I’ve had the great excitement of playing *swimwear model* on an occasion or two. It's both thrilling and scary to put your image out there, for all to see, especially after two children. Displaying your body to serve as a source of empowerment and inspiration is also displaying by your body be judged, by yourself and others. In this day and age, you can read the reactions of people who view your image in real time and in rapid response. I'd be lying if I said I didn't live for the positive feedback. And I'd be lying if I said I don't love the haters too. My friends and I have spent hours reading negative comments and laughing our heads off between sips of wine. Cellulite. Poor diet. No exercise. Disgusting. Its so funny to me. I can handle it, because I have my own inner truth and I know that no one can hate my body more than I once did and thankfully no longer do (on most days).
But there are some comments that sting, some that make me wince a little. And to be honest I've made this very comment myself. But through growth and self-reflection I've come to realize the repercussions of such comments. You yourself may have made these comments and with 200% good intention, but, I'm gonna have to stop you there.
It's the real women comments.
Now, I get it. It's empowering. "That's a real woman!" F*** ya! I'm a real f****** women. Hips and Boobs, everyone's favorite! Cellulite belly??! So real!!!!!
I too, tire of seeing the same body time repeatedly thrown my way, distorting my own view of my own self. And it's so refreshing to see variety become a growing trend norm.
But guys, there's a huge flip side to that rhetoric. It's demeaning, to women with bodies that don't look like mine, or who ever is up there. The gals with small boobies and no booty. The women who work out extensively, and watch what they eat. Also those girls who eat whatever the f*** they want and remain slender. The women who struggle with weight through eating disorders or other health issues. Yes, this body type is typically praised in media, and I'm so with you that it's long overdue that fuller figured women get to share a bit of the spotlight. But to insinuate that a woman is not a real woman because of what she does or does not look like is what we've been fighting for years. And you can't say one woman is real without insinuating the other is not. All the women I mentioned above are real women. All big, small, slender, curvy, muscular, frail, fat, short, tall, big boned, petite women are real. We can certainly celebrate the presence of love handles, cellulite, stretch marks and naturally falling breasts in the Media, but we have to do it without the language that separates women by their body type.
We have to change the tone to that of all women are worthy, and that we demand representation of all varieties of body types in the media. Not because one is real and beautiful and the other is not, but because frankly, I want to see what clothes look like on someone that looks like me. I want my nieces to and grand daughters to have that as well, wether they are size 2 or 12. It's as simple as that and as deep as freedom from social constraints.
And I'm sure you want that too.
So let's just call each other for what we really are, and that's beautiful, even at our worst, because we really are.