The fat, the thin and the real women

The Ann Summers models - which ones of these is "real"?

A long going argument seems to be about what makes a “real woman”. It seems to boil down to this: If you’re skinny or attractive, you’re fake and if you’re plus sized with lots of curves, you’re real.

This has bothered me for a long time. I am naturally skinny. I’m size eight, I still have curves like other women and there’s nothing fake about me. I will probably never be bigger than my current size as this is the size I am naturally supposed to be, and I’ve gotten lucky with my genes. I also have friends who are the same as me, can’t put on weight, but are a lot skinnier than me. As in, naturally a size six. Ever since people have taken a stand against starved models (and so we should!), us naturally skinny people have been shunned as unsexy and unhealthy.

The winner of the Ann Summers’ “real women” model campaign is a plus-sized model and now there are various arguments happening (again). Some say she is not a good role model as she is size sixteen and technically over-weight, others say a big f*** you to skinny girls everywhere as because she has curves she is a “real woman”.

I’m on the fence about this, on one hand, it’s always good to see a variety of women being portrayed in the media. Even though an over-weight girl might not be a good role-model, they do exist and we shouldn’t ban images as such just because they’re not the ideal BMI. On the other hand, you can’t say someone is a real woman solely based on their looks. After all, every woman in that campaign has had their image touched up with the likes of photoshop. Every single image you see in the media has been adjusted with photoshop otherwise the images wouldn’t look as good. It means NONE of those women are “real women”, they’ve all had their blemishes removed and they’re all wearing ten tones of make up. There’s nothing very real about that.

The winner of the "real women" campaign, Lucy Moore

There was a similar issue with Zoo magazine. They’re planning to have an article in one of their issues about “real women” (naked of course), someone stole an editors mock-up of how the pages were to be changed before the final magazine was released. The photograph showed the editors red lines and note about how her bum should be curvier, her boobs should be perter, etc. It’s horrible but an accurate representation of what the media do to our bodies. No matter our size, we’re all made perfect before the photo is released, nothing is real nowadays so what the hell is a “real woman”?

If you’re looking for that, step outside. We walk around just like everybody else. We all have lumps and bumps, we all have spots and skin imperfections, we don’t all own an amazing rack or arse. I’m sorry, that’s just reality for you. Even Ms Jolie isn’t perfect. I’m pretty sure most people realise that, despite the images shoved down our throat on a daily basis. I don’t expect every man I meet to have rippling pecks like male models, in fact if they did it would be quite frightening.

The point is I urge people to stop this “real women” crap. In the media there’s no such thing and probably never will be. It doesn’t matter if you’re fat, thin, young or old. Please don’t critise slim women, they would love to have curves but we can’t hand pick our bodies, we just have to make do. Please don’t critise bigger women either, they exist, get over it. Skinny women can be just as unhealthy as fat women, it just doesn’t show as much on the outside.