Can We Stop With The Saying ‘REAL WOMEN’ Now?

We must have all seen Daisy Ridley responding to a picture that was uploaded of her, accusing her of not representing ‘real women with curves’.

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Daisy came back at her critic with the blinder…

“‘Real women’ are all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave. I am a ‘real woman’ like every other woman in this world.”

Boom!

I think it’s time that we stopped falling for the bunkum that is the ‘real women’ soundbite. It’s divisive and derogatory and body shaming. Worst of all it’s lazy.

Yes that’s right, lazy. Sometimes phrases are put out there and embraced by tabloids and magazines and become part of our every day speech. Those sayings can actually enforce clichéd and harmful ideas about gender, sexuality, age and race. Look at the way ‘asylum seekers’ are used interchangeably with ‘immigrants’ and ‘migrants’. Or the way loads of us started calling things we didn’t like ‘gay’ only a few years ago. ‘Political correctness gone mad’ is generally another way of saying, “I’m not racist, but…”

These sayings came from a valid place. They sprung out of frustration at the airbrushed, narrow beauty ideals that don’t reflect most women in the UK, bearing in mind that the average clothing size is a 16. OK. The Dove campaigns and similar movements to reflect a realistic image of women, showing us stretchmarks, post-baby boobs, a spectrum of ethnicities and the otherwise invisible-seeming middle age and letting us celebrate variety in non-comformity. When it first came out it was refreshing and joyous.

‘Curves’ can also be seen as a celebratory was of describing women who are not built like a catwalk model. I see all this and I appreciate them. Before curves, what did we say? ‘Not skinny,’ ‘Not a stick,’ ‘has boobs,’ ‘bigger.’ Curves feels like a more palatable, positive word.

But those sayings have been morphed into something more sinister, haven’t they. ‘Curves’ and ‘real women’ are now often used to pit us women against one another. Passively aggressively talking about someone’s ‘curves’ after weight gain. Let’s dismiss someone who works out as a ‘skinny bitch’ and who, of course, isn’t a *sigh* ‘real woman’. Just like overweight people suffer bullying school and eye rolls in public, I can tell you that most models I know have spent a childhood and adolescence being poked, prodded, mocked and told to eat by family members, fellow pupils and complete effing strangers! Neither is fun to experience. Both can be equally detrimental to a person’s self-esteem and body image.

I just think we all need to remember to question the things we say and the way we say them, especially the author of that post and anyone who supports it. It’s just unimaginative. Bearing in mind that Rey, the character Daisy plays in The Force Awakens, plays a girl who scavenges for food in the desert and can sprint away from big explosions…her casting is perfect as strong, athletic and lean.

From what I’ve seen of Daisy she’s funny, warm, intelligent and talented. She’s also driven and stunt trained for four hours a day, four days a week for the film – which is why she could kick my arse and has the body she has…

There are lots of different bodies out there, and many of them are beautiful. But watching that video, I think that Daisy is a fantastic role model for young girls, as is the character she plays. She works hard, she looks after her body and she dreams big.

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She’s strong, independent, inimitable, natural and clever.

She happens to be thin.

So seriously. Can we stop with the ‘real women’ now?

Rebecca x

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2 Comments

  1. 100% agree and glad you included the YouTube video of her insane gym workouts. She is naturally thin and works very hard on strength and conditioning, nutrition has to form part of that. Which all requires effort, something those having a go at her probably don’t like. And actually looking at her in The Force Awakens or any press shoots I’ve never once thought she looks “too thin”… She just looks like a normal healthy young woman who obviously takes care of herself!

    • modeltypeface wrote:

      I agree Robert and I also agree on the ‘hard work’ part! It’s easier to slate someone for being unrealistic and too thin than to put down the biscuits and get off the sofa and start loving yourself :-p x

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