The media’s ideologies affect us all in many different ways, whether we realise it or not. To an extent we’ll all be comparing ourselves, what we do, where we live, what our family life is like and what our friendships are like, to what we see in the media. I bet there’s a time in everyone’s life where we stand back and ask ‘am I normal?’
The term ‘real woman’ is one of those media terms used to, lets face it, make bigger women feel better about themselves. It’s a way to counteract all these images of the slim, perfect models that we see so often by making slim people feel inferior. And it goes without saying that all this ‘making someone feel inferior to make you feel better’ rubbish is damaging. Real women, to me, is as degrading as calling a big woman fat, because you’re basically saying that if you’re not ‘curvy’ or plus sized, then you’re not real. How is that any less offensive than implying that if you’re not skinny you’re not attractive? So rather than attack the media for it’s degrading and
damaging representations, we’ve started fighting between ourselves. Larger women are blasting slimmer women for not being real, and for being too skinny while slimmer women are blasting larger women for being fat. It’s a vicious cycle that’s not good for anyone’s self esteem! Let’s all just wise up a little and accept that there isn’t just one body type, we are all different.
Surrounded by images of the perfect woman, I was an incredibly insecure teenager. Having been with my boyfriend since I was fifteen years old, I went through a phase when I was younger where I wouldn’t watch certain films or TV shows with him because I felt inferior. It’s stupid looking back at it, now it doesn’t bother me. But that’s what the media does. It doesn’t just affect the individual directly; it affects those around them too. Everyone else has similar ideas of what ‘perfect’ is, and consequently ideas of what’s weird or ugly, and that’s where bullying kicks in. We’re constantly made to feel like we’re not normal, not right or we don’t fit in. I’m not good enough because I’m not a size 0 to 8 with lustrous long locks. It takes its toll on people, some try to change themselves; some do change themselves, in a bid to be what society deems perfect. It taints our view of what’s attractive and acceptable and gives us false and ridiculous expectations which affects any and all future relationships. The availability of pornography of course gives stupid expectations to anyone that watches it because
everything about it is contrived. People go out into the big wide world and expect people to look a certain way, to the point where normal becomes unacceptable.
This doesn’t just happen with body image, it happens with everything. What we wear, what we eat, our hobbies, our pets, our family lives everything. Because the media has an answer for everything, an idea of what normal and perfect is, and anyone that falls outside of those ideals is inferior. Truth is, not many people fall within those ideals.
The term real women is complete bullsh*t, and is just as bad as people calling women like Adele ‘fat’ (which she quite clearly isn’t, but that’s a whole other blog post!) In all honesty, I find this stuff so tiring! Just get out and find someone who likes you for you, better still find someone who thinks you’re attractive no matter your dress size. I think this is far more prevalent in teenagers and young people, and I think there comes a point in your life where you wise up and realise it doesn’t matter; I reached that point, thank god! I’m still insecure, but I’m done comparing myself to what I see in the media. We spend too much of our time making excuses for ourselves and believing everything we see on TV, we forget that the people in the limelight that everyone thinks are perfect are just people too…and they all have flaws. I’m pretty sure that Scarlett Johannson and all the other women in the media that are thrown in our faces as being perfect have flaws too…and they’re probably as insecure about them as we are about ours. Flaws are what make us ‘real women’ whether we’re skinny or chubby, tall or short, because reality is imperfection; at least in the eyes of the media.
post speaks predominantly to teenage girls, but hey…I wanted to get it out there! And if you’re reading this, I don’t care who you are, you are beautiful 🙂