| the irony of "real women"

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Not sticking to her word: Gemma Collins is the latest TOWIE star to open up her own shop in Essex, launching the store on Thursday night with her slim castmates in tow

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Today I want to give my opinion on something that bothers me often, a certain irony if you will. I came across this image above on Twitter of Gemma Collins at the launch of her new store in Brentwood. I'm not 100% sure how serious she feels about thin people, but I want to discuss the hypocrisy of criticising skinny people for being the size they are. The idea of a "real woman" is bandied about all the time, and thanks to the exposure of thin models in campaigns, advertising and on the television, a sort of counter attack to this has emerged, suggesting that women who don't have "real curves" or an hourglass silhouette no longer classify as "real women".

Let us consider for a moment that if in this photo Gemma's sign had read "If you're fat you're not coming in!", the sheer amount of uproar this would cause, for good reason, it would be extremely insulting. So why is it that exclusion is okay when it's against women who are slimmer? The sheer irony of the values of a real, curvaceous woman, is that women are encouraged to emulate a particular body type, much like in the previous decade it was considered desirable to be stick thin.

Why is it that famous women in the public eye, for example models are now not considered by some real women because they have a different body type? I understand that some celebrities are not ideal role models to young people, but does this make any of those women any less "real"? The often used mantra about loving your own body and being comfortable in your own skin becomes void if a woman in the media is too skinny or if she's put on weight recently.

Personally I have always had a petite frame, meaning I did not put on weight easily as a child. I eat a normal diet, I exercise regularly and I am extremely comfortable with my body type. It used to bother me to no end when I was younger though that people would tell me to eat, because "I need some weight on me". How is this okay when again if we look at this sort of comment on the inverse? Is it okay to tell someone who is overweight not to eat? If a woman has a small frame or is very slim, it is never okay to assume that she achieves this by compromising her health and eating habits.

And here I arrive at the conclusion that the idea of a "real woman" exists solely to conform to an image of women who have curves, as a successor of the trend in the noughties of being stick thin. Excluding women who do not conform to this idea just further demonstrates that "loving your body" appears to mean nothing if you do not have the desired body type in the first place.

I'd love to hear what you think about this issue. Thanks for reading!

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