Monday Mini-Rant: The "Real Woman" Myth | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Monday, 19 May 2014

Monday Mini-Rant: The "Real Woman" Myth

Real women have curves.

Real women are fit and healthy.

Real women drink wine and only eat bacon.

For the love of baby cheeses, can someone please point me in the direction of the first person who used the term "Real Woman" so that I can find them and kick the shit out of them while I eat my bacon in my non-made-up face.



You wanna know why the "Real Woman" thing pisses me off so much?

It's because the last time I looked, unless you're some weird terminator-style cyborg, a real woman is any being of the human persuasion who happens to have female sex organs.

Thin, fat, curvy, slim, pretty, ugly, sexy, dowdy, girly, tomboy, etc, etc, etc. Yada, yada, yada.

They're all just words. Labels used by people of both sexes to try and define a person based on characteristics which have absolutely no bearing what-so-ever on whether or not a human being with female sex organs is a "Real Woman".

If you are living and breathing, with blood flowing through your veins and a vagina, well, I got news for you. You're a REAL WOMAN! And don't let anyone else tell you differently.

A woman's "realness" has nothing to do with what they look like. Nill. Nada.

It's a disgusting ploy created by the advertising and media industries to pit women against each other and to make you feel shit about yourself so they can SELL YOU STUFF!!!

Dove don't give a shit if you feel like a "Real Woman". All they care about is how many bars of soap and cans of deoderant they can sell(1).

A chick with curves is no more real than a woman with no hips and bum to speak of. A woman with massive knockers is just as real as the one standing next to her who is flat as a board. And neither one of those body types has any bearing on the kind of person you are anyway.
BULLSHIT! This might be more attractive to one person, and the other might be more attractive to another. It all comes down to unique, personal taste and doesn't make one woman more "real" than the other.

Using the label of a "Real Woman" is just another way of saying that one group of women or another are somehow less than the other(2). It's designed to make you feel good about yourself so you BUY MORE SHIT. And it's designed t make you feel bad about yourself so you BUY MORE SHIT.

The thing that annoys me most about this Real Woman myth is that almost all of the advertising we see is not REAL! The images we see, they have all been manipulated in some way(3). Whether that be through clever use of photoshop or lighting, that is not the way you would actually see that woman if you were standing on the commercial set with her.

When it comes to personal products in particular, I wish just one of the cosmetics companies would have the balls to advertise their products without the underlying beauty and self-worth bullshit.

The simple fact of the matter is, I don't use hand moisturiser because I want my hands to be silky soft to impress my husband or to improve their feminine appearance. I use hand moisturiser because they get sore when they are dry, and it's not nice for my girls to have Mummy's rough skin rubbing their back or holding their hand.

I use deoderant because I don't want to stink. Not because I want to smell nice. I just don't want to smell offensive.
We really want you to love your bodies. But we want you to buy our products more. Terminator cyborgs need not apply.

What I look like has no bearing on whether or not I'm a "real woman". I breathe air, I have blood running through my veins, and I have a vagina. That is enough to make me a real woman.

But allow me to go one step further and say this... Who gives a shit if I'm a real woman or not(4). Certainly not me. All I care about is being a real HUMAN. One with thoughts and feelings, who looks after my fellow humans and makes a contribution to the human race, no matter how big or small. Being a real human has absolutely nothing to do with how I look on the outside either.

So please, shove the real woman tag back up the arse it came from because there is only one real thing I want to be and that is a HUMAN. A living, breathing, unique human.

My sex organs or my curves have no bearing on my realness or my worth.

This post was sparked by something Maxabella shared on her FB page about a month ago and it got me a little fired-up. I've linked to some interesting articles within this post and they are well worth a read...
1. How Dove went from moisturizing to patronizing (this is the one you should read if nothing else)
2. The Marilyn Meme (I highly recommend this one)
3. 5 minutes of what the media actually does to women
4. Womanhood must be defined by women, individually and in solidarity
*All images used in this post were found in the articles linked above.


17 comments:

  1. I think the whole 'real woman' cliché came about when we saw an influx of celebrities trying to be a size 0 and I remember when I was doing my styling course (6 years ago) I had a motivation to style woman with every body shape. The thing is there are women that can't put on weight and others that have no problem at all adding to their curves. Our bodies are all unique and as long as we are happy and healthy, the 'real woman' branding needs to go. Great post. x

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  2. Real Woman is no more helpful than Real Man. It's all bullshit. x

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  3. Thank you thank you thank you for finally saying what most of us have been thinking! So sick and tired of reading this 'real woman' crap. Some people must lead really boring lives or just have nothing else to do. They need to pull their heads in and focus on what's important and I can tell you there's lots more important than that! Thanks for giving me the platform to add my rant :).

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  4. Certain individuals have had so much cosmetic surgery that they no longer look like real women (cough, cough RHOM cough) but that issue aside - Right On Sister!

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  5. Real woman is someone who is a woman! That's it! Beyond that, attractiveness is a personal quality/opinion and shouldn't be forced on others! Thanks for linking up :)

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  6. It's all just emotive bullshit trying to suck people in to an idea of something, old school marketing! Love your rant, I just ignore all the advertising bullocks, a shame that lots of young girls don't and get affected by it!!

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  7. Couldn't agree more. I want to start an UNreal women movement. :)

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  8. Ah yes, this gets my goat a bit too!! Can you believe that sometimes I haven't felt big ENOUGH to be a "real" woman. Yes, all 94kgs of me! Ha!! I am pretty much at the point now where I ignore anything being marketed at women in terms of fitness/health/beauty. I can make up my own mind about those things I think!

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  9. Great rant there. Loved it! I think it all comes down to being happy with numero 1 and then you can easily see through all the bullshit that is 'real woman'. I am with Emily and feel sorry for all those young girls who get sucked in big time. Making sure my lil girl is confident and happy like her mum.

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  10. I love it when you get your rant on. This real woman craziness needs to go!

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  11. Completely agree on all points. As we move forward toward what is theoretically a better future, we need to focus on being better humans, not gender-specific "real" persons. The Dove campaign has annoyed me for a while, that is a great article you linked!

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  12. Love it and totally agree. It is something that has annoyed me to no end. Everyone is unique and there is nothing other than anatomy that makes a woman more real than another. If you're human and you got the bits, you're a woman.

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  13. Hahaha, feeling fired up today? Noice work, now I'm fired up too! Agree, agree, agree, and to be honest I couldn't give a rats about what I smell like too, so long as it's not ass.

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  14. Amen sista! Wonderful post, Kylie and you know I couldn't agree more!! x

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  15. Love it! Great post Kylie, and I so agree. It's got me all fired up as well!

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  16. Kylie, you've nailed it. None of these companies are invested in our wellbeing, they're invested in providing returns to shareholders. Great piece. I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for linking it to I'm Pinning Around. xx

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