Recently the concept of a “real woman” has been getting a lot of attention in the social media world. While society has undeniably promoted thin as an ideal in the past, more and more social media platforms like instagram, tumblr, and pintrest are being flooded with memes focused on the idea that “curvy women are real women”. While the intent may be to promote societal acceptance of a curvier physique and highlight that slim is not the only beautiful body shape, this statement is actually guilty of body shaming.
Here are some examples of the gems that have been floating around the internets recently.
Anorexia is not a hobby. It is a debilitating, obsessive and manipulative mental illness where your body falls victim to your mind. Please think twice before you joke about it.
By implying that only curvy women are “real women”, statements like these are contributing to the lack of body acceptance. While stigmatizing women for being overweight is much more prominent in our culture, making someone feel ugly or less womanly for being thin is just as wrong. I’m not sure who decided what a “real woman” is, but let me fill you in on a little secret. The only thing you need to do to be a real woman, is to identify as a real woman. Groundbreaking I know…
While society may or may not define a particular type of female aesthetic as the norm, this does not make any other variation of this norm less real. Stop using the term “real women” to refer to curvy women. Women who are slim aren’t imaginary. It is not okay to completely devalue a thin womans femininity and even her membership to her own gender on the basis of her lack of curves. Please don’t get me wrong, I am NOT under any circumstances saying that women shouldn’t love their body if they have curves. Rather my point is that EVERY woman should be able to love their body shape, whether that be curvy, skinny, tall, short.. hell be a pentagon if you want. Let’s all try to be a little more compassionate and accept that there is a huge range of bodies, and we should be able to appreciate them all.
I’m not entirely sure when it became acceptable to shame and devalue someones appearance just because it may not fit into a perfectly designed box that someone, somewhere has decided is the ideal. But I for one am over it. Lets shift the focus back to healthy, and celebrate and promote health and wellbeing. Be grateful every day and love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle. Whatever your shape, be active, nourish your body with wholesome nutritious foods, and create your own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Your body is truly amazing – be kind to it, treat it with respect, and feel empowered to be the best version of you.
We are all imperfect. We are all flawed. And we are ALL beautiful.