The real woman.
Is a “real woman” what men want, what women view their ideal selves as, or what everyone who was born as or considers themselves a woman is?
I have seen the memes and articles pouring over on social media, feeding ideas of what a real woman is.
“The media” are blamed for why women feel bad about themselves. During shopping sprees, women blame the models for their low self-confidence and imperfections, and say they long to see “real women” in the blown up pictures and magazines.
So when American Eagle’s lingerie brand, Aerie, began using “real women” (read: not edited) in their spring 2014 campaign, many women ran to the stores.
Ingenious marketing, but many women are missing the point.
They think they are finally being celebrated, yet the “real women” used in this campaign are being used in the same way any model is: to sell lingerie.
As for American Eagle brand models that are still airbrushed and altered in advertising — are they not real women?
I like to compare the modeling industry to watching a movie. I watch a movie because I want to be taken out of my own life. Often, the comedies or chick flicks I turn on are over exaggerations of my life, but if it was exactly like my life, it would be boring and I wouldn’t want to watch it.
I can try on the clothing and see it on myself, so I’ll know how it will look on me anyway. I want to see how it looks in a blown up picture with wings or perfectly styled accessories. I don’t need a model to show me how it will look on myself — that is why there are fitting rooms.
The definition of beauty will constantly change, but healthy standards will not.
Many women today reference pictures of Marilyn Monroe and other stars of her time as what “real women” look like.
Monroe apparently used hormone cream on her face to whiten her skin, and her weight changed regularly during her roles, according to an article in “Examiner,” an online magazine about arts and entertainment, news, etc.
Those manipulations are hardly healthy.
Today, medical experts know more about what fat and hormone imbalances can do to the body. Medical recommendations for a certain body mass index have not changed despite a higher growing obese population in the U.S.
Subcutaneous fat, the fat you can grab, and visceral fat, the fat that can surround your organs, is not healthy.
Fat does not depreciate your womanhood, but it should not enhance it either.
Living longer and healthier should be the goal.
Rather than celebrating “real women” who have to be “curvy” in order to be someone you see on the street, we should celebrate healthy women who care about their bodies and their minds.
Personally I am a 5-foot-8-inch, 120 pound woman and I am sick of my curvy friends making me feel to blame for their lowered self-confidence.
I try to ignore their comments of why I can get more guys because of my body type.
I know how to dress my body and can carry on a well-rounded conversation and have had plenty of larger friends who can do the same.
Defining what a real woman is, rather than just living is exhausting and a waste of time.
How can this issue become so complicated when it is simple: just be. Be a woman.