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About body images
Who is the infamous ‘Real Woman?’
By Juliette Lisa.
Hi guys and gals! Just a brief post regarding the term ‘real women’!
In my personal opinion; "real" means: to exist in this universe, to be seen, heard, touched and known about – not a figment of one’s imagination.
Woman – one who is born with female genitalia, literally speaking. Figuratively, a woman can embody many different things.
It irks me to no end when arguments surrounding who a ‘real woman’ is circulate either in the media/online or in general day to day life. Surely everyone on this planet is real!! I wish this tiresome phrase/argument would die out but alas, as long as there is this constant scrutiny surrounding what women should ideally look like and this division of opinions slash the whole ‘body shaming’ movement – this ‘real woman’ malarkey will continue.
When someone says you ‘aren’t a real woman because ____’ How do you react to this? How should we, society, react to this? Should we fight back, protest, give counter arguments? Or should we all come together and say ‘we are all real women’ ‘we all deserve to be given credit for our womanity’ ect.
Many people believe a ‘real woman has to have meat on her bones/have curves’ which is quite a common argument that I often come across; however others feel that ‘real women should be slender, tall ect’.In my honest opinion, there will never be a ‘real woman’ because this ‘real woman’ is really another phrase for ‘perfect woman’ and there is no such thing as perfect at least not when everyone has different ideals and standards.
Have a good day everyone and remember if you pinch yourself & it hurts – you’re real! :)
Abolishing the skinny myth!
By Juliette Lisa.
In recent years, it has become commonplace to associate being thin/skinny with the disorder Anorexia. Much like large or obese people are called ‘lazy’. I’m not by any means suggesting these are one and the same, because I know Anorexia is a mental disorder whereby sufferers are not in control of their actions to a certain extent. Lazy on the other hand I guess, is the only insult some people can muster up, because they themselves are in fact, ‘lazy’ in regards to thinking of better and much more well-suited adjectives. Not that I suggest it is in any way good to insult others, but at least if you are going to do so, resorting to that old favourite? Psh! What a cop-out!
However, there is simply no denying that whatever word is shouted at us or even whispered about us, hurts – whichever side of the spectrum you seem to fall into, ‘thin’ or ‘fat’ or ‘normal’ (gosh who creates these unpleasant sounding, demeaning terms!) any insult is an insult and no matter how overused or irrelevant they are, they can still hurt and chip away at us.
Being on the ‘thin’ end, and having been all my life, let me tell you how hurtful it is to be called various names under the sun. ‘Stick insect’, ‘clothes rail’ ‘beanpole’ ‘skeleton’ ‘ghost’ ‘toothpick’ and the number one, ‘Anorexic’. When I was far younger, I had very little understanding of the word ‘Anorexic’. I knew that it wasn’t acceptable to go around saying it to people, but I didn’t understand the full extent of the disorder until I grew older and realised just how destructive and horribly consuming it can be for the sufferer of such a disorder.
I’m not going to lie – I did look like I fell into this ‘category’ but I knew I wasn’t starving myself so I knew I was fine. After all, I had all my menstrual cycle from the age of 13 up until the present day(and still going!), so I knew that whether I looked ill or not, my body was actually not treating me like it would if I were starving myself so as far as I were concerned, I was 100% not anorexic at all. I liked my food, loved it, in fact. Until I developed I.B.S (Irritable bowel syndrome) as part of a wider collective illness I am still struggling with today. This made my stomach very ‘irritable’ as the name would suggest. I get bloated, I get cramping and I get malabsorption amongst other unpleasant symptoms. I find it very difficult to control – so I guess that is one aspect Anorexia has in common with I.B.S.
I would love to put ON weight!
Although, I would do anything to be able to have a normal functioning gut, so I can eat whatever I want without feeling the ill-effects. It’s not me simply having a hatred of food and a fear of ‘getting big’, in fact I would love more than anything to put ON weight so I shall never hear the mean curses inflicted upon my ears again, but it’s simply not as easy as eating more food in my case, as I have to be careful with certain foods and combinations; which I guess to an outsider can seem a little ‘disordered’. To put it simply; I have to eat little portions in order to prevent uncomfortable feelings in my gut.
So you see, a combination of having chronic, physical illnesses, has taken a further toll on my physical appearance making me appear more gaunt, thin, and generally unwell. It’s not something I would wish upon anyone. However, at least I have justification for being thin, not that you should ever feel obliged to justify yourself to anyone throwing insults at you.
Anorexia is a complex, mental illness. Sufferers cite different reasons or many reasons as to why their disease developed. It ranges from wanting to be thin or just losing weight in general, and it is unfortunate that it goes too far, to wanting to regain control, or simply as a form of punishment or self-harm. The tell-tale signs of this is that sufferers refuse to eat in public, or simply throw away their food once people are out of sight, moreover, they may wear baggy clothing to hide weight loss, and even show signs of hair loss and dry skin, as well as other symptoms which can occur in conjunction with Bulimia – as sometimes the two disorders can co-exist together, making diagnoses quite difficult in which case the sufferer may be labelled as ‘EDNOS’ (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), whereby criterion is not met.
In the media there has been huge backlash over ‘skinny celebs’ and whether they suffer from Eating Disorders or not – I do not believe in the way they are scrutinised for looking a certain way. I get abysmally infuriated when I see articles suggesting that certain celebrities’ thinness ‘promotes anorexia’. Not only is that completely idiotic to say but it probably makes the celebrity quite conscious of themselves if they weren’t before, especially if they are naturally thin – as no one likes to be told they are ‘responsible’ for young impressionable fans falling victim to disorders. Yes – perhaps they are ‘role models’ to a certain extent but I detect more than just a tad of reductionism about this relationship between role models and copycat behaviour! Give the general public more credit please! And anyway, would a larger or indeed ‘fat’ celebrity be accused of ‘promoting obesity?’ I’ve never hear
d of such a thing! No celebrity walks around with a placard saying ‘YOU SHOULD BE THIS’ therefore they are not outwardly promoting anything – unless they are featured in advertisements endorsing some hair care or makeup brand
I guess the notion I am trying to reiterate here, is that we will all be called names at one point or other, names which make no sense to us but make perfect sense to the insulter because in their ignorant eyes, we fit the description of what they are calling us. That however is just their small-minded opinion, and if they had bothered to delve into the meaning of their words a little more, and ask us why we are the way we are, with a genuine interest – they will be surprised to know that actually, more often than not, they are wrong in their assumptions.
These days, if someone has the audacity to call me a name – I will question their insult, because I believe in educating people. For example, if someone were to say ‘don’t you eat?’ oh my, you must be Anorexic’. I will simply respond with the facts. Yes, like I have previously mentioned, we shouldn’t feel obliged to justify ourselves but sometimes it’s almost cathartic to stump them and put them in their place! I also firmly believe that it is far better to have people judge you based on truth than assumptions, because let’s face it – no one is ever going to stop being judgemental so they might as well know the truth before they progress any further into their catty hatred for us which has no real basis in reality.
After a while though, it gets tiring. Hearing the same thing by the same people; gosh –don’t they have lives?! Let them remain ignorant. As we know the truth ourselves and that is all that matters, why should we even give them the satisfaction of a response? I guess it all depends on how comfortable you are with yourself and who the person is. Everyone has different ways of dealing with insults. You should just remember that insults are often opinions, said out of spite or jealousy, or even boredom.
In fact with the ever-expanding social media circuit online, insults are part of the daily grind. You go onto YouTube for example; you watch a video of a band perhaps – there in the comment box will be irrelevant comments from trolls of the internet world who get their kicks out of insulting others behind the ‘screen of secrecy’.
Don’t take it to heart and stay true!
It’s all too easy to take these insults to heart. Just remember the most important thing is to be HEALTHY and once you are healthy, none of this will matter. Being healthy is not exactly easy, though, so always make it essential to strive towards healthiness by surrounding yourself with pleasant and helpful people – as a clear mind will help towards a clear and healthy body. Obviously there are some things you cannot control (like me having I.B.S and asthma, for instance) but making sure you do all you can to get towards optimum healthiness is a step in the right direction.
The lesson we can all learn from this is that when you assume, you make an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘me’. Okay so that was a contrived, old pun – but it is very much TRUE, and truth is what we should all aim for because it helps to shape a better society.
Heidi Klum: Naturally Skinny People “Born That Way!”
Hi guys! I just spent my Saturday afternoon putting together a shareable image quote by Heidi Klum.
"Some people are born skinny, and that's just the way it is. You can't point a finger at them and say they're ill or anorexic. It isn't fair to people born that way."
Thank you Heidi, for standing up for us naturally skinny girls!
Freel free to copy/share this image.