Ellen Blake writes for the University of York’s The Yorker on the concept of ‘real women’:
Search diet in any search engine, you will get around 119,000,000 results on how to “lose 2.5 stone in two weeks” and advertising “fast weight loss pills”. It isn’t hard to see the evidence of an entire industry fuelled by our insecurities.
The story is the same in any women’s weekly magazine. They are a place where we can compare ourselves to beautiful women parading around in bikinis and either praise them for how little they eat or judge their minute imperfections. Though the media perpetuates such negative stereotypes it also blasts the fashion industry for its reliance on models who aren’t ‘real women’. But what does this even mean? Who qualifies as being a ‘real woman’?
Though I have been lucky not to have been plagued by the self loathing many women suffer when it comes to their bodies, one thing I have not been blessed with is height. This coupled with my ability to look about fifteen has led to a series of amusing anecdotes, my personal favourite being asked at the age of nineteen if I was old enough to be sitting in the emergency exit on a plane (the age limit is over thirteen).
Full story here.