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ALL Women Are Real

Posted Jan 09 2010 2:59pm

Check out my latest post over at WeAretheRealDeal here or read the whole post after the jump.


A trending topic here at WeAretheRealDeal this week has been about comparing/contrasting the “real-ness” of model Jennifer Hawkins and the “plus-sized” models displayed in V Magazine.

Let me be clear: ALL WOMEN ARE REAL.

No matter your size or shape … you breathe, you have a heart-beat, you have feelings.

As far as I’m concerned, that makes you real.

Unfortunately, celebrities and models (also real women) are plastered all over the media, painting images of perfection that most of us will never (and really should never seek to) attain. And since so few of us look like “them,” when we see images of a thin woman with nary a flaw, many people will feel she’s not “real” enough — in that she doesn’t represent them/how they view themselves/how they look.

But they breathe, have a heart-beat, and feelings, too … and are very much “real,” even if not representative of the population as a whole.

So how can we discount Jennifer Hawkins simply because she’s beautiful and thin and fit? Isn’t that just as bad as discounting someone who is severely obese?

Just like with Hollywood’s ridiculous beauty standards for men, there’s a double-standard at play here.

We’re still comparing ourselves and deeming someone “real” or “not real” based upon their physical appearance. We’re still fighting against one another, when we should be banding together to support one another.

At WeAretheRealDeal, we’ve been showcasing all sorts of body sizes and types since we launched last summer.

We’ve applauded progressive magazines that stray from the traditional models of yore, and blasted those that PhotoChop the hell out of celebrities to sell covers.

Sadly, I think our over-arching message that we should love and accept ourselves as we are (but that if a woman wants to get healthier, that’s cool too! Props for that!), has been clouded by the constant comparisons that we, as women, seem to do automatically when we see someone thinner/prettier/etc.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Can’t we look at a picture of Jennifer Hawkins and admire her physique just as much as we look at Crystal Renn’s and admire hers? They’re both beautiful women, and they’re both “real” as you or I. Admiring them doesn’t make them any less “real.”

But to be endlessly caught up in the comparisons and name-calling (“That’s not a ‘real’ woman” or “She’s a stick figure”) is where we get into trouble.

Can’t we all get along?

On another note, I know a lot of people were upset about Jennifer’s nude Marie Claire cover being un-airbrushed but yet she’s wearing make-up.

I wanted to just say, I am not at all upset by the fact that she’s wearing make-up. Yes, it is still a form of enhancement…and you could argue the cover should have been totally natural.

But I’ll be honest, I love putting on make-up. Like wrap-dresses, heels and chic purses, wearing make-up makes me feel like, well, a woman!

My husband isn’t going to expertly line his eyes and dab lip gloss on his pout. But I, a woman, can/do. Does that make me any less “real” because I feel good with a little mascara? I hope to high hell not.

And speaking of make-up, this week, Jessica Simpson stepped out without make-up and discussions about her natural beauty were all over the blogosphere. It was a big deal to see a celeb not all done up, and for many, it might have been comforting to see how she looks in her most natural state.

While I think it’s awesome she felt confident enough to go out au natural (knowing the paparazzi would be all over her about it), and give props to women who do, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking make-up, either, or the fact models wear it.

I do have a problem with airbrushing, however, and so I was happy Jennifer wasn’t airbrushed. Even if she might be your idea of yet another thin model (and doesn’t look like the average woman on the street), the fact that she wasn’t airbrushed is a big step in the right direction in my opinion.

True, she might not be considered “real” enough for some of our readers/contributors, but even with make-up, she’s pretty “real” to me.

I think the tone of the conversation in our community here really needs to change if we want to make any progress. I’m willing to listen to how we can do it. Any takers?

How about you? Do you need to identify with someone for them to feel “real” to you? How can we get past this barrier here at WATRD? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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