Why I hate the term “Real women”

I’m a woman, Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” – Maya Angelou

Versicolor ClosetIt sounds cliche to hear that “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” but in this case, this statement couldn’t have been more accurate. Lately, while the media and fashion companies have been making strides in showcasing and creating ready-to-wear fashion more suitable for a variety of body types, the idea that ‘real women’ are the curvy ones has simultaneously become the common theme in advertisements and on social media. One thing is for sure, women come in all shapes, colors and sizes and for no reason should any of us be subjected to a standard of beauty dictated by society, fashion magazines, social media and billboards. 

The last time I checked, I weighed 126 lbs and I’m somewhere between 5’7″ and 5’8″. Until recently, I barely worked out, I eat what I want, when I want. If I so choose, I can have a bowl of rice at midnight and go to sleep right after and I wouldn’t gain a pound. On the other hand, if I’m stressed out or sick for a week, I can easily drop 10lbs. You may read this and think that’s #goals but really, I do nothing extraordinary to maintain my body type. My paternal grandmother had a dozen children and still snapped back to this same figure after every single birth. All this to say, my body type is completely based on genetics. For someone to think that I don’t fit in the ‘real woman’ category due to my size is beyond insulting and frankly ignorant. 

It seems that we have been conditioned to think that in order to lift someone up, we have to bring another down and to me that defeats the whole purpose of woman empowerment. I truly believe in the notion that there is room at the top for all of us. I’m not a cartoon, an illusion, or imaginary. I am a real woman who so happens to wear size 2. 

“Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”
– Maya Angelou

I’d like to believe I’m as much of a woman as my fellow #Versidivas who rock a size 20. We are all beautiful in our own rights and guess what? We’re all REAL. (Unless of course you’re making reference to a backstabber then you may call her a ‘fake friend’. Otherwise, this notion of ‘real women’ is quite absurd!)

Lastly, the grass always seems greener on the other side until you step over to see the world from someone else’s perspective. More often than not, you’ll find that things aren’t as they seem. Where one may think being skinny is the ideal way to be, a skinny woman sometimes complains about not having enough meat on her bones to fill up a dress nicely. When I was growing up in Haiti, I used to be made fun of for having big, muscular calves. They called them ‘coconut legs’. Then I move to the US, and everyone won’t stop complimenting me about having nice legs. This clearly shows why your confidence shouldn’t be based on society’s beauty standards because I could’ve easily want to do something ‘to fix my coconut legs’ only to want to have them back because they’re accepted here in the US.

The bottom line is to really love yourself and to be confident with all the features that make you unique and different from the next girl.  Call it being politically correct, but I won’t say ‘love yourself flaws and all’. I happen to believe that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by a perfect God who never makes mistakes. He made me exactly the way He wanted me to be, so wouldn’t ‘flaws’ imply that His creation is ‘defective’? We may be brainwashed to believe and accept that tall and skinny models have the perfect body type and more voluptuous women need ‘work’. But then again nowadays, it’s voluptuous women with big butts that are now everyone’s #BodyGoals. It’s up to us to change that mentality. It is our duty to care for, love and respect the temple that is our body because we should honor our Creator’s precious creation.

With that said, I’m a real skinny woman. I’m a real person. I’m a real foodie. I’m a real size 2. I’m really impatient. I’m really smart. Sometimes I’m emotional. I’m a fighter. I’m shy. I’m assertive. I’m stubborn at times. I’m a real woman. Phenomenally, phenomenal woman. That’s me. And so are you! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

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