|Me aged 16 and 25|
Over the past few years I have heard the term ‘real woman’ being thrown around a lot, and it really has to stop.
I have boobs and all the other bits that go with being female, therefore I think it’s safe to say that I’m a real woman! However, it seems like some woman and EVEN men these days use this term to just describe a body that isn't thin or toned.
Granted, I’m not skinny. Neither am I fat. I’m not blind! Some days I feel quite slim and some days I hate my wibbly bits. Some of you reading this may look at my figure and think “Hmm she could do with losing a bit”, and others will say, “I wish I was thin as her”. Why? What would either achieve?
I spent the last part of my childhood and all of my teen years hating my body. I was very very skinny and classed as underweight, and from the ages of about 14-17 people often assumed I had an eating disorder. My nurse even asked me if I was eating ok once. I was eating ok, in fact I ate a lot! I probably ate more than girls who were larger than me, but I was just thin! I obviously had a fast metabolism, and no matter how hard I tried to gain weight (including drinking pints of milk), I just couldn’t. I felt really odd! I had no 'womanly curves', and I generally felt awkward and lanky. People made fun of me at school, and I was made to feel like I wasn’t growing into a ‘real woman’ like my friends were. People used to comment on my weight like I wouldn't be offended, even grown adults.
Fast forward about 10 years, and I have gained around 3 stone and have gone up 3 dress sizes. My metabolism has caught up with me, and it’s quite easy for me to gain weight. I sometimes exercise, and I’d say I eat a balance of healthy and completely unhealthy food. I could probably be thinner if I reallllly tried, but I don't want to! I’ve accepted that I’m the size I’m suppose to be, and if I’m healthy why change? But social media is forever making me feel like I need thinner arms and a flatter stomach (for about 10 minutes then I forget). And don’t even get me started on my latest ‘I have fat knees’ obsession.
Having experienced criticism from both ends, I have never felt like I was ever somewhere in between. I look back on photos of myself around the age of 18 and think ‘There! I was perfect there!’ But I didn’t feel like it at the time. I can’t remember how I felt. When I was 15, if I had seen a picture of how I was going to look when I was 25, I’d have probably been a happier teenager. It’s a strange one isn’t it?
I'm a huge fan of Nirvana, and there is a lyric in 'Lithium' that I live by! It goes like this…
“I'm so ugly, but that's okay, 'cause so are you ...”
I think the thing we need to remember is that even though we can sometimes hate our bodies, the people we envy are feeling the exact same. It’s a strange old world, but just remember one thing please- we are ALL real woman!! (Except men..)