Will the ‘Real Women’ Please Stand Up?

by Britni Danielle

Have you ever uttered one of these statements?

“Real women have a little meat on their bones.”

“Real women don’t need to depend on anyone.”

“Real women don’t sleep around.”

“Real women know how to take charge.”

“Real women know how to treat a man.”

And my personal favorite, “Real women do real things.”

If so, stop.

While these catchy phrases seem to give props to sisters who are handling their business and owning their self-worth, they actually do little more than continue to set up contentious relationships between women. Inevitably some of us will be left out of whatever definition a “real women” is intended to encompass.

Case in point, “Real women aren’t a size two.”

Recently, I was watching The View and Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles, were on the show promoting their newest ventures. Mama Knowles was hawking her affordable fashion line and had brought along a few outfits for a mini-fashion show. During the show, which featured models of varying sizes, Sherri Shepherd remarked that she was impressed that Tina Knowles used different types of models.

“Not many people will show you, they usually will have the slinky size two model, and we never know how it will fit on real women. And the fact that you bring up two different sizes, kudos to you Ms Tina.”

Co-host, Joy Behar, quickly jumped in. “Well the thin models are real women also.”

Sherri countered, “The thin models are real women, but the average size is bigger than a two.”

Although I knew what Sherri meant, that the fashion world rarely presents realistic representations of what the average-sized American woman looks like, her comment still made me wince. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one.

After hearing her comments, several petite women in my Twitter timeline expressed offense at what they felt was Sherri taking a jab at them for somehow being less than “real women” because of their size.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average woman in the United States is 63.8″ tall (about 5’3″) and weighs 164.7 pounds, so if we were to measure what a “real woman” is by those standards, a lot of us would be left out.

The debate over the ideal body type of a “real woman” continues to divide us. From the “skinny bitches are evil” meme, to the line of thinking that overweight women are lazy and advocates of poor health, we continue to lose if we take sides and buy into the mentality that some of us are “real women” while others are not worthy of the title. Not only does this thinking do little to build real self-esteem, it causes us to diminish our collective power as women.

When conversations like these occur, I’m reminded of the power, and problematic nature, of generalizations. If we start to classify certain types of women as “real women,” what happens to those of us who do not fit neatly into the box? And moreover, who decides who is and is not a “real woman”?

Historically, women have had to live within rigid ideas about femininity. Compared to men, we were considered naturally weaker, less intelligent, and unable to perform tasks that involved physical strength. In pre-industrial societies, for example, women were relegated to domestic tasks, leaving more physically demanding tasks, such as hunting and plowing, to men (although Black women were often times forced to handle such demanding tasks as well).  Moreover, women have also had to operate under double standards that seek to strip them of their sexual freedom.

Although such unyielding ideas about women were primarily created by men and a patriarchal society, many of us continue to perpetuate these antiquated ideas that do more to oppress, and little to uplift.

But why?

Some sisters cling to the label, “real women,” like it’s some sort of banner that sets them apart from those they consider undesirable.  For instance, some of us who rock natural hair mistakenly consider ourselves more “real” than our sisters who relax or alter their hair. As if how we look determines our “real woman” status. Another sticking point for many of us is how other women behave. We sometimes label those who are sexually free as “wrong” (or whores, or sluts), and those who are more “pious” or less open about their sexuality somehow “better” because they’re behaving more like a “lady should.”

This “I am a ‘real woman’ but you’re not” attitude repeats itself over and over again in terms of how we look, dress, how we act, and how we view each other, but it needs to stop.

The media constantly focuses on the supposed cattiness and jealousy of women, but most of us are to quick to point out our love for our girls. However, we need to be aware of how we treat the women we don’t know, and, even more, how we talk about ourselves if we are to foster any sort of true and lasting bond as women.

When it all comes down to it, all women are “real women.” No matter our age, size, race, attitude, sexual history, or body type. And whether you’re discussing Nicki Minaj, Jada Pinket, Oprah, Lil’ Kim, Michelle Obama, your mother, or yourself, we are all women and we no longer need to separate ourselves by false barriers in order to feel good about ourselves.

  • Maurice

    The “Real…” label is one I don’t see disappearing anytime soon. People and society as a whole will always use, find, or create labels to justify their opinions and/or feelings. Are all women real? Certainly. But for some reasons, whether we like to believe it or not sometimes labels are needed.

    I understand where the author and Sherri are coming from but from my perspective as a man. The media images of “Real Women” on tv, magazines, advertisments…I see are a majority size 2 and under, thin/skinny, and hardly look close to the women I see everyday in my community.

  • Alexandra

    Welcome to the world of judgment. Everyone does it, whether negative or positive.
    A lot of women judge other women, based on what their standards are. If you dont meet it, you’re not real to them.
    And there is a standard in society too. Society dictates, and people perpetuate.

    “Oh you’re not a real Black, cause you’re light, you’re not a real woman, cause you have no curves, you’re not real, cause you wear weave”

    It’s the same calling other’s fake. “You’re fake cause you have implants, you’re fake cause you wear makeup, weave etc; “. I remember I told a friend of mine how I got disrespected by some random couple on the street & when I told him “I just walked away from them” he told me “Oh a real Black women would’ not have let that happen”.
    He was dumb for saying that, but I knew what he meant. According to stereotypes/society, a real Black woman would’ve went wild.

  • African Mami

    A real woman to me is one who appreciates themselves and knows their worth. Media should not be used as a gauge for what’s real and what’s not. Great article!

  • Sheila

    I Agree With This Article 100%.

  • http://fullpleatherjacket.wordpress.com/ mina

    The reason all of the “Real Women Have Curves” thing started because this society you are considered unfeminine and undesirable if you are fat. This issue has kinda been beaten to death, but it was a backlash against the thin obsessed western beauty standard that is king in this culture.

    Whenever the real women debate pops up it always turns into a “But thin girls have it rough too.” debate which is simply not true. If you thin and fit into societal beauty standards you’ll be just fine. I’m not agreeing with the “real women” rhetoric and many other have been called out for it. But if you not just a little curvy or “curvy in the right spots”, disabled, masculine, or something else that is not the norm you really are not considered a real woman.

    For some reason Nicki Minaj and another is always brought up whenever Clutch discusses how women talk about each other and its annoying me. Being critical of how these women present themselves in the public eye is not a commentary on their womanhood or being anti-feminist or anti-blackwoman or a hater. It is being critical on the state of certain industries that allow these individuals to shine through but seem to leave no room for anyone else.

  • Yoyoyo

    Good article. Off topic but I never knew the average American woman was 5’3″! I would have thought 5’5″

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashleigh-Elle-Aye/507714421 Ashleigh Elle Aye

    Good article. Everyone is real. No one should be made to feel less than because they are thin, thick, permed, natural, light, dark or anything else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashleigh-Elle-Aye/507714421 Ashleigh Elle Aye

    I agree with you for the most part but I think it’s unfair to insinuate that a woman has it easy because she’s thin. Do thin women have it as bad as thicker women? No. But if a woman isn’t thin, white, blond and young, nine times out of ten, she’s caught crap for the way she looks. Hell, even those women have self esteem issues and eating disorders.

  • http://www.chellbellz.com ChellBellz

    A real woman had a vagina point blank simple….and boobs and ovaries.

  • http://www.fresherthanchris.com MrChristianlaw

    Chell Bellz!!!!!!

    Yeah, I’m happy somebody wrote this. In effort to “uplift women”, women have put down another person. The very thing that they are supposed to be speaking out against.

  • lei

    “The debate over the ideal body type of a “real woman” continues to divide us. From the “skinny bitches are evil” meme, to the line of thinking that overweight women are lazy and advocates of poor health, we continue to lose if we take sides and buy into the mentality that some of us are “real women” while others are not worthy of the title. Not only does this thinking do little to build real self-esteem, it causes us to diminish our collective power as women.”

    This is so true. I have been called a “skinny B” by complete strangers in a joking way or told I need to put a little meat on my bones as if they are authorized to give me medical advice. It isn’t funny. As a female in her mid 30′s, I am getting a little too old for people’s comments meant to be funny or encouraging. All women are real women

  • http://twitter.com/michie_wuz_here Michie

    I hate this one the most: “Real women aren’t a size two.”

    Because I am a size one, am I not “real”? My favorite thing to say when someone says the above line is: “I must be imaginary then.” “Real woman” has become a euphemism for “fat”

  • Michie

    “Real women aren’t size two.” — I hate this one the most!

    Just because I’m a size one, am I not real? What am I– imaginary? “Real woman” has become a euphemism for “fat woman”

  • http://twitter.com/michie_wuz_here Michie

    Mina said: “The reason all of the ‘Real Women Have Curves’ thing started because this society you are considered unfeminine and undesirable if you are fat.”

    Mina, “curves” is a euphemism for “fat. True big women don’t have curves. Actually, it’s the smaller women who have the curves– so the “real women have curves” statement makes no sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ty-Renee-Pinckney/12613306 Ty Renee Pinckney

    Great article!

  • Emelyne

    Uh, I’ll be a bitch and say flat out that as a 5’10, size 2, I really don’t care what an obese, diabetic black women or any other has to say about me. Bottom line, I’m gorgeous, healthy, and have absolutely no problem finding clothing that fits well and doesn’t showcase double chins, cellulite, and non-pastry rolls. I hardly care what a fatty has to say and I’m surprised that so many women were worked up by her. Every time I even think of being offended by a fat or ugly chick, I simply look into a mirror. Kudos to Joy for pointing out the obvious, as well.

  • Emelyne

    Yes, it has, girl. It’s sad, too, because a mere 3-4 decades ago, obese was NOT the average.

  • Emelyne

    Jst because thin women do not have it as rough as fat one is no reason to say that they are not real when that statement in itself makes no sense whatsoever (I exist, therefore I’m real). Also, it’s usually the fault of that fat woman and no one elses that she’s fat. Body fat is one of the few things that a person has within their control so I don’t see why fat women should get a free pass in the dating and social world, as well as a right to try to put down thin women simply because the are (in general) gluttons with a complete lack of self control. Lastly, a big woman can be curvacious, but real fat/obesity, only hides curves beneath excess layers of fat. All of these “real women” euphemisms are just an attempt by fat women to justify and try to showcase a beauty in their fat. It’s not cute and more importantly it’s not healthy, and the average man is programmed to associate beauty with health and health with fertility. Most fat chicks with a man are simply lucky enough to have caught one with a fat fetish or unfortunately, one who wants someone to bone and has slim pickings for slim women (since thin women are now a dying breed in the U.S.).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brittany-J-Barnes/13807883 Brittany J Barnes

    I absolutely loved this article, especially the ending, “We are all women and we no longer need to separate ourselves by false barriers in order to feel good about ourselves.”

    It is time to uplift one another and appreciate difference, whether it be hair, body type, dress or sexuality.

  • http://fullpleatherjacket.wordpress.com/ mina

    Your comments on this article are EXACTLY what I’m talking about, and why that real women rhetoric got started in the first place! Your comments are sizist and hateful. If your so confident on your looks why did you feel the need to use such language to comment on women of size?

    Just because your fat doesn’t mean your unhealthy, if your not my doctor keep your comments on someone else weight to yourself. In this society no matter what your actually putting in your body, it’s just assumed that if your fat=bad, thin=good.

    I have all those things you describe to tear down fat women and you know what? I look in the mirror and see a beautiful sexy person too, and someone who doesn’t have to tear people down to make myself feel good.

    I never agreed or engaged in the Real Women talk, but when you read comments like Emelyne and a lot of other comments dealing with weight on Clutch, I really can’t feel too bad for the other side. At least when your with a man, it’s not assumed your man has a “thin fetish”. Ugh.

    It’s really sad that there will be so much thoughtful debate on different issues on here, but when it comes to weight we get stuff like this.

  • lei

    Thank you Thank you. So many body product companies are using the campaign of “Real Women come in all shapes in sizes”, which translated means Real Women aren’t thin. Thin people can’t win for losing. You have a lot on your plate-”Wow, where does it all go!” You don’t have a big appetite at the moment-”Wow, no wonder you are so thin!” So exasperating. I went to a movie night at a friends house. Heard they were having only snacks. Went to BK beforehand and got 2 double cheeseburgers and fries. When I arrived and said I didn’t want anything at the moment to eat-I was told that is why I am so thin :/

  • Emelyne

    @Lei: Yes, it can be truly annoying to be made to have to constantly defend your thinness and eating in moderation and even exercise habits to others who have somehow convinced themselves that binge-eating, being overweight and not exercising are all normal and healthy.

  • fraulein17

    i dont think people are interpreting the “real women have curves” thing correctly. OF COURSE you’re a real woman.lol but society feels like the only women who are considered beautiful are “model type” rail thin women. look at the victoria’s secret model they are pushing those women as the most beautiful women in the world. if they were thicker then that wouldnt be the case. hell people think beyonce is fat! hollywood’s standards of beautiful is really really thin. and hollywood of course is seen as not real cause of all the glitz and glam that makes these women look “beautiful’ so when they say “real women” they mean the average everyday woman without a team of 4 people in their glam squad, that is ALSO beautiful.

    i definitely do NOT agree with erasing the “real women” thing when it comes to people like lil kim and nicki minaj. those women are completely knifed up. how are you gonna call somebody full of plastic real? real women embrace THEMSELVES and love themselves the way they are. not stuffing their bodies with bags of silicone and getting their nose broken to look like somebody else. its unbelieveable how people see nothing wrong with cosmetic surgery. its a horrible horrible thing.

  • Emelyne

    @Mina: Have you ever put down or accused a thin woman of having an eating disorder? Many fat chicks have. Do you eat in moderation and exercise daily? Many fat chicks don’t. If my comment does not apply to you, keep it moving. I don’t partake in fat bashing, but I refuse to coddle fat people in general who always make the “I’m fat, but healthy” argument. Overeating is 100% guaranteed way to obesity. Not exercising is another. Both are within everyone’s control. Did I say fat women are all ugly or all ugly women fat? No, I did not, but I don’t see how saying a fat person has rolls, cellulite, and double chin is “offensive” when it’s painfully obvious, put thin women are suppose to sit quitely in a corner when fat chicks band together to debate our realness. You haven’t, so as I said, if it doesn’t apply to you, keep it moving.

  • sloane

    emelyne- are you seriously using the perjorative term “fatties” in reference to overweight women? and how do you know if someone you perceive as a “fatty” is even considered medically obese or diabetic? come on! you have GOT to know how mean-spirited, antagonistic, and insecure you are coming off. and as evinced by your terminology, “fat or ugly chick” you DO sound as though you are correlating being larger woman with being unattractive, as though someone who is overweight is inherently less appealing in comparison to you because you are thin.

    and i think you knew you were going to use inflammatory language when you initially said “i’ll be a bitch”. is it any wonder that mina had a reaction to what you said? i mean, come on! was your intent to engage in any kind of meaningful dialogue? or did you use this as an opportunity to taunt (that comment about being able to find clothing that fits well, something most thin people take for granted, was totally uncalled for and a show of privilege), fat bash, and be hurtful to overweight women who may have hurt you at some point?

    now while i don’t believe in putting a premium on women of any size, i recognize my privilege as a thin woman http://kateharding.net/2009/01/29/guest-blogger-volcanista-on-thin-privilege/ , and realize that the “real women have curves” and “the skinny bitches are evil” mantras came from a place of larger women being discriminated against and needing affirming messages to get through the day in a society where they are not appreciated and are often openly ridiculed for their appearance (like referring to body fat, which EVERYONE has, on an overweight person as non-pastry rolls). i don’t think that an affirming message should come at the expense of someone else, but i do understand that it was crafted to combat the standard of beauty that many women find it hard to live up to and i am COMPASSIONATE. no matter how an overweight person got that way, or what their health status is ( which no one can know UNLESS they are that person’s doctor) they don’t deserve the kind of malicious language you’re using in regards to their appearance.

  • http://twitter.com/michie_wuz_here Michie

    Exactly, Emelyne and Lei.

    I hate being made to feel bad about myself because of something I can’t control. And yes, I do like being thin so even though it is in my genes, I still exercise and eat right to make sure I stay that way. But is that a bad thing???

  • t. price

    hahaha! thanks for that lol

  • Aisha Soleil

    Eh, as a naturally thin woman (5’7″ 112 lbs) I have been ridiculed and teased for my “boyish” figure and also praised for being “so skinny, omg how do you do it?!” And you know what? None of it matters! I don’t take offense to the “real women…” lines because I am very secure with myself. Of course I’m a real woman. Ask my husband, he’ll tell you! I have all the necessary parts and while my breasts may be a humble size 32A, they served their purpose when I nursed my son when he was an infant.
    I believe we all have the need to lift ourselves up and sadly, a lot of the time we put others down to do so. But there is no sense in letting yourself become offended. That’s what they want.
    When some random stranger comes up to me and says, “Wow, you’re so skinny. You need to eat.” I just give them the name of my favorite restaurant and let them know they are more than welcome to treat me to a meal. I feel sorry for the pocketbook of anyone who takes up that offer because I have a ridiculous appetite. I chalk it up to a high metabolism and growing up having to fight with my younger brothers for dibs on the big piece of whatever we were having for dinner.
    By the way, nothing is more unattractive than a slender woman who feels the need to bash larger women in an obviously mean spirited way. No, I don’t feel that we should have to apologize or feel bad for being thin. Which is why I don’t! Don’t apologize and just move the heck on. No need to be rude!

  • Mimi

    I knew this topic was going to turn into a “fat versus thin” debate.

  • Juste Moi

    These are the words of a beautiful MATURE woman. Now, thin or not, Aisha Soleil is REAL… lol. That’s what beauty is all about, not what you see in the mirror. I’m not thin, and far from overweight, but when I see the venom some of these commenter spew at each other it makes me cringe. Thanks for taking time to educate these ladies on how to be respectful. Take notes chicas…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    The Western world hates fat women. This is a known fact. And this won’t change anytime soon.

    @Emelyne: Really? Your thin privilege is showing. This is why Fat Acceptance is needed. Because fat people are forced to endure bullish like you purport. Fat women are not disposable. Fat women are not to be treated like they are expendable because of their weight. They deserve respect, love and adoration as much as anyone else. Also, you BS comment about “fetishes” is telling. It’s funny how we can say it’s a “fetish” when a man chooses a fat woman over a skinny woman, but not a fetish for a skinny woman to get chosen over a fat woman. Shows how much we worship skinny.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    Does it change the fact that thin is privileged? No. We have been conditioned to hate fat people. Fat women are discriminated unfairly against, and quite frankly, the hate on skinny people is nothing but turnabout. You marginalize a group of people, and those people will turn on you and denounce you, rejecting anything that you offer because you ARE that which oppresses them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    So because you haven’t seen fat people bullied, it doesn’t exist?? Are you kidding me?? I’m an obese woman who works out 3 days a week, 2 hours a day with weight training and cardio. I have been harassed by skinny women at the gym because I had the NERVE to walk in not having the skinny body I’m “supposed to have.” I’ve had people call me out on the street, sending derogatory comments on the size of my body because I had the NERVE to wear a dress that showed my legs and arms.

    And bullying people into thinking fat is beautiful? You mean like how fat people are BULLIED EVERY SINGLE DAY into believing that skinny = the ultimate beauty and happiness? You mean like how the only way you see a fat person on television is if they are typecast as THE BAD FAT PERSON, the extremely large person with no hopes and dreams other than being thin? You mean like how doctors will at times ignores a patient’s complaint and blame it on their weight, despite evidence to the contrary? Fat people are bullied every single day by thin privilege, so please save the bullshit.

    Also, your speculation about overeating and the like? BULLSHIT. HAES and fat acceptance does address this issue time and time again, but of course, thin privilege sees fat acceptance and goes “you’re trying to make me like fat people!!!!” as if they are the victims. Please. You are an entitled bitch who benefits from thin privilege. You look down upon fat people, so don’t get pissy when they turn on you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    I honestly tire of the “real women” bullshit. ALL WOMEN ARE REAL. Fat, skinny, old, young, transgender, cisgender, LGBTQIAH, able bodied, disabled, what the hell ever. ALL WOMEN ARE REAL. This whole “real women” shit is just another ploy to keep women from actually coming together and actually DOING things with their lives that are productive.

  • Juste Moi

    If you believe that thin women have curves, then you should be happy with the “Real women have curves”!

  • Emelyne

    @carol: I never said that fat people where not bullied or harassed; merely that I have never witnessed it and since I am only one person with two eyes and ears, I haven’t seen everything. What I have seen is fat people assuming that thin people have no insecurities or feelings, making thin the epitome of happy, and assuming that if they hurl abuse and profanity at a thin person (i.e. skinny bitch) that the thin person can and should take it simply because they are thin. Turn that around and the thin person is an asshole but teasing thin people is “fair play.” Fat people are not discriminated, they just aren’t seen as pretty by most and many have a problem with that rejection. Black people are discriminated, gay people are discriminated, fat people are simply marginalized because most people are associate fat with unhealthy and unhealthy with unattractive. that is our basic animal instinct to have the healthiest, most attractive offspring possible to stay alive and keep the species strong. this is why you never see obese animals in the wild. They have self-control and no one to coddle and PC them to death and they know no one wants to deal with that (a potential mate, I mean). Yet fat people feel entitled simply because the don’t know when to put down the knife and fork? Get out of here! at least race, sexual orientation, and skin tone are things outside of one’s control; fat is not. How many female comedians (Mo’Nique premiere among them) have felt entitle to bash skinny women to make a buck? I’m thin, so I’m suppose to take verbal abuse? A friend of mine dropped out in high school when a clique of fat chicks spread rumors about her out of jealousy and our school counselor (also a fatty) did nothing to reprimand them.How many fat women have blamed their insecurities on thin people? i love how whenever this discussion comes up, some obese women who claims to spend so much time at the gym chimes and all the while failing to mention something painfully obvious: Eating more than you burn makes you fat, not lack of exercise. So binging on crap while hitting the gym will take it’s toll. Doctors blame obesity for so many ailments because it causes so many ailments! Bottom line: If fat people spent less time bashing thin ones and defending their weight and more time eating right and taking personal responsibility, everyone’s lives would be easier.

  • ALexandra

    I know right? This post was about crushing the saying that there is no type of ‘real woman’.
    Not about who is thin or fat. But leave it one persons insecurity, that they’re clearly not over, to open a hate-debate. And no surprise that comment attracted the resident troll.

    @ Aisha Soliel I agree. I’ve been teased about certain things, but I’m not bitter over it. That takes too much energy. Who has time for that? I’ve been tall all my life, got called tall bitch, goofy, green giant (kinda lol), etc; but I’m not mad. There are great things/advantages in being tall.

  • Alexandra

    I agree. No matter what they look like, no matter how light, dark, short, tall, skinny, fat, curvy, slim, long hair, big hair, short hair, fake hair….whichever. They are still women. I’m sure if we flipped the debate to another area, some people making negative comments would quickly be on the other side.

  • fraulein17

    ummm. carol thats where you’re wrong. transgender are not real women. its a man who wants to be a woman so HE cuts off HIS penis cause somehow only cutting off your penis and putting on a wig makes you a woman *rolls eyes*.

    i know i might be thrown under a bus for this but its true. wouldnt a real woman have to be born a female first ?

  • Emelyne

    I understand where you’re coming from, and as I told Carol, I’m sure that fat people get harassment and hate everyday, I’ve just never witnessed it in real life. But you make my point perfectly in that as far as I see, fat people think its okay to bash skinny ones and that they should take it simply because they are thin. As if somehow larger people have larger feelings or something. Its annoying and i just want the bullshit to end!

  • http://www.RealTalk123.com AlesiaMichelle

    Thank you so much for this post. I did write about this on my website and I have struggled with my petitie frame my whole life. I was teased my whole life… Because I’m thin I have no right to be offended when Mo’Nique calls me a Skinny “B.” Because I’m thin I’m not allowed to complain about how I find it difficult to shop. Because I’m thin I can’t be upset when someone asks how much I weigh. What if the average American woman was 200lbs?! That wouldn’t make it right to pander to the 200lbs woman (it isn’t healthy). I’m not saying it is harder to be thin than “curvy”… but I’m just as touchy about my weight as some “big girls.” So remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…

  • Emelyne

    Nothing else to say, except that you’re right. Things said with a hot head are not usually wise/effective and I’m not sure how I let myself get to this state. I meant what I said, just shouldn’t have said it. Thanks for the wake-up call.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erika-Ayala/622317229 Erika Ayala

    *claps*

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    @Emelyne: Marginalization = discrimination. There is no getting around that. We’ve HAD lawmakers attempt to pass legislation to discriminate against fat people. And again I say, just because YOU don’t see fat people discriminated against does NOT mean that it’s not a problem. Your thin privilege is blinding you to that, because all you see is “fatties trying to cut me down.” Do you know WHY there are fat women who are so cruel and vicious toward skinny people? Because a world of fat hatred, a world that tells them that they are not to be deemed worthy of love, a world that tells them that a person would have to be a “pervert” in order to think them lovable, a world that tells them that their body is wrong and they should be shamed into making themselves skinny has attacked and hounded their soul for so long that they have internalized it. And now they are taking it out on those who benefit from said hatred: skinny people. Is it right that skinny people are bashed? No. Not at all. Body snarking is NEVER EVER acceptable, regardless of the direction. That being said, don’t you dare act as if skinny people have no culpability in creating this environment.

    Also, health is NOT dependent on weight. HAES proves that, but of course, people still subscribe to the thin = healthy mantra that is so pervasive in our society that it creates mentalities of disordered eating. I will never ever subscribe to the mentality our society prescribes. Last time I did that, it nearly killed me. I starved myself down to a ‘healthy weight’ and I was dying inside, and people cheered me on. “Ooh you look SO GOOD! Keep it up!” We don’t give a shit about health. We use that as a cop out to discriminate. Bottom line: fat people’s lives would be easier if skinny people would own up to their privilege and quit selling the snake oil.

  • binks

    Great article, I’ am so sick and tired of slogans in general from the “real women have this” or “these type of women do it better” etc. etc. Like someone said if you have a vagina you are a real women. I think these slogans and sayings hurt and divide us more than they uplift because in other to make you feel better about yourself you have to throw shade at the next woman that don’t look like you. Celebrate all women, I understand wanting to fight against the grain of what society and the media deem as solely “beautiful” but there is so much better ways to do it. When it comes to size and weight I do agree that we don’t always agree on it and the converstation can get harsh

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    @Fraulein17: You are wrong. Transgender women ARE women. Female is a sex, woman is a gender. Gender is a social construct that changes with culture. You do not get to decide the gender identity of someone.

  • transfriendly

    a real woman is anyone who identifies themselves as a woman

  • sloane

    I TOTALLY AGREE. and while i don’t think the “real woman have curves” mantra is constructive because it’s inherently a put-down to thin women, i understand why mantras of this sort exist in the first place. instead of seeing it as a personal insult and an opening to childishly retaliate, i view it as an opportunity to be an ally to larger women and help change the hostile and discriminatory enviornment towards overweight women that created the need to overcompensate and use language that is hurtful to other people. if society as a whole just treated every woman with parity, and we had affirming messages relayed that we were all valuable and beautiful in our own ways we’d spend less time trying to live up to some impossible standard of beauty and be more self-assured and thus productive individuals.

    and THANK YOU for correcting fraulein17. transgender women are women. period. gender is a self-concept that no one else has the right to contradict.

  • fraulein17

    you people are joking right? that doesnt even make sense.

    lemme put it this way for the fashion saavy ladies. we all know that there are knockoff louis vuitton purses. they say all over that its louis vuitton but its NOT authentic,real,genuine louis vuitton. you can sit there all day and try to convince somebody that its a real louis vuitton purse.. but no matter what you say its NOT.

    i can understand “identifying” with women. but that doesnt make you a woman. at all.how is a woman a social construct. women/female are one in the same. just another word for one another. you SAME people were saying that its disrespectful to call a woman a “female” in the article a couple weeks ago… NOW you’re telling me that women and females are different? wtf are you supposed to say then? stop contradicting yourselves.

    there is no way you can tell me that if mike tyson came over and said that he is a woman then that officially makes him a woman. GTFOOH

  • http://fullpleatherjacket.wordpress.com/ mina

    To Carol N. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! Can you please pitch an article to Clutch about thin privilege? A lot of commenters on here could read a few articles about the issue.

    I didn’t mean to make this a fat vs. thin debate, but when you read comments complaining about being called names about being skinny and in those same comments make sweeping generalizations on whether all fat women are unhealthy gluttons, it makes you scratch your head.

    Whether your as low as a size 00 or as big as a 30, your a woman and let nobody tell you otherwise. That’s the best way I can think of ending my comment.

  • lei

    “there is no suffering scale and nobody has the right to insist the pain of their experiences hurt more than another’s (i.e. a fat person’s painful experiences hurt more and cut deeper than those of a skinny individual!!)” I believe this is the underlying point. No one can tell another one that their plight is less then the others. Everyone feels differantly. If everyone respected everyon no matter what, this wouldn’t be an issue. Then again this isn’t a perfect world.

  • http://www.designindulgences.com Design Goddess

    I’m just glad I’m officially average height. LOL I’ve always said that as a joke and assumed the average was 5’6″. Now I can back it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    1. It’s been shown that mortality DECREASES in the overweight category, and being slightly obese was about the same as being normal weighted in terms of mortality. Those who are underweight and extremely obese are the ones at the highest risk.

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/293/15/1861.full

    Showing that significant weight loss and yo yo weight cycling actually INCREASES mortality for people:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12410899
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17676383

    Also, you can be fit and fat: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15942543

    2. No, I did not. I never said “Oh, your pain is nonexistent because you are skinny and only fat people feel pain!” I said that fat hatred is the reason why thin women get the crap they do. It is backlash. Is it right? No, but when people are backed into a corner, they lash out, and everyone gets hurt in the process. With regards to privilege, privilege gives the lie that the one who is privileged has nothing but good come to them. It sets them up for frustration because the lie does not allow them to say that they are hurt by the very construct that elevates them. Thin privilege does this, as we clearly have the fat vs thin war going on now.

    3. Fat people are punished by society in various ways:
    http://www.who.int/social_determinants/resources/articles/hpjadec2006.pdf#page=100
    http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/bias/WeightBiasStudy.pdf

  • Emelyne

    @Carol: Up until this point, I thought you were logical, but you are completely deluded if you don’t think obesity is a medial condition and an overwhelmingly dangerous one at that; death from obesity related illness is the number one killer in this nation. So wake: obese people are the ones keeping pharmacists rich; they didn’t make you obese.

    You said, “And why shouldn’t they put fat people in movies as love interests? See, that’s what I’m talking about. Fat people are bullied every single day by the media to believe that ONLY SKINNY IS BEAUTIFUL. ”
    I’ll quote myself at this point: “You claim to work out, so I won’t accuse you of lying, but can you honestly sit here and say that most obese people do? Should they be praised for exhibiting gluttony and sloth while thin people are increasingly demonized for not exhibiting these weak character traits? If this society were faced with those times or some post-apocalypic scenario, you and I both know that anyone who couldn’t run for their lives, hunt down an animal, plant tons of crops without getting exhausted early, run long distances, climg a hill, be thin enough to hide under or behind something, or defend themselves from another person or animal would be the first to die, and that would include an overwhelming majority of obese people. Obesity isn’t nature’s design for any species simply because, pre-civilization constructs (like housing, law-enforcement, frozen meals, stoves, the farmers market, day-care, etc.) it was virtually a death sentence; that’s why obesity was virtually nonexistent until about 3-4 decades ago. This is also why the body type is almost universally disliked: Because it is assumed to be unhealthy (even in the rare case that it isn’t), and unhealthy=unattractive in most people’s minds. As I said before, it’s a biological instinct of most of the population to want the healthiest most attractive offspring possible; unfortunately, many obese people pass on their atrocious eating habits to their kids. Obesity may or may not be genetic (and most nutritionists, biologists, and personal trainers are leaning toward NOT) but instead of trying to make everyone think that fat is beautiful and blaming the “shallowness” of society for not excepting them, the obese can lose weight. ”
    You say that you never asked for fat people to be praised yet had no reply for my comment on how nearly all obese people got that way form overeating and no exercise, probably since that’s an incovieniently hard truth pill for you to swallow. A thin person may not be healthy, but it’s not something that’s generally assumed by looking at them unless they are grossly underweight. Most rational human beings look at an obese person and see sloth, gluttony, lack of self-control, and weak willpower at work. Do you think most people want a person whose taking shitty care of themselves as a life partner or parent for their child and pass on these atrocious habits. THAT is why fat will never be socially considered beautiful, because it’s a physical display of character weaknesses and flaws.
    And yes, it’s strange that saying a fat person has a gut or cellulite, all of which are true is offensive and bashing, but bashing a thin person with profanity is turnabout.

  • sloane

    @ fraulein17- look, female, male, and intersexed are a person’s biological sex. man, woman, gederqueer, etc. are gender identities, a self concept that is seperate from biological sex. to refer to trans people as cheap imitations and pretenders is transphobic and highly inappropriate.

    please educate yourself before speaking about this issue.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/228219/gender-identity

  • sloane
  • Emelyne

    @Carol: Medically, gender and sex are the same and used interchangeably on official documentation. However, because they are the same, you are correct in stating that a transgender woman is in fact a real woman. Medically and (due to hormones and new anatomy) biologically, they are now a woman. They may not have a uterus, but what about those who were “born female” and had hysterectomies? Are they no longer women, fraulein 17? And those who are naturally flat-chested and don’t have wide hips? and let’s not even pretend that those who were born female go through never get any surgical augmentation.

  • sloane

    @carol n.-thank you for providing this pretentious troll and others with the information needed to look at this situation from a more well- rounded perspective. you provided TANGBLE evidence that shows that merely being overweight or even mildly obese is not necessarily an indication of being unhealthly and that there are people who are considered to be overweight and healthly. to which i want to reiterate my original point, you cannot tell someone’s health status just by looking at them. to suggest that an overweight person is suffering from diabetes or may be medically obese, just by looking at them, when you’re not their doctor and you have no knowledge of their medical history is absurd. and you also provided TANGIBLE evidence of thin privilege.

    and i agree, thin privilege (and any kind of privilege, really) and the impossible beauty ideal hurt everyone, and not just the women who are farther from it then others. if we could just disregard the kneejerk notion that thinness=healthy and fat=unhealthy, STOP SELF-RIGHTEOUSLY JUDGING PEOPLE FOR THEIR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, and using medical studies and a prehistoric enviornment that we no longer live in as credence for why people should be margianilized, ridiculed, and discriminated against simply for carrying a extra weight on their bodies, we’d be a lot better off.

    and i agree with you when you say that obesity is a social issue as well, because we NO LONGER live in a prehistoric enviornment and have to contend with the cheapeast and most easily accesible food being genetically altered variations of corn laden with preservatives. if we change the way food is made and what kind of food is available to lower income folks who live in food deserts we might see a reduction in obesity. and thinness wasn’t always seen as a sign of health. up until 100 years ago thinness was seen as a sign of malnutrition and being overweight was seen as a sign of wealth and attractiveness.http://www.obesity101.com/101-1.htm. funny now that the wealthy are more likely to be able to afford and have physical access to fresh and organic food that thiness is not only the paragon of the beauty ideal and social status, but is also a critereon for being perceived as healthy. i don’t think you can completely divorce the social issues (such as class and perceived social status) from the medical ones in how larger bodies came to be “universally dislked”.

  • fraulein17

    @enema

    wow….. i guess i never learned that men and women are the same thing. how come i never learned this when i was little? if what you’re saying is so then how come two lesbians cant make a baby since men and women are the same?thats what you’re telling me.

    and seriously? WOMEN who get hysterectomies and women who dont have breats or wide hips are still women. they were born female. this makes no sense.

    you’re not making any sense.maybe its not YOUR definition of a woman then? are you one of the people the article talks about saying “Real women” have hips and breasts? and if they dont have those then they are automatically masculine/male?

    ughh nevermind this is too confusing. i quit.

  • what-what

    When did it become ok to put any woman down?
    What I don’t seem to understand is that when you need to uplift yourself by demeaning others don’t you go straight to the arrogant pile-’don’t collect 200 etc.’?
    I agree with what the article is saying, when you need to insult other people or use put-downs to self-promote your insecure – period. Happy, confident people who have their ish together would not be calling others out on their supposed flaws or help others perpetuate supposed definitions of what women are supposed to be.
    Positive people look for positive things in others, negative always seeks out negative.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    I am speaking of those who are purported within this system as good. Skinny = good. So those who are within the “normal” weight and under are deemed good, while anyone who is “fat” is bad, no matter what the circumstances are. You get treated differently when you are thin. I lost weight due to anorexia, and I got plenty of compliments and encouragement from people who knew and didn’t know me. People telling me “yes! keep going! You are doing wonderfully! You look SO GOOD!” Yes, keep on encouraging the disordered girl to stop eating. My lowest weight was within the range the BMI listed as “normal” and I damn near looked like a skeleton. But I was in the normal range, and that’s a good thing. Right? Because “normal” is healthy, right?

    How is insisting that fat people are disrespected regularly “unfair?” Again, politicians have actually tried to pass LEGISLATION to discriminate against fat people. You mean to tell me that doesn’t = fat hatred? And more often than not, I hear far too many comments about how being attracted to fat people = fetish. Because apparently, it’s impossible to actually be attracted to a fat person without being some type of pervert. And most of the time, it’s a thin person who is saying such things, and then claiming that fat people “can’t be happy” and are “deluding themselves” when they try to boost their self esteem in a world that tells them 24/7 that their bodies are wrong and they should exist in a state of constant apology to the world for having the nerve to exist fat.

    You never answered my question: Why shouldn’t fat people be shown on television as love interests? Fat people fall in love, get married, and have sex, last time I checked. This happens in reality, so why are we so opposed to showing the same on television? Why are we denying fat people have happy lives on TV? We’ve no problem with showing thin people doing the same in every situation. Why is it wrong for fat people to want to see someone who looks like them on TV in a positive way, especially in the face of so may portrayals of them that say “you are worthless?”

    Also, fat acceptance DOES address quality of life, etc. I guarantee you that FA pundits will tell you that HAES (health at every size) is their mantra. If you read the HAES study, you would see that the obese women increased in various areas of health without losing a pound. Fat people aren’t the problem. Unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyles are the problem. Last time I checked, those two affected people of ALL sizes.

    Fat acceptance does not say “you should never ever lose a pound because fat is the best thing in the world.” Fat acceptance treats weight as a neutral entity. If you exercise and eat right, and you lost some weight? Meh. If you do the same, and you didn’t lose weight? MEH. It is also against disordered eating behaviors which place morality upon food and bodies. But of course, folks don’t listen to that part of the fat acceptance moniker. They just see the first two words and go “you’re trying to force me to like fat people! I won’t do it! You are unhealthy and bad!”

    As for privilege, what is your solution then? What is the way to make this fat vs thin war stop?

  • sloane

    SURE, it’s just plain REVISIONISM when pretty much as long as there have been civilizations, there has been terminology referring to transgendered and non-gender conforming people and the ways in which some communities made a place for them in their societies.

    and gee golly gosh, i wonder what the know-it-all thinks the appropriate gender role of intersexed people is based on their reproductive anatomy? you know the people who have an INDETERMINATE biological sex?

    ::eyeroll::

    and that’s how you know you’re dealing with an incredibly ignorant troll fraulein17, who doesn’t know what the f**k they are talking about and that you should disregard everything they’ve said because they’re myopic and close minded.

    and since when is defining gender the way many people live and experience it twisting the definition? get real! people DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE living their lives within the prescribed and rigid gender binary based on biological sex (which completely ignores the intersexed) and they shouldn’t have to continue living a lie simply because of the immature and ignorant who refuse to accept them as they are. gender is definitely a social construct formed within cultures (which explains why different ancient cultures had different concepts of transgenderism) which CHANGE. it’s just the nature of humanity, and um, i believe ALL LIVING THINGS, to adapt and change, so what the “majority” believes, and how they treat marganilized groups can change with education (the antidote to willful ignorance), time, and the willingness to be fair and compassionate.

    and god, the marginalized groups should NEVER voice their anger or frustration with prejudice or bias because then that might make the “majority” uncomfortable! and that’s totally wrong, because the only people who should EVER be ill at ease are those who are a part of the marginalized group! if we make the “majority mad we’ll never get our rights! we have to correct our tones or they have the right to go on discriminating against us! http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/the-tone-argument/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    And like you Emelyne, I will not be bulldozed into going against MY beliefs just to appease a world that hates me.

  • sloane
  • sloane

    sorry in advance for any typos or anything that might not totally make sense…i just got in and it’s the buttcrack of dawn so….

  • Emelyne

    @Carol & Sloane: Here is the point I am trying to make, obesity may be a social issue, but it is a medical one as well, one that costs this nation several hundred million dollars each year and many deaths. Whether the nation and even the world has been “conditioned” to “hate” them or not, iit’s not a conditioning that’s going to go away when obese people (in general) got this way through gluttony and sloth. Sloane, you quopted my statement, “I also never said that thin= healthy, in fact not one commentor did. My exact words were, A thin person may not be healthy, but it’s not something that’s generally assumed by looking at them unless they are grossly underweight”, but then went on to imply that even as I said that, I must be saying that all thin folks are healthy. What bothers me about that statement is the hypocrisy that perhaps even you fail to realize. If a person is normal weight or thin, do YOU thin they are unhealthy at first glance? What about a woman about 5’9″ who is about 85 lbs.? She’s definitely unhealthy! That works both ways. Maybe an extra 15-30 pounds doesn’t have jaws dropping and this person could be at the peak of health, but when the average person sees someone 75-200+ lbs overweight, we assume unhealth and rightly so. As I said, compulsive overeating/emotional eating and anorexic/bulimia are all eating disorders and I will view them the same way. Not, Carol, as for why fat people (and I mean very overweight/obese, not just a bit plump) are highlighted as love interests and such, well, the demographic as a whole does not want to see that. The media’s job is to cater to trends and what is considered socially acceptable. Back to my hypocrisy comment, many commenters here would have had an anurysm to see an emaciated 80lb. Nicole Richie on the cover of a mag and told the editors to get that sick, skinny girl off of there, but enter grossly obese Gabby Sibide and women are defending her left and right. there are always exceptions posing as rules for reasons besides overeating that a woman can get to her size but we all have eyes to call anorexia/bulimia what they are. I will NOT defend extreme body types or the fat accpetance movement anymore than I’s defend someone’s right to kill themselves through anorexia/bulimia. The sad part is, overeating and the obesity that comes from it kill several thousand more people a year, so it kills people faster. Accept unhealthy as if it were unavoidable? No. Accept something life-threatening as “beautiful” when I know better? No. Try to get myself and others to find said unhealth aesthetically pleasing? No. Just because there are more obese than anorexics doesn’t somehow make the condition healthy now. As for politicians passing anti-fat legislation, I’m of two minds about that. If it cost the nation money (and it does) than it’s a problem that needs to be rectified. But everyone deserves to live and I’m not an advocate of subhuman conditions for any person. The fact is, Carol, how much of that legislation is actually passed? The world does not hate fat people, so stop trying to martyr yourself, but as I pointed out, obesity is an outer reflection og inner character flaws such as gluttony, lack of self-control, sloth, and often depression and self-hatred. Is this suppose to be tooted as normal now? Bottom line: Most people are against obese people for the same reason we’re against anorexcis; last I checked, a 80lb woman gets just as many pitying, dirty, and even hateful looks as the 400 lb one. These body extremes are BOTH seem nationwide as unhealthy and our animal instincts teel us that unhealthy=unattractive. Sorry, if that’s hard for you to deal with, but it’s a mentality that has gotten the species this far and I don’t see it changing.

  • moriko

    @Emelyne ;I think you re speaking the truth ,you said exactly what most people think ,unfortunatley alot of people are on denial with what you ve exposed.
    Quoting you” Do you think most people want a person whose taking shitty care of themselves as a life partner or parent for their child and pass on these atrocious habits. THAT is why fat will never be socially considered beautiful, because it’s a physical display of character weaknesses and flaws.
    And yes, it’s strange that saying a fat person has a gut or cellulite, all of which are true is offensive and bashing, but bashing a thin person with profanity is turnabout”

    I dare anyone saying thats not the truth.if you re overweight you know its only your fault you got to that stage,you eat the wrong stuff ,you OBVIOUSLY dont burn enough calories and IF YOUR METABOLISM is HIGH then you ,again,obviously taking for granted eating TOO MUCH food.Portion control is VITAL for weight control.
    For those of you who cursed Emelyne out or disagree with her,you are completely DELUSIONAL.
    Fat is not healthy :FACT
    Cellulite is not necessarly associated with obesity however those who SUFFER FROM THIS CONDITION are more prone to have it as its caused by water ristagnant in deeper fat cells.
    If you re overweight you are doing something wrong,you re not taking good care of your body,screw society think about HEALTH,its YOUR BODY !take care of it and nourish it well ,you only have one and then you re gone.

  • http://www.Akai.com **Akai S.**

    Carol N: “How is insisting that fat people are disrespected regularly “unfair?””
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What I referred to was how some FA adherents avoid discussing certain issues i.e. obese people living lives of reduced quality where they can barely get around, can’t walk without assistance, bound to an oxygen tank etc. I did not write “insisting that fat people are disrespected regularly” was unfair; I wrote that it is unfair to lump everyone into the boxes of ‘enemy’, ‘oppressor’ and ‘culpable’ simply because they are not overweight or obese.

    For some reason you sometimes twist what I clearly convey and often argue things I (and, as far as I can see, no one else) never addressed or stated but I maintain that, all day everyday, it’s unfair to judge all “skinny people” based on appearance. Additionally, it sounds strikingly close to things you insist have been done regarding the obese (automatically judged as smelly, lazy, unhealthy etc.) and, once again, just because someone is not attracted to an obese individual does not mean they wish them harm or couldn’t form a friendship.

    And why do some people act as if #1) the only options are being obese or stick thin or #2) the BMI seeks to hold everyone to one particular weight or an impossible small size? There are tons of ‘wiggle room’ and the BMI has a 15-20 pound range for each height. Additionally, for each height there exists small, medium and large frame categories each with their own 15-20 pound weight ranges.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Carol N. wrote: “Why shouldn’t fat people be shown on television as love interests? …why are we so opposed to showing the same on television?”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Television and movies are about that bottom line and profit – point, blank – not humanitarian work, charity or counseling. And, unless marketing studies reveal stories featuring obese love interests as something large numbers are interested in seeing, including indicating it’s potential to be wildly profitable, I don’t see it happening or becoming the norm.

    The cold hard truth is it’s not what most want to see and, when I say “most,” I’m not just speaking of those who are of a normal and/or healthy size. That is because there are extremely overweight and obese males/females who are not even attracted to (and do not date) other extremely overweight and obese females/males. Many of us have heard big females proclaim how they prefer dudes who are muscular/have nice bodies as well as known big dudes that only chase and try to holla’ at curvy/healthy-sized chicks.

    Also, I remember an article a couple of years ago which included a discussion about the mannequins and models used by outlets that cater to overweight and obese women. It addressed some people’s complaints that the mannequins and models used were not “fat” or “big” enough and the response referred to studies that indicated bigger mannequins and extremely obese models were not appealing, marketable and “didn’t sell” — even to that targeted audience. I remember finding it interesting that a lot of fat people themselves didn’t want to see huge mannequins and models.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Carol N. wrote: “As for privilege, what is your solution then? What is the way to make this fat vs thin war stop?”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I’d have to buy into the concept of this “privilege” (which I don’t) to offer any “solutions,” but I don’t know that there is a “fat vs. thin” war. At the end of the day, most solutions are the same with a lot of things: check yourself and treat people how you wish to be treated and don’t allow strangers space in your head for free. It is crass and mean to say insulting things to someone’s face in order to hurt them and while there are decent individuals that don’t behave in this manner, there are those who aren’t/do and that’s the way of the world.

    You (general) can’t control the mass media or television nor force the movie industry to feature obese individuals as “love interests” and totally disavow what it finds beautiful. The one thing anyone can control is themselves and the only options are: #1) accept the fact that society has it’s idea of the type of body it finds beautiful, or #2) decide to lose weight and fit within it. That said, if the obese are as happy, healthy, confident, booed-up and well-adjusted as claimed, why the desire/need for the media to validate them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    Emelyne, you are twisting my words. I never said that unhealthiness wasn’t a problem. I said “fat people aren’t the problem. Unhealthy living is the problem. Last time I checked, people of ALL sizes can suffer from unhealthy living.”

    Difference between an 80 lb woman and a 400 lb one? You’ll see the former on the cover of an international magazine with a multi million dollar modeling contract, while the latter is shamed and ridiculed for even thinking about putting herself in the public eye, despite any talents or personality.

    So fat people being in love is socially unacceptable? Glad to know that so many around the world are slapping society in the face every day by loving each other.

    Most people assume thin people = healthy. Don’t act like this assumption isn’t true. We are classically conditioned to believe this. Add on the fact that we don’t show fat people in any other situation except apologizing for their fatness, and you got a dichotomy set right up.

    I also like how you conveniently ignore the health at every size mantra that I mention nearly every time I respond. That very study shows that improved health can be attained independent of weight. HAES focuses on eating right and engagement in activity. Is that not what folks want to improve health? Eating right and activity??? It just doesn’t treat weight loss as the panacea for health. It’s not.

    And don’t apologize for me. I will not change my stance. HAES and HAES only.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-N/1157910509 Carol N.

    Emelyne, you are twisting my words. I never said that unhealthiness wasn’t a problem. I said “fat people aren’t the problem. Unhealthy living is the problem. Last time I checked, people of ALL sizes can suffer from unhealthy living.”

    Difference between an 80 lb woman and a 400 lb one? You’ll see the former on the cover of an international magazine with a multi million dollar modeling contract, while the latter is shamed and ridiculed for even thinking about putting herself in the public eye, despite any talents or personality.

    So fat people being in love is socially unacceptable? Glad to know that so many around the world are slapping society in the face every day by loving each other.

    Most people assume thin people = healthy. Don’t act like this assumption isn’t true. We are classically conditioned to believe this. Add on the fact that we don’t show fat people in any other situation except apologizing for their fatness, and you got a dichotomy set right up.

    I also like how you conveniently ignore the health at every size mantra that I mention nearly every time I respond. That very study shows that improved health can be attained independent of weight. HAES focuses on eating right and engagement in activity. Is that not what folks want to improve health? Eating right and activity??? It just doesn’t treat weight loss as the panacea for health. It’s not.

    And don’t apologize for me. I will not change my stance. HAES and HAES only.

  • fraulein17

    oh wow! so first i was called transophobic…. now i’m being called a TROLL just cause i dont agree with certain people on here? WOW

    first off with the whole gender thing i’m over it already… i dont care anymore what you people are saying doesnt make sense and is definitely what akai was saying.. just people trying to make stuff up to accomodate their lifestyle.

    hell i told my parents,best friends, and boyfriend about this whole gender/sex/transgender debate and they feel like it makes no sense either.so i’m not the only one.

    dont go throwing around terms just cause people dont agree with you. i’m being called stupid,ignorant,a troll, and transphobic (wtf?) just cause i dont agree with their theory. shame on you supposed “intellectual” ladies!

  • Emelyne

    LOL! I’m twisting your words? More like you’re avoiding the issue, Carol. You avoided comparing overeating to other eating disorders. You’ve avoided admitting that many obese (yes, OBESE, not just plain fat) people got their from chronic overeating and no exercise. You avoided the fat the excessive body fat is just as unattractive to most as none at all. You avoided the fat the obesity related illness id real and costs this nation hundreds of billions of dollars a year. And where exactly have you seen an 80 lb woman on a magazine cover? I know for a fact that top modeling agencies like Elite, Wilhelmina, and Ford models actually have a weight minimum for models 5’9″+(which is the only height range they manage) that is 105 lbs. That’s already really thin for a woman that height, emaciated even, but a far cry from the 80 lbs you’re claiming. and yes, i’d like to see the legislation as well. Seems you’ll do just about anything to make obese people appear to be victims of society when the only person victimizing them is themselves. SMH.

  • Aisha Soleil

    @Juste Moi: Thank you so much! I appreciate that you took the time to read my comment and you got out of it what I put into it. :)

  • Aisha Soleil

    @Alexandra: Yes! People can be mean, but that is on them. No need to dwell on it. It’s funny because most of the people (both male and female) who teased me back in high school 1. look nothing like they did back then. Meaning, they are no longer the “hot girl” or “sexy boy”. Lol. 2. Just aren’t doing much with their lives. I am so happy and blessed to have my wonderful husband (who is about 6 months away from graduating from pharmacy school), my super adorable son (who is just plain awesome), and I am working towards becoming a Spanish language teacher.

    Oh, and being tall really does have its advantages! I’m 5’7″, which is fairly tall depending on who you ask, and I love not needing assistance to grab things from upper shelves in stores. LOL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zoe-Ellen-Brain/1036085884 Zoe Ellen Brain

    You’re no transphobe – any more than someone who thinks African Americans aren’t really human is racist. They may not know any better, if they’ve been taught that and have never met anyone who wasn’t white. Not their fault, either.

    The Sound byte about Transsexuals: Female Brain, otherwise Male Body at birth.

    The longer version: 1 in 60 people have some sort of Intersex condition. Often not obvious, they may not even know themselves. “Intersex” means “neither wholly stereotypically male, or stereotypically female, anatomically speaking”.

    For example, a mother who’s given birth to three children may not know she has the 46XY chromosomes usually only found in men. And one in five hundred men have 47XXY chromosomes rather than the usual 46XY.

    I’ll just quote the abstract of one scientific paper on the subject – it says it all, really:

    “The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.”

    Here’s another paper on the subject : “Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus” Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041

    It’s not a psychiatric, spiritual, ideological, or political issue. It’s one of anatomy.

    The cure for the distress this causes is to align bodily anatomy with brain anatomy, as much as possible. The differences are on the cellular level, within the cells, so changing the brain isn’t practical (as well as being ethically dubious).

  • Drea

    I’m average too! I’m just reading this and that little paragraph made do a quiet lil cheer at my desk, hehehe Even tho my Wii tells me i need to lose 40 lbs and i know my personal comfort range is 10 lbs less, i will take this lil acknowledgement that i’m smack in the middle of everything :D

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