NEWSFLASH: Apparently, I'm Not a "Real Woman"

So, something happened while I was at Fashion Week and I needed to get it off my chest…

One morning, I was getting ready and had the local news on the telly. All fine and good until the subject of Fashion Week came up, which is totally expected. However, the story was about models versus plus size models.

And here is where my blood started to boil.

Let me preface this all with the fact that I think all women are beautiful in all the shapes and sizes that they come in. Being proud of one's figure is awesome and I fully support this. I also don't condone doing unhealthy things and forcing your body to be any thinner or curvier than it's supposed to be.

Secondly, when it comes down to it, isn't beauty supposed to come from inside? All everyone seems to care about is what's considered outer beauty. What is beautiful? Sexy? Feminine? Ugh.

Now, back to the story…

The segment consisted of designers who design for plus-size models and plus-size models themselves speaking about the industry. Now, don't get me wrong. The modeling and fashion industries breed dreadful things in some cases. Anorexia, bulimia. All of those horrible afflictions. I get it. Designers who embrace plus-size models are amazing and plus-size models are also amazing.


It goes like this…

I'm a skinny person. I always have been. (This is the part where I expect a lot of people to be all, "Oh, boo hoo. You poor thing…except not.") During my entire life, I've basically been made to believe that I'm not a "real woman."

Remember those days back in middle school when everyone was hitting puberty? When girls were getting boobs and hips and feeling all womanly? Girls would come back from summer vacation looking like adults…but that didn't happen to me. Nope. I didn't get a glorious set of boobs or beautiful hips. I remained a stick and kinda resembled a little boy for a good chunk of my earlier life.

So, that didn't make me feel very good about myself…and it made me feel like my road to womanhood was interrupted by a huge chasm called genetics that I would never be able to fling myself across. That I would be swallowed whole by the void that is my inability to have a coveted hip-to-waist ratio.

Let's not even get into what this did to my self esteem or the inability I had for a long time to value myself as a woman. All the stupid things I did as a young adult, trying to prove to everyone around me (mostly boys, because girls get boy crazy, let's face it) just how "womanly" I could be (you get what I'm saying…I hope my dad isn't reading this)…looking back makes me want to permanently face palm myself.

Since then, I've been pelted with tons of advertising showing gorgeous, curvy women being just that: Women. REAL WOMEN. Because women and their realness…their womanliness…that's apparently measured by their bodies and nothing else.

Meanwhile, as a young adult, I would look at myself in the mirror in the mornings and lament my flat chest. And while some girls may have been contemplating anorexia, I was contemplating shoving sacks of silicone or saline into my body where they didn't really belong. (Which I ended up not doing because I rather spend my money elsewhere - read: shoes - and I realized early on - thank goodness - that it would look really silly to have two half melons stapled to my chest….a.k.a I would be grossly out of proportion.) Might I add that I have nothing against women deciding to get breast augmentation. What one does to their bodies is their decision and we're all free to do as we please.

Meanwhile, back in my early-twenties, I spent countless hours trying to engineer a butt where there wasn't one…at least not a curvaceous Botticelli-babe one…I'm sure I've done tens of thousands of squats throughout my lifetime. (Thank goodness I never considered black market butt injections…but a lot of women do!)

Another note, I am totally for exercise…but for overall health. Being active is great…and I need to do more of it, if I could just stop working for a second. (Excuses, excuses…)

Also, can we just take a minute to talk about how clothing never fits me right? This just in, shirts with darts look sad on a girl with no curves. Delicate bras get wrinkly if there's nothing to support…and end up looking downright sad and pathetic. 95% of the clothing market was not designed for me.

Walk into a Victoria's Secret and you can't find a single bra without 4 inches of padding, engineered to make girls feel like "real women" even though they end up feeling like they've taped a mattress to their chests. The last time I tried to find a bra there, I was shown one lonely scrap of fabric that looked like it was made for my grandma. (No offense, grandma…just saying it was the least attractive undergarment I've ever seen.) And it's not like I was gearing up for some steamy, romantic evening. I just want pretty lingerie. Is that so crazy?

Meanwhile, being backstage at fashion week for the last 7 seasons, I can tell you first hand that a lot of these models are hardworking, smart girls who are just taking advantage of what nature gave them. That and they eat. I've yet to see a model who hasn't made her way through the catering table selection. They're young, sweet, and insanely busy. The many that I've had a chance to converse with are downright lovable, friendly, funny, and great to be around…characteristics of what I would consider real and beautiful women.

I'm done hearing horrible things like "bitch needs to eat a sandwich" or "she looks depressed" or "she'd be happier if she had a steak and mashed potatoes." I've had it up to here (I'm making that whole hand-above-head gesture here) with women comparing thin women to little boys.

All women are real women. I'm sick and tired of women saying "all women are beautiful" just to turn around and shame particular women because they're thin. So, what they're basically saying is "all women who aren't thin and/or considered pretty in the fashion industry are beautiful!" And that…that is not fair. Since when did it ALL depend on looks anyway?

Sure, I'm no model, (though, hey, it would be great to be a few inches taller…so I wouldn't have to tailor or cuff every single pair of pants I own - back to 95% of the clothing market was not made for me, both in width AND height) but I find this all pretty disgusting.

Short, tall, curvy, thin…we're all women and our value, beauty, and realness should depend on what's in our hearts and brains. It has nothing to do with the circumference of a waist, the ratio of one body part to another or a cup size.

I'm over it.
I may be thin and might be mistaken for a little boy from 100 feet away, but I have every right to consider myself a real women because I know I am and no one, man, woman, mineral, or vegetable, will ever convince me otherwise.

So, now I ask you, where do you stand?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Nami for mentioning this. Totally feel you as I'm the same size as you as well! For years growing up, I just had to keep quiet (and sometimes worse, NOD) that real women is voluptuous. Just cuz those saying it are trying to feel better about themselves for being fuller. I mean, I totally agree, your body should grow and feel proud of it. But some just don't grow. And then they shame the skinny ones as if we don't eat, or we're overly vain, or worse "a stick thin bimbo".

    However I just ignore it, especially the feel-good quotes running all over FB about "voluptuous women are real and sexy"- mainly posted by said women themselves. Am I betraying my kind without voicing up?