If I had a packet of M and M’s for every time some silly moo said something about ‘real’ women having curves, I still probably wouldn’t have put on enough weight to qualify as a ‘real’ woman. I think I’ve written a ‘skinny girls have feelings too’ type blog somewhere before, and I want to reiterate that no, I am not equating slim girl problems to big girl problems. There is a form of privilege that comes from being a size 8 – namely that I can walk into any store and find my size, (apart from Topshop who seem to sell out of size 8’s at the speed of light). I don’t ever feel embarrassed or ashamed when I flip open a magazine (in terms of my size). I don’t ever have people making weird assumptions about me having a bubbly personality based on any extra weight I might carry. You get the drift…
A while ago there was an article by a very misguided young lady, who decided to pen a good few hundred words about how uncomfortable she was in her yoga class watching a ‘heavy set black woman’ do crow pose or whatever, because the woman MUST have felt inadequate next to her skinny white lady body. The article really got deep into the feelings, she was all tearful and mourning – what could she do to help this woman who was more Aunt Jemima than Angelina Jolie, feel welcome and Namaste’d in this sacred space? I really felt for her, because black twitter and black internet in general are a tough, tough crowd and they just had.no.mercy.
What she didn’t get, and what I could have told her if she’d dropped me a line before she put fingertip to keypad, is that nowhere is the ‘real woman have curves’ placard held higher than in the black community.
‘Thick’ is in fashion. Apparently anacondas don’t want none unless you got buns, son. (Nicki Minaj- if you didn’t get that reference then good for you). Vogue has declared this the year of the booty. Youtube is literally awash with bum workouts, and more woman than you might think are trying to get some extra layers as opposed to losing them.
I think it’s a good thing that we are celebrating a body type that comes naturally to SOME women, as opposed to just pushing the high fashion skinny variant. I suppose it’s good that something that the media is picking up on is the idea that skinny does not equal more attractive. Ultimately though, it’s just more of the same old rubbish.
The phrase irks me because firstly – it’s not true. Real woman have vaginas. In fact some real women don’t. Real women have XX chromosomes. And there are some genetic conditions where people identify as women but don’t have XX chromosomes. Whatever. Basically, extra fat does not make you more real.
Secondly, I’m really gonna need everyone to realise that there is a direct correlation with being too fat and having poor health outcomes. And this new idea that people can be very overweight and perfectly healthy at the same time is sadly, untrue. Yes, you can have a BMI outside the ‘normal’ range and be healthy – i.e. rugby players, powerlifters, but you my friend, do not play rugby, so let’s just be honest with ourselves.
Thirdly, it’s still putting a particular body type that is unattainable for a large sector of women on a pedestal. It is not progress if we swap ‘skinny’ for ‘thick’ as a standard. Granted, there are more woman who are probably look somewhat like Nicki Minaj than Kate Moss, but I’m not even too convinced by that. Having big breasts, a large rear end, and an incredibly small waist is not realistic for the majority for woman, in the same way that being a size 6 is not realistic for the majority for women.
The whole system is broken. The whole magazine/music video/celebrity culture machine that we’ve bought into is the problem, and it can kiss my brown toe.
That’s coming from a ‘unreal’ girl.