“I can’t stand it when people say I read comments that say, ‘finally a real woman. No matter your size/shape/amount of cellulite, we are in this together.’,” said model and activist Ashley Graham in an Instagram post, adding that “WE ARE ALL REAL WOMEN.” However, despite her post, the tag “real woman” and “real women” is used and misused through social media, especially in the realm of body image and positivity. “Real women have curves,” for example, but what about women who don’t? Does this mean that they are fake? What about brands that continually push the “real women agenda”?
If only some women’s bodies can be considered real, what about the rest?
Lane Bryant, a US-based retailer recently called its rewards program “Real Women Dollars,” while the more familiar Dove campaigns have long been pushing their products which are used by “real women” all over the globe including India. Meanwhile, a British brand that offers plus-sized clothing announced a model search looking for “real women” and “real bodies”, whatever that means. The question arises that if only some women’s bodies can be considered real what about the rest? Hence, we can truly conclude that the “real women” tag really does exclude many women and what happens to them. There has long been the division among women between models and real women and however real the women displayed in advertisement campaigns are, they still conform to what is considered universally beautiful which is having an hourglass shape.
Is the real woman tag a marketing gimmick?
A woman with a full face of makeup is a real woman as much as the barefaced one, a model’s body is as real as a non-model body. Brands might argue otherwise, but making money plays a huge role in how advertisements campaigns and money don’t really care about consumers as long it has an effect on their bank account. Therefore, it seems that the whole “real women” turmoil is simply a marketing gimmick, making a certain type of woman feel inadequate. There are no fake women and making women feel that there is such a thing as a real woman is making matters worse. Thanks for nothing, body positivity, because, “Beauty is beyond size. Real beauty can’t be seen on the outside; it’s everything on the inside being spilled out from your pores and the creases of your body.” said a wise Ashley Graham again.
Image credit: 30seconds.com