Are you a “real” woman?
We, as women, are bombarded every day with mixed messages. At the grocery store check out line we are told how to get flat abs, have better sex, and “perfect hair”. The ultimate message being we aren’t enough.
Then we log onto Facebook and see our friends sharing images or articles with the message “Real Women Have Curves” or bashing (or praising) Maria Kang for posting a meme about excuses or a multitude of other anti-body shaming messages. Don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT for body shaming and I’ve seen some really really great articles on body loving. I’m glad women are speaking up and saying it’s okay to love our bodies as they are because that couldn’t be more true no matter what you look like.
No matter what you look like.
Because sometimes the attempt at body love goes too far one way and depending on where you are on the spectrum of body types the message for many women still is “you are not enough”. Often this message is coming from (well intentioned) friends and family and that can be harder to hear than the messages we get from media outlets. We know that _____ (insert company) wants to sell us _____ (insert product) because it will supposedly make us more attractive, successful, or desirable. I think most of us also know that that message is also a load of crap.
It’s important in this social media backlash against the ideal (whatever that may be because depending on whether you are looking at Vogue, Fitness, or a mens magazine I see more than one ideal represent.) to remember that these women are human and no amount of dieting, makeup, or plastic surgery can change that fact. The woman with the tummy tuck, breast augmentation, face lift, and hair color is just as real as the crunchy hippy wearing nothing but a faded sundress.
Just as we shouldn’t make an overweight person feel less than. We shouldn’t make the skinny woman feel as if she’s not a real woman because she doesn’t have curves. Or call the girl with the six pack abs and sculpted deltoids a “man” or worse (in my opinion) selfish because she chooses to make choices that keep her looking lean and fit. Or assume people who work hard on their appearance (physically or financially) are self-centered. Or declared that someone is motivated by fitspo is shallow.
That’s not to say certain behaviors are not sometimes signs of underlying issues. Excessive plastic surgery, over exercising, over eating, or restrictive eating are potentially dangerous habits that should be addressed but last I heard having issues doesn’t make us less than human. Having issues makes us human. And humans, all humans, are worthy of love and respect.
People are so much more complex than the endless list stereotypes we stick on them.
You are valuable six pack or not.
You are valuable skinny or not.
You are valuable curves or not.
You are valuable with or without plastic surgery.
You are valuable as mother or not.
You are valuable in a relationship or single.
The list goes on.
Nothing can make you more or less valuable.
Nothing can you make you more or less “a real woman”.
You are enough as you are. You are valuable because you are you.
Don’t let any media with its narrow ideals or well intentioned social media meme tell you otherwise.
Hugs and High Fives,
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Journey with our family on the road at Newschool Nomads as we travel fulltime in RV through the United States.