“Real” Women, “Real” Men: Real B.S.

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Emily reblogged “real women” on her tumblr, here are some bits:

Real women do not have curves.   Real women do not look like just one thing.

Real women have curves, and not.   They are tall, and not.  They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not.  They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever…

Real women are fat.  And thin.  And both, and neither, and otherwise.  Doesn’t make them any less real.

There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla:

There is no wrong way to have a body.

-and following is a reposter-

I am glad this showed up on my dash today, because of reasons.

I went to the grocery store today, and as I was standing in line, I happened to glance at the magazines there and found Doctor Oz (among others) telling me that the weight I carry in my hips is ugly, unhealthy, and wrong.

There is a double bind related to fitness and women:

Fat in excess of a cultural norm is considered “ugly, unhealthy and wrong.” Muscle in excess of the cultural norm and less fat is considered unfeminine.

Of course, the ideals regarding “real” men are also unhealthy, placing value on muscles so exaggerated as to be impractical. But at least the force is in one direction, and doesn’t require that men walk a tight rope of cultural expectations where they are shunned or insulted for falling on one side or the other.

If a man is overweight or undermuscled, he will take flack for being a “fatty” or “wimp.” But if a man is of extraordinary fitness, he won’t be derided as  not masculine enough, which would be the equivalent to what women go through in the cultural policing of their femininity.

In order for people to be free to be individuals, we need to cut loose of gendered expectations. Some women have strong upper bodies. Some men have great pride in their legs.

There is no wrong way to have a body.

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One Response to ““Real” Women, “Real” Men: Real B.S.”

  1. Krysta Says:

    Amen. A real woman is someone who identifies themself as a women. A real man is someone who identifies themself as a man. It’s as simple as that.

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