Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Will the Real ‘Real Woman’ Please Stand Up?

Image Courtesy: Google

Off late, there's been a lot of buzz on my timeline about 'real women'. A certain advertisement campaign by a very famous lingerie brand that some allege paints a wrong and unrealistic image of women. That it makes women all over the world feel bad about the way they look when they look at these models who are 'all of the same slim body type.' While it is not right to set a standard of beauty (which lies in the eye of the beholders that's what they told me) but it is also highly foolish to spend your precious time and energy rallying a petition asking for the campaign to be removed. It is times like these when I start itching for that time when we lived without social media (remember the Stone Age?) Because really, while it has given us an outlet to vent, it has also given rise to the irritatingly persistent 'Opinion Fart.' It's everywhere – “I didn't like my coffee today so I will blog about it because that is my opinion” or “A certain movie/song/poster rubbed me the wrong way - so I will design an online appeal for it to be pulled down urging all to do the same because I have an opinion.” It is this gateway of creating sensationalism without sense that we're all a victim of. Including me.

Somehow I was reminded of the sneaky little stunt pulled off by another Real Beauty campaign last year to oppose Photoshopping of celebrities in magazines and setting unrealistic standards of beauty and again aimed at spreading the word about 'real women.'

Who are these real women?

Were the girls standing in the row in the Ad campaign NOT actual women? Living, breathing women? I'm not a crusader for the rights of models but they're people too. Aren't they? And who decides the definition of real women?

I never really understood the whole hullabaloo about "REAL WOMEN" and "RETOUCHED WOMEN." It still won't stop people from picking up a copy of their favorite magazine just as it hits the newsstands or it won't stop them from gaping at the women they see on TV. Larger than life portrayal and unrealistic images of women isn't something that started a month ago. It is the oldest trick in the book to package a product in a manner that stands appealing enough to make the target audience want to buy it. They’re selling lingerie, for God’s sake! And as people that lead the glamorous lifestyle, they have a certain image to live up to, a certain way to lead their life if they want to stay in the business, which is EXACTLY what these models do too, so why can't you just let them be? Real women are smart enough to know what's real and what is fake and EVERYONE, I repeat EVERYONE has issues with the way they look, whether that person is a commoner making her way to the grocery store or a supermodel that toils for hours in front of a camera to give that perfect pose! A campaign isn't gonna cut it! You're just reiterating a fact that has been known all along in the worst possible way.

Yes, agreed there are women of all shapes and sizes. A slim body type being one of them. So why does it ring alarm bells in our heads when we see a 'skinny' girl on the cover of a magazine or on TV? Why does it MOVE people so much that they concoct petitions for it? And a skinny person does not always imply an eating disorder and is not a way to spread ideas of a 'negative body image' or lace young minds with thoughts of skipping food or puking it out. And to all those harping about the fact that these are not real women and that actual women are ‘imperfect regular old dames’ being bullied and picked on by the big bad world for the way they appear - well let me tell you it ain't that peachy on the other side. Thin girls are also victims of some of the worst kind of criticisms that make them feel awful about themselves. Because they feel. Since they are 'real women.' Like you and me.

And does anyone ever realize that we're equating the term Real Women (an overly abused term I now feel) with how a woman looks alone. Isn't it appalling that we're basing the idea of real woman by quantifying it with appearance and the world's most fickle concept - beauty? So there's nothing more a woman has to offer than a pretty face and a perfect body?

Thin or fat, the girl next door or the supermodel - there are days when we feel our best when we look into the mirror and days when we feel like we should crawl inside a box and never come out. So ladies, why so serious? Because at the end of the day, you cannot change their way of thinking. But you can change the way you view yourself and you can choose to ignore the elements that disrupt your piece of mind (which is what some people ought to do after reading what I wanted to say). Why should we let 'Opinion Farts' and how somebody thinks what real beauty and real women are define us and spoil our state of Zen?

Is it smelly in here or what? 


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