Enough already of the ‘real’ women tag

I’m sick of hearing about women being defined as whether they are ‘real’ or not based on their bodies.


So, I’ve popped my ranty-pants on (read: maternity jeans that I’m still wearing after giving birth seven months ago) to stand up for ALL women, whether they do or don’t have stretch-marks, wobbly bits, big bazoongas, itty-bitty bums, tummy aprons, or chook legs.

And I’ll tell you what’s triggered it: reading an article about an Instagram picture posted by Rebecca Judd, which mentions how “very skinny” she looks. She’s wearing a bikini after giving birth three months ago. Sacre bleu!

Screen shot from Rebecca's Instagram.

Screen shot from Rebecca’s Instagram.

And, of course, you know what this means? LET’S PELT STONES AT HER using the oh-so-brave method of online comments. For example:

  • “Why are you so skinny, Bec? U looked much better in that red dress at the brownlo your face was fuller…”
  • “No boobs?”
  • “Need some of these:…” (followed by lots of cake emoticons)
  • “Sorry, but clearly that is not a healthy wait much better before.”

Clearly, people need to learn how to spell for starters. Then you know what else? In the words of Joe Dolce: SHADDAP YA FACE.

I don’t know Rebecca Judd personally but from what I can gather, she’s crediting compression pants for her recovery, and I’m sure they did help her tummy muscle separation and pelvic floor. (And let’s not be totally naive: assume there’s a sponsorship agreement in place.)

But her body? Well, I’m going to say something that’s going to shock a lot of people who lurve bursting forth with ‘she’s-not-a-REAL-woman’ type opinions: look at her genetics.

I’ll repeat that for those who missed it: LOOK. AT. HER. GENETICS.

She was slim before having kids. She was slim when baking her kids. She’s now slim after having kids. Duh.

Why are we so surprised when some women snap back into shape after having a baby? Types like Kate Middleton, Rachel Finch and Miranda Kerr (and I know for sure Megan Gale will, too) are no more or less ‘real’ than you or me. They get absolutely slammed in the media for *apparently* trying very, very, very hard to get back to their normal after having a baby. I doubt it.

Sure, some ladies do try hard and if they can find the energy and willpower amid the fog of sleep deprivation and attempts to take a shower, then more power to them. But other types are just genetically blessed – it’s that simple. (My grandmother is an example of this, too: six kids within 12 years and her body was the same size at 17 as it was at 70.)

I speak as someone who put on 23kgs with both my pregnancies, and I still have five kilos to lose. And yes, I do want to lose them because, quite frankly, a muffin top is uncomfortable. I have cellulite. My tummy isn’t as firm as it was. My arms tended towards fadoobada potential for a while there. Pretty sure I would fail the pencil test.

Does that make me more ‘real’ than the afore-mentioned ladies? No, it does not.

If the ‘real’ tag was simply about airbrushing and Photoshop – I can understand if people want to know if there have been touch-ups. Personally, I could not care less and you can be assured that if ever I was to appear in a mag I’d want as much airbrushing as possible. Sue me. (It’s no different than using photo filters on phones, peeps.)

In saying all of this, let me make it very clear I am 100 per cent behind seeing all shapes and sizes in the media and on catwalks, but just don’t say a Size 16 woman is more ‘real’ than a Size 6 one. Because here’s some basic biology: if you breathe and are a women, you’re real.

If you’re a pear-shaped Size 18; you’re real.
If you’re a column-shaped Size 4; you’re real.
If you’re an apple-shaped Size 10; you’re real.
If you still wear maternity jeans three years after growing an entire human; you’re real.
If you want to rock a bikini three months after growing an entire human; guess what? STILL. REAL.

Please think before you tag women as being ‘real’, because whether they’ve got a thigh gap or not, or whether they’re famous or not, I can guarantee you they still have feelings. Thanks in advance — that would be unreal.

Pearls of Willsdom is on Facebook and Instagram (@pearlsofwillsdom).


24 thoughts on “Enough already of the ‘real’ women tag

  1. Lol, oh god I love you.
    And I 100% agree we need to stop the negativity on women’s bodies and start celebrating each other. As my very wise 7 yr old daughter says “it’d be boring if we were all the same” xo

  2. Amen!
    Am I jealous of all the mothers at my daughters school who seem to have much less of a struggle then me to get back into shape? Yes.
    Is that their fault? No.
    I’m also jealous of people with blue eyes…

  3. We need to stop comparing ourselves to other women / other people & not want what they have, but be happy they have what they need.
    Even if these ‘post baby skinny ‘ ladies dieted or not, that’s completely up to them, it’s their body, let them choose their way to treat it. I think she looks good, if I had a body like that I’d be rocking a bikini & taking pictures !

    In all honesty it is these models jobs too always look a certain way, remembering we all make our own choices. Internet trolls, who throw negative judgement at others, must spend a lot of their days judging themselves. Everyone is an expert when they are hidden by a computer screen & keyboard.
    I’m so over comparisons !! We worry about image & claim these women aren’t real, what about the women who allow awful things to happen to their children, those that are in abusive relationships , those that do awful things to their children – how real are those women ?

  4. So true … Its getting too much now. I don’t want my daughters growing up with the body issues that I have but when I think about it they have seen me rant and rave about my weight and have watched me diet in the past. I have now explained to them that I am just trying to eat healthy and look after my body in the right way..I also don’t want them growing up and thinking they don’t have to exercise or eat healthy…its a very fine line! If we say its OK to be overweight we are damaging them just as much.

  5. I am so so tired of this “tag” as well. It is heavily used by all Australian media to define what they consider acceptable and what is not. I find it sad it is 2014 and we seem to be creating more rules for women than ever before, on how we should look, what we should like and what we should aspire too. When really it is no ones business but our own. Speaking from a size 6 perspective, it is disheartening on so many levels to be told in many forms of media that I am not real, I am a bad role model, that I am anorexic etc etc. When really I am just me and I don’t think I am better than the next woman, no matter her size or shape, it doesn’t concern me. And it shouldn’t concern anyone else. Why can’t we stop constraining women with yet another stereotype, and start empowering women to be whoever they are, whatever size they may be?

    • Well said! I too am smaller and so sick of people thinking it’s ok to make comments and judge about my weight because I am skinny. It hurts just as much being put down because I’m ‘skinny’ as it does someone being put down because they are ‘fat’. Who cares what other people look like – it’s their life! Live & let live!

  6. I agree 100%, and just want to add that one friend who went from fat to fantastic just six weeks after baby shared many years later that it was all thanks to an eating disorder. It’s pretty rotten to imply that our skinny sisters aren’t real because they don’t have extra kilos on them.

  7. I 100% agree with your post but I do have one issue to raise. If the picture was of a curvy plus size model and people were saying things like “lay off the cakes” or “Nice wobbly thighs” would you still have written this article. No matter how much skinny women complain about being haggled about their weight, they are still more accepted in society than larger women. Having said that the “real woman” tag is ridiculous and shouldn’t be used anymore.

    • Well, yes I would have. The article is about the ‘real women tag. And just like the negative comments from strangers about Rebecca’s body, I’d be just as annoyed at those directed to a woman who was a larger size. Size does not define how ‘real’ a woman is perceived to be. ‘Real’ should perhaps be changed to ‘relatable’ — I think that’s what most people mean and want.

  8. I lost almost 25kg after having my first baby within 14 weeks from breastfeeding alone and I got slammed daily about it. I was a size 6 before I fell pregnant and went straight back to being one afterwards. 7 months on and I am still a size 6, shock horror. Unfortunately social media give nasty people the opportunity to judge purely for the sake of it.

  9. Thank you so much! I was almost in tears reading this. I had my second daughter 5 weeks ago and I am already almost back to my pre pregnant weight but not by choice!! I am actually eating MORE so I can maintain a good weight! I had a friend tell me I need to eat but this is how I am. Thank you, I love you!

  10. Pingback: Loving Our Bodies – The Latest & Best Content on Women’s Body Image | One Active Life

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