Friday, May 18, 2012

(Myth) Real women have curves

Be honest now, you've judged someone before based on their weight. You made a whale joke or talked about drowning that mother of two who isn't even a whole hundred pounds. It's sad and not OK, but it's almost an automatic response: See a woman, judge her body. It's a habit deeply ingrained in us. I've done it and I've had it done to me!

Stereotypes of thin women as villainous go back centuries to the wicked witches of fairy tales. Case in point: Imagine Sleeping Beauty's scrawny, skinny-fingered evil fairy Maleficent next to Cinderella's plump and kind Fairy Godmother. OK, that's Disney. But even in Renaissance, artists like Jacques Callot depicted Envy as a thin hag, often with wild, snaky locks.

These days the body-acceptance movement has inadvertently added another negative spin!

Think about it: If "real women have curves", as one popular mantra asserts, then women without curves (like myself) are by extension unreal, not to be trusted. Not only is a skinny woman assumed to be tight with her calories and, therefore, tight with her emotions she's but she is also pushed away as someone who is not sharing in the same struggles as the rest. People look at her and say, "You're not friend material; you're alien." Yet they don't take into account the struggles the extremely skinny could be having.

Think to yourself. Have you ever struggled taking off that last 10 pounds of baby weight. The opposite side exists! There are women that leave the delivery room looking almost sickly because the baby sucked them dry and now they're FIGHTING to put on weight. In some cases its more of a fight than losing it.

You're laughing at me, aren't you?

But did you know being under weight is worse for your health than being over it? Fat is the bodys insulation and 'air bag'. When you get hit in the gut its FAT that protects your organs, the extremely skinny don't have that protection and can be SERIOUSLY injured from the identical impact.

Historically, culture has been kinder to curvy women. For much of the past 700 years at least, a "robust"or "full figured" female was viewed as being someone of health, wealth, and sensuality, but starting about 100 years ago, when food became more plentiful in this country and Americans began chasing thinness, extra weight became linked with inferiority. So while plus-size women may still be considered warm (hence their frequent casting as cheerful, supportive sidekicks), they are also seen as ineffective.

Sterotypes aren't good either way you cut them, but we need to start looking at our mantras and figure out who we're "putting down" by trying to pick ourselves up. Saying "real women have curves" can be as hurtful to a skinny girl as "push her back in the ocean". You look in the mirror and say "real women have curves" it makes you feel good about the "more to love" you have, but what if your 13 year old daughter hears you? She doesn't know the thought behind it and could very well take it as a hit to the fact that she doesn't have that full ass or those double "d" tits.

Real women come in all shapes and sizes. That's the mantra we should stand by, one that doesn't make one inferior to the other.

No comments:

Post a Comment