“Real” women

I keep seeing references to fat women that are meant to be positive, calling them “real women”.  Plus sized clothing stores that advertise the idea that their clothes are for “real women”, commercials for the More to Love dating show that indicated that he is dating “real” women.   Shirts that say “real women have curves”.  I would love to have more fat positive t-shirts, but they all seem to be saying something nasty about thin women.  While I teach dance classes that are created specifically to be body inclusive, I personally know a woman who was ridiculed in a belly dance class for being too thin.

It really bugs me.  As if thin women are somehow “fake”, or that we should try to convince our would-be partners that we are somehow better to date than our thin counterparts because of the shape of our bodies.  I think that we are stumbling mightily on the path to equality. From my perspective, it’s not about trying to bring the other side down. We achieve equality by bringing ourselves up – by doing things like shattering stereotypes and refusing to participate in a cultural phenomenon whereby our body size is used as a measure for anything other than exactly what it is – the size of our bodies.

Trying to make thin women feel bad about themselves is not the way to go – in fact I would wager that it increases the chasm (of mutual fear and insecurity) between us. Trying to make other people feel bad about themselves to make ourselves feel better was a bad idea in Elementary School and it’s a bad idea now.

If we want people to stop judging us by our body size, how about we stop doing the same to others.

Published in: on August 1, 2009 at 7:03 pm  Comments (7)  

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I just discovered your blog and, while I know this isn’t a terribly insightful comment, I just want to say that this particular post made me really happy. Thanks for the pick-me-up. You rock!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment – it makes my day whenever anyone likes what I write enough to take the time to say so. YOU rock :)

  2. Yes! Sometimes I read the craigslist personals for fun, and women posting for men often say things like “If you’re looking for someone crackhead skinny, I’m not your type. I’ve got girl curves.” It seems like more body-hatred to me… like the only way the poster can feel ok with her size is if she thinks of fat as a necessary evil that she needs to be put up with if she wants to avoid being a crackhead or a quasi-man.

    • Exactly! I just don’t get people who want their bodies to be respected who turn around and attack other people’s bodies. Body hatred against anybody hurts everybody.

  3. I want a t-shirt that says “Real women have curves (last time I checked I wasn’t made out of blocks)”

    • To clarify, I am poking fun at the “real women have curves/rolls are not curves” thing, not saying that thin women are blocky.

      • And since I can’t edit, I am saying that someone on the interwebs will probably get confused and outraged, because humans forget their brains a lot for some reason, especially when the Internet is involved. :P


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