FANTASTIC piece about "real" women and valuing all body sizes and shapes by @AbbyHeugel via @InthePowderRoom

Weighing in on “Real” Women

Body image.

Body shaming.

Body blah, blah, blah.

To be honest, I’ve been over this topic for years—years, I tell you!—as I sit on the opposite side of the fence, a side that rarely gets addressed. When it does get brought to the forefront, it’s often with disdain and an “I wish I had your problem” slant.

Yes, I’m underweight.

RELATED: In Defense of Flat Butts

Due to health issues that involve OCD and depression, I’ve been underweight for a decade and would pay large sums of money to release myself from my OCD prison and gain a quick 30 lbs. (And thank you for the offer, but no, I will not be able to take any of the weight you’re desperately trying to lose.)

The common assumption that these behaviors stem from a place of vanity and dissatisfaction with a physical ideal is the very reason I’ve always refrained from classifying my OCD as anything directly related to food and exercise, as it’s so much more complex than that.

I really couldn’t care less what is classified as “beauty,” and not fitting some socially (unattainable) ideal has no bearing on how I think of myself, because regardless of my weight, I think I’m a pretty cool person.

And although it doesn’t thrill me to share convoluted background information, it’s important to know in relation to the fact that while “shaming” women for being a little overweight is looked upon as cruel, the flip side of the coin is rarely discussed.

In trying to push acceptance of people who are of “normal” weight and size—in other words, not naturally thin—the reassurance is thrown out that “men don’t like stick thin women” and “thin is unattractive.” And of course, the classic “real women have curves.”

Well, thank you for that.

I’m going to add that real women also have opinions, and I believe that being told to “go eat a pizza” or that “thin isn’t in” and shaming thin women for their body shape is no different than shaming larger women for their body shape—“go eat a salad!”—yet the former is overlooked and often accepted.

Yes, “real” women do often have curves and I understand that a lot of women—big and small—do have body image issues and seek out reassurance and external validation. There are others—myself included—who have health issues that cause these to happen. Please know I’m not dismissing that at all.

But although I have issues, I do not have curves. This does not make me any less of a “real” woman.

In my humble opinion, real women have confidence.

Real women have a focus on health and not perfection.

Real women have compassion—toward themselves and toward others.

If curves are part of the package, more power to you. But at the end of the day, real women don’t care.

At the end of the day, aren't ALL women "real"? Let's be more compassionate toward ourselves and others. This wisdom and more about body image from the other side of the weight issue by @abbyheugel via @inthepowderroom where we're weighing in on "real" women and pleading for acceptance of all body types.

This original piece by Abby Heugel was written exclusively for In the Powder Rooma division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC.  

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Abby is a freelance writer, editor and award-winning blogger at Her work has been featured multiple times on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, YourTango, Thought Catalog, Bustle, XO Jane, In the Powder Room and Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop among others, and has self-published two books of her humor essays available on Amazon. When not online, she can be found eating green things from the ground and running mental marathons in yoga pants. You can also find her in the pages of our bestselling humor anthology, “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”

Keep the conversation going...



  1. says

    Well said!

    I’m not a fan of any of those “real women” statements. (Not yours, of course! Yours are good. I’m talking about all the others.)

    I also don’t like statements about men and what they do or don’t like. There are a wide variety of men out there, and, guess what? Some *do* like stick-thin women. Others like exceptionally fat women. A handful like donkeys. It’s beyond me, really.

    Statements like these are meant to be a rallying cry, I get it. But are just so reductive. I wish they’d go away.

  2. says

    Bravo. Real Women leave other women’s appearances alone–or better yet, we celebrate and support them. WAs thinking recently that if we took all the time/energy we spend judging others and direct it to support (advocating for affordable, quality childcare for working parents, for example)-well damn. Imagine what we’d accomplish.