What's a "Real" Woman?

Updated on Sep 23, 2011
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Comments (73)

xBeautifulSoulx
xBeautifulSoulx on July 30
I completely agree that curves don't define a woman. I'm short and have "voluptuous Marilyn Monroe curves," but I don't feel that makes me any more beautiful or womanly than slimmer/ shorter/taller/curvier girls. Genetically speaking, all grown females are women - and saying that "real women have curves" just makes smaller girls feel bad about themselves. We are all beautiful. <3
Katherina
Katherina on February 25
true
smj155191
smj155191 on November 03
My personal opinion of a real woman is not defined by her figure. A real woman is confident, and knows who she is as a woman. She has her own identity.Think about it, if we all looked alike WOW!
sheilamdenison
sheilamdenison on October 21
I think the term real is more used to talk about people who aren't photoshopped pictures. At least I feel like that is the only appropriate way to use it.
andreaminoza
andreaminoza on October 19
As a petite myself, this I have to agree on. I always see models who are 6 feet tall in magazines or in the runways and this I'm insecure about. I mean what about the people who wish to be like them? It's always been an issue and I just hope they give the same opportunity to petite girls like me. This article is very helpful and inspiring! Thank you for posting this!!
dasom
dasom on October 15
i agree! I have no waist which makes me look more like a kid - at 17 and a half - but i would hate to think that i'm unreal. Thanks for posting!
ellefraction
ellefraction on October 10
I'm glad this question was asked because I was curious about this, too!
HoneyCreeper
HoneyCreeper on October 10
Perfect article
abbymiamoda
abbymiamoda on October 08
I couldn't agree with this more! It really annoys me! Are slim girls not real then? Am I not real? Have I been airbrushed into life? No. Does being this slim mean I am artificial or in some way have made myself like this? NO. Girls are real whatever shape or size they come in, and that INCLUDES slim girls! The media view on weight and size is all getting flipped round, and this really irritates
thejetblonde
thejetblonde on October 05
Well said. I hate the saying "real women have curves" because EVERY woman is a real woman, regardless of body type. This is something we avidly promote over at HealthyistheNewSkinny.com and I hope this article helps to open people's eyes. Whether you're curvy, skinny, plump, athletic... No one is less of a woman, because of their shape or size.
railophone
railophone on October 05
Well said.
AnnaVenturi
AnnaVenturi on October 04
A real woman is a woman in PLATFORM WEDGES!
sanjai
sanjai on October 04
"Real" simply represents the majority. Of course the minority would then scream out "What about us!?" Issue with the model representation is that it's not a REFLECTION of the majority. You're a REAL woman because well you have a uterus but that's not what the term "real women" is meant to associate with. If it all just came down to technicalities many terms in fashion/media wouldn't exist
TheCrayolaEffect
TheCrayolaEffect on October 04
Models feel bad for being labeled "too thin" when their bodies are just naturally that way. Everyday woman pick apart EVERYTHING about themselves and compare themselves to women everyday. Its horrible. We need to be taught that we are who we are and no amount of nit picking or comparing, boob job or botox is going to make us feel better. We need to love who we are for what we are. :)
PlasticPurplePen
PlasticPurplePen on October 05
Could not have said it better :)
TheCrayolaEffect
TheCrayolaEffect on October 04
I agree. To be honest, I see woman of all shapes and sizes, from model-esque to short and round, to tall and petite, to average height at any shape! I think we need to stop using these terms and focus on the fashion. There are so many women who are beautiful for whatever shape they are. There are no conventions of beauty, its purely subjective.
MegWhite_
MegWhite_ on October 04
I agree with this article. I'm petite and have an houglass figure and I've never considered women who are naturally thin or flat-chested any less beautiful or real. The only kind of woman who is less of a real woman, in my opinion, is the one who doesn't feel good in her body and goes to great lengths to change her natural beautiful shape, either by starving herself or getting implants.
sheloves
sheloves on October 03
thank you so much for this article. i have so many negative comments directed toward me because i am little, and I've been called anorexic and bulimic because they think it impossible that a "real" woman should be pencil thin. I think no matter what your size, being a real woman is about embracing your femininity and the things that make you unique.
ElleEss
ElleEss on October 05
Hugs. Be healthy, be bold. Slender can be lovely. Curvy, too. Statuesque, petite, light, dark, straight, curly.. within the exciting variety of women lies power. What is NOT lovely? Men OR women insisting an entire category of people fit a narrow mold or be deemed "less than". (Isn't Hitler dead yet?) Beauty rests in all "flavors". Homogenize "woman", diminish her power. We're uniquely made.
briannamiller9625
briannamiller9625 on October 03
I really like this article. I hate how they all think that we are lacking curves by choice, and that we strive for it. What I wouldn't give for some boobs! I am naturally very tall and skinny and athletic, and I am very flat chested and I have no butt. To say that if you don't have curves, you are not "real", that is discrimination in its own right.
kerriberri
kerriberri on October 03
Being petite, I've always felt that sting when people describe "real" women as having curves. The thought always crossed my mind, "well what am I then?" Its great that this point of view seems to be expressed more and more. Describing some women as "real" as oppose to others only pits women against each other and causes unnecessary hate.
p00hb34r
p00hb34r on October 03
THANK YOU for writing this article. It seems that there is some sort of reverse discrimination, that the Victoria Beckham figure is absolutely disgusting....as long as a girl is healthy, and takes care of her body, THAT is beautiful. I've always been incredibly skinny, and people always used to ask me why I didn't eat enough. Definitely irritating.
molljo
molljo on October 03
comment continued: accept the beauty of true diversity, and celebrate what really defines us as women.
molljo
molljo on October 03
Being a naturally very petite, slender woman, who has constantly struggled with her non existent, "womanly" curves, I am ECSTATIC to see an article on this issue. Campaigns such as "Zero is Not a Size" is a perfect example of how we have shifted the focus of discrimination from one body type to another. Recognizing that there are struggles that come with every body type, we will finally be able to
ilybirdie
ilybirdie on October 03
I love this. It really lifted my spirits.
charmainemelissa
charmainemelissa on October 03
the term 'real women' to describe women who are not the model size 0-2 is absurd. we then start to discriminate the women who are actually and naturally thin and tall. real women encompasses every size and shape. next we'll be criticizing women who do not have 'real' breast as a lie to female anatomy. maybe in fashion, we should be defined by our work, creativity and our intelligence.
RepublicofHeaven
RepublicofHeaven on October 03
Totally agree. When a person introduces the term "real" it automatically places other people in a group of "unreal" women. Calling someone "real" is a refusal to acknowledge the multiplicity of women and how there are many different types of "woman" (socially and genetically constructed.) It also creates a hierarchy of what the best type of woman is.
LittleAcorns
LittleAcorns on October 03
What a fantastic article! I've been thinking about this sever since I first saw the term "real women" in a magazine a couple of years ago. It really bothered me. I'm naturally tiny. I'm a ballerina and I play sports which means I burn a lot of calories, but I'm small because I was born that way. I'm 5'3" and I haven't grown in over 10 years and I have small boobs. How can someone tell me I'm not "real" because of the way I was born?
MondoTeeno
MondoTeeno on October 03
It is kind of depressing being a girl who is 5'9" and looks tall and slim but has a curvy hip and wears a size 13 jean, and size 10 shoes. There is hardly anything cute that fits, and sometimes when I do, it's a tight fit or barely covers my butt. I look awkward in anything high fashion, which is embarrassing because I love lots of trends. We need affordable "in between plus and petite" designers!
nonaoik
nonaoik on October 03
I agree there should be an other way to say that, but I think people complains about almost all fashion shows show clothes fitting models with bodies that represent less than a 10% of women. When there should be "models" more or less representing the maximum of people. Not only about curves but also the height, if you have short legs as you said you could be disappointed with all models long legs.
ravenouscreatures
ravenouscreatures on October 03
I believe you have hit upon the happy medium when you throw out all the fillers and simply say women. We are all women, what is average anyway as between height, curves, not many curves, race, hair type etc our differences are myriad our sisterhood a given. If we stop commenting on the figure of a woman and instead be inspired by her, her fashion sense etc. there would less controversy, possibly?
joribat
joribat on October 03
Monique, thank you. How dumb for anyone to say there is one right way to look like a woman (let alone BE a woman). I am short and curvy, yet flat-chested as they come. I may not love being that way, but probably only because I have learned to believe that somehow I'm less beautiful and womanly. How sad that anyone in the world is led to feel inadequate or un-lovely in the body they were given.
HxH
HxH on October 03
Great article! Love the way you rationalise it & i agree that differences in size and body feature don't make any woman less real than another. :)
lizzybethh
lizzybethh on October 03
I know too well how you are feeling. I have experienced this first hand with my modeling work in New York. They are very judgmental and close minded to the fact that not every woman looks like she hasn't eaten in months or is 6-7 ft tall. It is really sad because whether they realize it or not they are selling themselves short. So many beautiful models out there with potential never get noticed.
joribat
joribat on October 03
lizzbethh, I think you might be missing Monique's point. She is getting at the fact that those tiny models who may look like they haven't eaten in months are women too.
ksaebin
ksaebin on October 03
Thank you for this great article!
AdrianaOrnelas
AdrianaOrnelas on September 29
I never thought of it this way! Lets all stand up for one another!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Couldn't have said it better myself! Thanks :)
bcurtis
bcurtis on September 29
From a curvy girl's POV, saying real women have curves is a way for curvy girls to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately what they (we) don't realize is that it's hurting women who are naturally skinny/tall/whatever. I love this article and I've often argued on behalf of size 2's even though I'm definitely not one of them. :) In my opinion, real women have lady parts!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Thank you!! I really appreciate your feedback :)
Lhaie
Lhaie on September 29
Eye-opener. I agree with the article. Curves does not define it all. :))
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Thanks for reading!!
megpud
megpud on September 28
A real woman is a female.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
:)
angrycloud
angrycloud on September 28
(comment got cut off) its just saying that fashion and the clothes that are sold to "everyday people" needs to change. Models should come in all different sizes and shapes and clothing should also keep this in mind. This isn't saying that there isn't an effort out there (I see more "short" jeans, which is excellent for me, being petite). I think that more of an effort needs to be out there
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Absolutely! Thank you for your feedback!
angrycloud
angrycloud on September 28
Agree, real women come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. I guess the point that they make is that it's not fair to anyone when the fashion industry demands tall women who are size 0 or smaller. This isn't to say that there aren't any 6'ft size 2 "real" women out there. It's just that its such a small ideal (and some that models themselves struggle to fit into) it makes a lot of ppl sad
miramcc
miramcc on September 28
I couldn't of said it better. I completely agree. I'm 5'6 and 110 pounds, there's nothing that takes a crack at your self esteem like hearing "real woman have curves."
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Thanks for your feedback & yes, these phrases do affect people's self esteem too.
boredstephanie
boredstephanie on September 28
I totally agree, the recent push for "real woman have curves!" is just implying that everyone else is not real...
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Thanks for reading this & for commenting!
brokenbar
brokenbar on September 28
This is an amazing article. I couldn't agree more.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Thank you!
imafever
imafever on September 27
What an excellent article!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 27
Thanks!
aribear22
aribear22 on September 27
great article (:
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 27
Thank you!
TigeressKitten
TigeressKitten on September 27
I also have many friends who are the complete opposite of me physically so I KNOW how hard it is to find things that fit correctly no matter what size you are, so I don't like or respect comments that belittle our fellow women. It's not their fault that fashion designers are obsessed with certain sizes.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on October 01
Agreed :) I really appreciate your feedback!
TigeressKitten
TigeressKitten on September 27
This is why I get irritated at the plus size community some days even though I'm plus size. When I read stuff or get reply about "real women" or complaining about "the skinny B's" I get frustrated and want to bang my head on my desk while counting backward to calm myself and muttering "Why can't they see! Their as REAL as me!"
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 27
Thanks for this!
TheLittlestUnicorn
TheLittlestUnicorn on September 27
This is something that has been on my mind as I'm petite like you and, working in a consignment store, I often get comments regarding how easy it must be for me and I don't find it flattering I find it hurtful as it can be just as hard for me! I've read all the comments and agree - "real" and "normal" are exclusionary and should go!!!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 27
Exactly! I used to work in retail and some comments would be hurtful/offensive too. Thanks for your feedback :)
modgeisha
modgeisha on September 27
Great points! Love that you raised this issue and stirred a lot of girls. Now, we are able to clarify more the true meaning of the term "real woman." I think it differs with how each one of us perceive the characteristics of a "real woman." It's pretty subjective just as beauty is, based on the person viewing it.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 27
Thanks for bringing this point up!
gwisn2qx
gwisn2qx on September 26
"I, along with a lot of other women, do not have these womanly features they speak of. So does that mean… I’m not real?" THANK YOU!!!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 26
You're welcome! Just wanted to bring up this topic & get feedback from the Chictopia community :)
compulsions
compulsions on September 26
Yes yes, this. I agree with you. We make too much of a fuss around the words and forget the point. Big boobs or not, curvy or not, tall, small, women are of every size and porpotion. There isn't one standard body type and there shouldn't be. Many people argue that photos of curvier girls should be labeled as normal girls but.. for every curvy girl I know there is one small framed girl around. Norm
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 26
Absolutely! Thanks for reading :)
helloimgabs
helloimgabs on September 26
Real women also concern with confidence. Yes, the term is popularly linked to curvy women (like me), but this leaves behind all the successful women who have other shapes. I think that in order to finally find a definition for real women, we all must stop using this term and start seeing our similarities rather than our differences. We all have our periods, get haircuts, etc.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 26
Wonderfully said! Thank you for your feedback!
marijakatrina
marijakatrina on September 26
this article is so good, i tottally agree with you
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 26
Thank you for reading!
F4SHI0N
F4SHI0N on September 25
that is a difficult situation,but its also hard to be politically correct all the time. but i do agree that the term "real woman " is too touchy.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 26
Agreed, it is hard. Hopefully we won't need any labels/definitions that way no one is excluded!
fifthofjuly
fifthofjuly on September 25
Just a glance through this article and I couldn't agree with you more. I hate the way the phrase "real woman" is tossed around. The word "real" creates a false dichotomy - something is either real or not. I'm naturally slim an don't fit into the curvy "real woman" image so does that make me somehow fake? It's a phrase that has the potential to be just as divisive as the model-sized image of beauty
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
Right! Instead of embracing all body types, the phrase just excludes other groups of women who don't fit under this category. I'm glad you brought up that there is the potential of it being just as divisive. Thanks for your feedback!
CornerToCross
CornerToCross on September 25
Great article! It's true that most women don't look like the pictures in magazines but why do skinny girls who naturally look like that get criticized? It's supposed to be a blessing, not a curse! I totally agree that your body shape doesn't determine whether or not you're a woman.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
Thank you for reading & your feedback!
natalia_mar
natalia_mar on September 25
Many ppl, men say that a "real woman" must be "curvy", here on t.v (the comercial &trashy tv) put women very very curvy (and with tons of plastic surgery), that's why ppl here say a "real woman" must be curvy (90-60-90) and the other women with small breast, or skinny... feel like they are not beauty. I hate the term of real woman because it dictates "what you should be", to please others, why?
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
With all of these definitions of what a "real" woman should be, it makes women everywhere feel like they have to fit all these different molds. Thanks for reading!
thiswouldbeher
thiswouldbeher on September 25
I have a point to make!! :) that term "real woman" in Mexico is used, not for just for curvy women, but for women that are of all sizes (thin or round)& do womanly HOUSEWORK...not saying its a bad thing,i enjoy when my visiting aunts name me a "real woman"but i hate it when my mother calls me "not a real" because i dislike cooking with her. in all, many mex. women have a different defin. in mind
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
Interesting, I never knew that!
ChicStarTrekGeek
ChicStarTrekGeek on September 25
I can sort of see where this perception comes from. Not saying I agree at all, of course all women are real women. But if we're constantly crammed with advertisement and media where on particular type of women (that 6 foot tall size 2 gal) is being constantly crammed down our mental throats. In essence, she becomes a idea more than a person. Kind of like the celebrity factor.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
Good point :) Thanks for your feedback!
ChicStarTrekGeek
ChicStarTrekGeek on September 25
That being said, it's easier to trash on an idea rather than a person. I really love the article's final line "we really shouldn't be tied to such terms and allow them to define us".
nekorine
nekorine on September 24
When I am here in Australia people call me Curvy or pear shaped because I got pretty big breasts and a bum. But when I am back in Hong Kong people call me fat and expect me to be super skinny, at least a size 0. And thank goodness, I didn't take their word for it and just be completely happy with what I got. No such thing as a "real woman" every woman is real no matter the circumstances!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
I'm glad you didn't!
ZiZi543
ZiZi543 on September 24
i love this article!! no need for the term "real" woman are just woman! all shapes sizes, and colors. No more need for categorization :)
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
Exactly!
teribi
teribi on September 24
Yeah, that's the reason why, sometimes some women who are really into fashion are afraid to upload some of their looks in fashion communities is because of their body type : pear shaped with flabby tummys, etc. unlike gals there who are skinny or have a nice bod. This article is very encouraging actually and it opens the minds of others as well. Remember the Dove commercials?
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 24
Thank you for your feedback! I hope that more people will become comfortable with sharing their styles. :)
sympathy_kid
sympathy_kid on September 24
Awesome article! I definitely agree! I like knowing that other people see this issue; I'm sort of in the middle between very petit and somewhat average but I'd still consider myself curvy and I like being reminded of how real I really am because I've always had confidence issues. :)
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 24
Glad you like it!
lizzified
lizzified on September 24
this is a great article tt raises an important issue! I have grown so tired of seeing the term "real woman" and even "normal woman" splashed all over the media - as if a woman is not real if she does not have "curves"? It is just too exclusive. Sometimes it feels like I am not considered to be "real" because I am a size zero and have always been petite :(
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 25
Thanks for your feedback! I hope that this issue becomes more prevalent so that there will be no need to describe women as "real".
RayC
RayC on September 24
Agreed! There is no one perfect body shape or size for all to follow. We can't help the way we were born so we have to make the best of what we have! Curves or no curves, as long as we're healthy, that's what counts.
MiuSan
MiuSan on September 24
Wow, let's twist up some more phrases and get more articles like this!
thiswouldbeher
thiswouldbeher on September 25
lmao!! such a good way to say nice article<3
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 24
Thank you!
Cranbarrier
Cranbarrier on September 23
I hate the term "real woman" or "real man." I find it very hypocritical and ridiculous that people will use "real woman" to describe curvy or larger women in retaliation to the idea that skinny is ideal, because this in turn hurts said skinny people and gives them a complex.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 24
These terms -- "real", "normal", "ideal" -- exclude people & I think it does more harm than good.
toropiski
toropiski on September 23
A real woman... A real human... How far can you go in fashion or art, not meaning just words... And what is the real value of a woman when she is 50 or 70? Or children - is a woman real with kids or without?? Career? Meaning what? Lovely never ending lines of pondering... =D
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 24
Glad you brought this up too!
fuglygirlonthebench
fuglygirlonthebench on September 23
a real woman is a woman who feels the most comfortable in her own skin...:)
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 23
Yes!
notsohum
notsohum on September 23
I tottaly believe in this because I'm a size 0, and I eat normally but I play alot of sports so I burn alot of calories and I am a real girl, and I always thought that no matter what your size or assets, you are a real girl no matter what.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 23
Definitely. I think that using the word "real" has done the opposite. Instead of actually being more inclusive of all sizes & shapes, it's come to define just a specific body type.
fuglygirlonthebench
fuglygirlonthebench on September 23
Every woman out here is real if she has an XX chromosome, speaking scientifically! Lol~XD I have seen how my friends starve themselves and contemplate to go under the knife just to be considered "real" or in other words the perfect woman! It's a fact that no one can ignore. Looks play a big part in this world.
MegWhite_
MegWhite_ on October 04
I would even go a step further and say that I consider a real woman an individual who defines herself as a real woman, even if she wasn't born with an XX chromosome and female parts. Otherwise, I feel like we're discriminating against transgender people.
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 23
Hopefully your friends change their minds!! Like RayC's comment below, we should be celebrating our bodies. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done. Hope that changes too!
RayC
RayC on September 23
Every woman's body is real, therefore we should embrace the fact that beauty doesn't come in a dress size and neither is it determined by the numbers on the scale. What the media represents as the ideal body is a very small population of women. They choose to ignore the rest of us. We should be celebrating a diversity of shapes and should be proud of the body we have.
patlaenz
patlaenz on September 24
I think they choose to ignore because is more simple to desing for a small size,the "big brands" say they wont compromise their signature with a desing they think it could be unfalttering....its really sad
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 23
Perfectly said :)
catiebeatty
catiebeatty on September 23
The "hourglass" figure has been somehow cemented in our minds as what "real" women should look like, but did you know only 8% of the population has that figure?! Only 8%! Why do we consider it the ideal and the norm? It has been portrayed in art for centuries, but somewhere along the way we got confused. I like what The Sartorialist had to say about the word curvy. Its a shape not a weight!
catiebeatty
catiebeatty on September 24
I called myself curvy once and my friend said "No you're not! You're normal!" What?
catiebeatty
catiebeatty on September 24
Yeah, i was really shocked too! It's like the most well known shape! They used to think women who were NOT that shape were unhealthy, and until recently they thought you were more likely to have a heart attack!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 23
I had no idea! That IS a very small fraction of the population. I think that people do confuse some words with weight. And I think Schuman brought up a good point about how people get caught up in the words being used instead of admiring how people of different body types/features/shapes/etc. express their style.
purplewang
purplewang on September 23
I agree with you and sometimes think petite women are seen as "not real women" which is ridiculous--"real" should encompass ALL sizes. Thanks for sharing this Monique! -Amethyst
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 23
Thanks for featuring this!
patlaenz
patlaenz on September 23
a real woman in my opinion is a confidence one. period.curvy not curvy its about how you feel with yourself
filipina
filipina on September 23
I second that!
petiteavenue
petiteavenue on September 23
Agreed!

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