yesterday on a subject that has cropped up again and again in blogs for a while, on what is a “real” woman. There is Facebook memes and similar that totes that a curvy woman should somehow be better than, more real, than a skinny one. I can, sort of, see what this is coming from. We live in a society where media totes one body type, the very slim one, as the ideal. An ideal that many women just can’t live up to. Then it’s a bit a relief to look at Marilyn Monroe or Christina Hendricks or Nigella Lawson and say- Look, these women are bigger than the usual model and they are beautiful. I look at these women and think so. I love that there are blogs out there, like Brittany’s, written by women with bodies that are similar to mine. I really love that.

BUT (and you can this is a big but)

The fact that I love that there a woman visible in media and the Net that I can relate to does not mean that other body types aren’t valid or less real. They are. And, actually, it is perfectly possible to think people with another body types than your own are beautiful. It doesn’t mean you are jealous, it doesn’t mean that you secretly wish for it and it doesn’t diminish what you feel for your own body. Thin, slim, average, curvy, stout, plump, whatever, all real, all attractive, in their own way.

And, when the curvy is held as an ideal against the skinny, it is still two idealized female bodies that the focus are on. All women aren’t shaped like hourglasses, no matter their weight. In fact, most women are not, as the hourglass is rather rare. We are still not seeing the pear-shaped or apple-shaped woman. Very few of us have perfect bodies and I don’t want to, and I won’t, put myself down because I don’t have the figure media tells me that I ought to have, but I won’t put anyone else down either!

Some blogs that have already said it
What a real woman look like, Va-Voom Vintage

Just the way you are…, The Musings of A Pinup Mama

Getting “Real”, Diary of a Vintage Girl

Real Thighs - What do thighs really look like? Can we love our own?, Rockalilly Cuts

Om kroppsligt motstånd, Modet i svepningar. In Swedish, but well worth putting through Google translation!


Bunny Moreno said...

Great post and I too like to see women of all sorts of shapes out there modeling. I think the industry has hurt the image of women a tad bit by just protraying thin women as models and therefore telling us only thin women are attractive. With that being sad, I think its good to remind ourselves once in a while that women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful in their own way and I think there is a need to celebrate that. The reality is that our bodies change so much in our lifetimes-we need to embrace that and love it as it is. I hope we continue to unite on this subject and perhaps, just perhaps the media will take notice!

Btw, thank you for including me in your blog post!!!

xox Bunny

Tickety Boo Tupney - A Dash OF Worcester Sauce. said...

Great Post! There have always been and always will be different shapes and sizes... Any woman who is healthy and happy and whatever her shape of size is a 'real' woman!

Tupney xxx

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I seem to be the only woman who speaks up when, on Facebook, a number of my friends start posting those godawful 'this is better than' memes. I try to point out the problems using logic, but it often falls on deaf ears. So to speak.

Finally, some others started posting about it, feeling the way I do. Pitting women against each other on the basis of body types... women cannot allow it.

Brittany_Va-VoomVintage said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this! Us ladies need to stick together and support each other :) *hugs*

LollyWillowes said...

I find all this so strange, I come from a culture where all this nonsense just did not exist although I fear things are changing now and not for the better. We had other things to concern us than weight, as long as one was healthy it was all that mattered.
I hate all this narcissistic obsessing over looks. Yes, we all like to look attractive and all that but it is being taken too far now.

Second Hand Rose said...

Fabulous post! I don't know why us women just can't accept that we are all different shapes and sizes! I am by no means fat, but I do have big hips for my size. My mum and sister does too. I hate that I see these 'curvy' models and then it is reported that there hips are 34inches! No size should be picked on or discriminated, I wish we could all just be happy with our size. Blogs like yours posting about subjects like this are certainly a step forward. XxxX

Anonymous said...

Well, honestly, after having been discriminated for my "over"weight for almost all my life, I must say, that I feel not particularly compassionate if the skinny ones get picked on a little bit, too.
It is still a social fact that slender people get better jobs and higher wages, that they are looked upon as strong, fit and target-oriented - as opposed to overweight people being regarded as weak, undetermined, inconsequential, unsuitable for leadership ... you name it.
Yes, I think women of all (ok, most) sizes and body shapes are beautiful, but let's be hones, this is still not the zeitgeist and if the public image of female beauty is ever going to chance, the balance has to swing the other way first.

Solander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Solander said...

Word. I think there are two issues at stake her: first, it's obviously wrong to blame thin women for skinny beauty ideals and to call them ugly, unattractive, unnatural or anything else of the kind. Second, I feel it's so "cheap" to put up "skinny" (and often very young) models against "curvy" pinups and moviestars of the past, since the latter is most definitely a contemporary beauty ideal too, and perhaps even a more commonly held one, outside the narrow world of fashion. Most people find fashion models overly thin, and most people find supposedly "large" or "curvy" celebrities like Joan of Mad Men attractive, so that's certainly no controversial, politically correct, moral stance - just a lazy majority opinion, too often backed up by social darwinist nonsense about wide hips and big breasts signalling fertility... I mean, come on, those "curvy" pinups are not at all "large" - they're still very slim with really small waists. A more controversial, and therefore perhaps slightly more "ethical", ideal would be for example truly large women, or not-so-large women naturally lacking "curves" (with belly fat instead of butt/hip/thigh fat, small breasts etc), extremely muscular women or unfeminine/queer/trans women. But of course it's extremely distasteful to pit body types against each other at all.

Isis said...

I just realized that I will have next to no time for online activities until Monday and here I have a lot of things to respond to. So just a short to say that I will get back to you after the weekend!

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