All women are real.

I was reading the NAAFA blog’s latest update on the casting for a new TV show, and this stopped me dead in my tracks:

“More To Love is by the same guys that do “The Bachelor” for ABC and is essentially the same show, except all the gals on the show are real girls with real curves.”

It pissed me off. And because this is my blog, I’m about to tell you why.

First, because it’s fucking patronizing.

Second, because it’s a sneaky little divide-and-conquer strategy, of the type commonly used to pit women against other women.

Third, because we’re ALL real women, you fuckwad.

There seems to be a common assumption that, if you’re fat and not particularly ashamed of that fact, you must, by default, HATE thin women, or find them ugly, or some other form of stupidness that can only be described as SOUR FUCKING GRAPES.

Not so.

I’m fat, and not particularly ashamed of the fact, and I also think thin women are just fine. I largely share the same aesthetic standards of my culture (with a few exceptions — most notably, the ones that allow me not to hate myself), and I often think thin women are just lovely. I also don’t feel particularly jealous, because why would I waste my time? They’re them, and I’m me.

I certainly sometimes sigh to myself wistfully about what it would be like to, say, have curly hair, or be blonde, or to be slender and model-perfect, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it. I recognize these moments for what they are: pure fantasy, a grass-is-greener kind of escape from reality. And then I go back to being me without a whole lot of fuss. I see certain pictures of myself, or put on a certain outfit, or flip my hair in a certain way that makes me think, “Yeah, other people are lovely. But I’m pretty alright myself.”

So then, why is it so impossible to believe that we can genuinely admire others, without simultaneously wanting to look exactly like them? We’re not all crazed bitches from some psycho-stalker horror movie here.

I’m going to steal your haircut, and then YOUR MAN. Fear meeeeeee.

ENOUGH already with all this real woman garbage. We’re all real women, for fuck’s sake — the thin ones, the pale ones, the dark ones, the hairy ones, the not-hairy ones, the short ones, the tall ones, the young ones, the older ones, the fertile ones, the sterile ones, and yes, of course, the fat ones. If anyone has the temerity to identify as a woman in this culture, I’m handing them over an Official Membership Card and inviting them to the pool party, since, you know, I’m a real woman and all. By the power vested in me, etc. etc. And because if you’re willing to put up with the bullshit women put up with every single day, then shit — you’ve earned it.

In closing, I’d like to say: you’re not fooling anyone, fancy-TV-producers-attempting-to-ingratiate-yourselves-with-the-fat-people-you’ve-used-as-the-butt-of-all-your-super-sophisticated-sitcom-jokes-for-so-long. You’re just pissing me off.

And you sound like a fucking squid.







13 responses to “All women are real.”

  1. Bri Avatar

    Sing it sister!!!!

    I totally agree with you. I hate this “real woman” crap. What the hell is a real woman anyway? Makes me think of all this hoo ha about the Castor Semenya.

    I have a ring that has an Anais Nin quote on it, something like “We never see things as they are, we see things as we are”. No one has a monopoly on what is real or true. No one.

  2. N Avatar

    “My Gender Workbook” is a great way to explore just what/who ‘real men’ and ‘real women’ are… I love that book. Very thought provoking.

  3. Terri Avatar


  4. Emma Avatar

    It’s so refreshing to actually hear a viewpoint like yours for once. For too long I’ve felt like the fat acceptance movement has been building itself up by putting down and degrading other body types – it feels like every online article I read about the movement is filled with women saying “real women have curves” or “I’m glad I don’t look sick/anorexic/like a boy” or “my body shape is more womanly and beautiful than prepubescent looking anorexic girls”. I would sit there, feeling less and less like a woman because I didn’t have “curves”, and actually began to develop self esteem issues regarding it. Not to mention the fact that people on the street felt entitled to yell things like “eat a hamburger” at me, or call me “anorexic looking” to my face, even though the fact that my little sister eats the exact same things as me and has a larger body clearly indicates that my weight is natural for me. I feel pressure from both sides (because although I’m quite thin, I’m not athletic, I have cellulite and tiny breasts – far from the ideal of the ‘perfect body’) but the movement which is supposed to make everyone okay with their shape is making me feel like I don’t belong there either.

    I really, really want to see all body types and skin colours get equal representation in fashion magazines (without fanfare about how special it is that they get to be included!) but it worries me that women feel that their sense of self esteem depends on the feeling that one is ‘better’ than somebody else.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Our culture exceeds at nothing quite so much as making people feel the bodies they were born in are somehow WRONG.

      Anyhow, I don’t feel that way about thin people, and I know other sites (like Shapely Prose and Fatshionista) don’t either. Sometimes people get into FA for the first time and just kind of take the principles out of context. It’s frustrating, and it alienates people.

  5. Noel Lynne Figart Avatar

    Thank you for pointing this out.

    Like you, I’m fat, and I’ve never been okay with the whole “Real women have curves” thing. I don’t want someone to think the body type I happen to have is the “right” type any more than I want people to think it’s the “wrong” type.

    My body is my body, that’s all.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Exactly. We don’t have to denigrate other people in order to accept ourselves. In fact, we all need to work together on this, because the real enemy are the forces telling ALL of us that there’s something inherently wrong with our bodies.

      Natural diversity is a good thing. It’s critical to the survival of any species, in fact.

  6. BethanytheMartian Avatar

    I’ve been going through your archives, and this: “If anyone has the temerity to identify as a woman in this culture, I’m handing them over an Official Membership Card and inviting them to the pool party, since, you know, I’m a real woman and all. By the power vested in me, etc. etc. And because if you’re willing to put up with the bullshit women put up with every single day, then shit — you’ve earned it.”

    That is one of my favorite things you have said so far.


  7. Elizabeth Avatar

    Thank you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I hate it when people talk about how “real women have curves” or refer to thin, conventionally beautiful women as “sickeningly pretty.” It’s not *her* fault you can’t see your own beauty. She just is who she is. It’s not fair or okay to pick on other people for having certain physical characteristics you don’t share, no matter what those characteristics are.

    And besides, why in the name of all that is holy are we so intent on turning this into a lose-lose situation? If you’re fat, you’re ugly/unhealthy/socially unacceptable. If you’re thin, you’re anorexic/unwomanly/”sickeningly pretty” (if they’re feeling nice today). Why can’t we just accept others and ourselves for who and what we are without feeling the need to hurl insults around? I mean, does that really make people feel better?

  8. Sarah Avatar

    What Emma said.

    I’m a tender-hearted skinny girl, and it stings like crazy when fat folks revel in how their large breasts, hips, etc. make a woman inherently more maternal and comforting than someone like me. I ran into this three or four times while reading Fat!So? and it took the wind out of me every single time.

  9. Montclair Mommy Avatar
    Montclair Mommy

    New to this site, late on commenting on this post. But, I LOVE it. It is so hard to accept and love your body as a woman in this society, no matter what your body looks like. We are ALL (fat, flat, bony, big-boned, large waisted, small hipped, flabby, scarred, pimpled, smooth) REAL WOMEN. If there is anything I want my child(ren) to know it is that their bodies are wonderful and perfect and that there is purpose for them besides just lookin’ good. Their bodies are powerful! You are awesome! Thanks!

  10. Fidget Avatar

    Thank you. Just got out of a heated thread elsewhere on that Urban Outfitters “Eat Less” shirt–out of the hundred-odd comments, only a handful didn’ t say either “Fat people should be told to eat less, get over it,” or “That model needs a sandwich and a tan. Real women have boobs.” So I stopped by here to recover :)

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