Real Mums and Real Women

Even reading my own title for this post, the ‘real’ part in real mums and real women grates at me. It is very rare that I feel the need to write a ranty post, but today is clearly my ranty day.

It was the ‘real’ women thing that I noticed first. All over social media and the news, photos of women of a curvy nature with slogans underneath stating that this was a REAL woman.

Real Mums and Real Women

What makes them so especially ‘real’ in comparison to other women? Are women with small breasts not real, if you are slim or naturally slender, does this mean you are suddenly not classed as a woman or as ‘un-real’?

In case you are thinking this is a skinny woman ranting – I am far from naturally slim, I work at keeping my curves at a containable level, but it takes a lot of hard work. The whole ‘real’ thing bugs me on behalf of all women.

There is uproar when an especially skinny model is on the catwalk, or a magazine portrays a particularly slim actress as being someone to physically aspire to. Yet it seems that it is okay to make women who don’t match ‘real’ women standards feel almost as if they are less womanly.

Young women who developed breasts late, or who are just destined to have small breasts and hips shouldn’t be made to feel as if they aren’t a proper woman, any more so than the naturally larger young women should feel as if they need to conform to a tiny physique to fit in.

Women’s bodies seem to be considered open season for commenting on. Most people wouldn’t go up to someone on the street and say ‘by the way you need to lose weight/put on weight/you have cellulite/…..’, or at least I really hope they wouldn’t.

Yet on social media, people feel almost anonymous and perhaps braver than they would be saying something face to face. Many feel it is okay to comment on a celebrity’s appearance online – they are people too by the way and just as likely to be hurt by comments as the next person.

The celebrity shaming comments have spread in to normal life as well, perfect strangers feel it’s okay to comment on people’s appearance online in a very hurtful way. Men don’t seem to get the same level of nastiness, but sadly it is still there.

At the end of the day all women are real women, all women (in fact all people) have feelings and it is no-one’s place to judge another by their appearance.

Another trend I have noticed is the judging of other Mums…. and I don’t mean judging their ‘bad’ mothering skills. I mean the ‘funny’ things that are shared about being a ‘real’ Mum. Like this for example, that was shared a lot on my Facebook timeline recently…

Ruth

*I added the star, as I don’t have swearing on my blog – plus I felt sorry for ‘Ruth*

The same people who are the first to jump on someone about a comment slating parents who don’t do things in a ‘perfect’ (as if there is such a thing) way, are also the ones who put down those that seem to have motherhood licked.

Just because a woman manages to seem to be completely in control of her life, doesn’t actually mean she is. Plus if she is….then well done, feel pleased for her that she is living her life the way that she wants to live it. Don’t feel hatred and the need to belittle someone for trying their best – as after all aren’t we all doing that really.

It does alarm me a little that to fit in with the ‘norm’ and be a ‘real’ mum these days, it’s almost as if you should be failing in some way, you should be constantly taking photos of your child crying to entertain others rather than comforting your child… you should be telling the world that your children are lucky to be alive living with you…

Is it now ‘cool’ to act as if you hate every aspect of parenting, and to ridicule those who focus on the good parts? Yes it’s hard when they don’t sleep, yes it’s hard when they have tantrums…. but I do wonder how will they feel when they grow up and can read online that you ‘hated’ so many moments of bringing them up, that you called them a ‘d**k’ or worse because they were being a normal toddler and playing up, or to see photos of themselves online for the world to see and laugh at when they are crying.

If this is what is now ‘cool’ and being a ‘real’ mum then frankly I’d much prefer to be unreal and uncool and carry on enjoying my time with my children. I’m not against sharing online (obviously) or not sugar coating how parenting can be at times – but there are extremes, and a big difference between saying you’ve had a bad day, and actually calling your child names and mocking others parenting.

Despite being a little alarmed though, I still respect other people’s rights to parent how they want to. I don’t tweet or Facebook message or share images that could hurt others or make them feel bad about themselves. I have respect for all women, all mums, all people in fact and their right to be the person they are without people judging them for looking a certain way, or for not being good enough….or in fact for being too good!

Stevie x

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16 Comments

  1. 23 January 2016 / 6:00 pm

    After coming home from a work do and having a colleague in tears when she’d been made to feel like she shouldn’t be there as everyone was in posh prom dresses and even I at a size 14 felt eyes looking me up and down.No-one actually said anything but to be honest they didn’t need to you could feel the disapproval.
    I can laugh at some things joked about in parenting but others I feel are downright spiteful.I do wonder how much of it is just for effect though.We all do it differently but I’d never dream of calling my kids a d**k even at the worst tantrum/being cheeky episodes they’re still my kids and I love the bones of them xx

    • 23 January 2016 / 6:17 pm

      That is awful…. women can be so vile to each other I really do hate it. I don’t judge anyone at all, and especially not by appearances. So what if someone wears a smaller or bigger dress size, that’s not who they are.

      I’m the same with parenting lovely, I don’t feel it should all be sugar coated and yep I find a lot of parenting stories funny as anything and I love when you share the cheeky things your little miss has been up to especially. It’s more the really distressed looking children photos that are shared around – one photo may make you think eek good luck with that, but when it’s all the time by the same people it does make you want to cuddle those children yourself. Cheek and tantrums are part of life with children, and it’s people’s choice whether they share that or not – but I hope they think about their children’s reaction in the future if they’re extreme in it.

      It niggles me a little, but my point more was that parents judge each other too much – in fact women in particular judge each other too much and people trying their hardest seems to be a course for ridicule online now.

      Stevie xx

  2. Mother Mands
    23 January 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Nicely written and Bob on! ;) I think far too many people spend way too much time picking at other people’s lives instead of getting on with living and enjoying there own. I’ve always hated people’s obsession with looks/image too, I just can’t get my head around why people care so much!?

    Like you say too, it’s nice to balance parenting blogs/posts with the good and the bad, but no-one wants to read miserable stuff constantly and there is a lot of focus on that recently. I think that’s shocking people are referring to their kids as, ‘d**ks’, people can think all sorts in the heat of the moment and when stressed out, but to write about it and joke about it seems a bit crass, but I haven’t personally read anything quite that bad thankfully!
    I love reading the nice stuff, some funny bits, life can be pretty grim sometimes so it’s nice to have it balanced with all the good and positive things! ;)

    • 23 January 2016 / 6:34 pm

      Thanks Mands lovely x I definitely don’t believe in sugar coating anything just for the sake of it, just think sometimes it can go way to far in the other direction. I can laugh at a post on social media or in a blog where someone describes the fact their child has tantrumed about this that and the other recently or that they have been up to all sorts of naughtiness with everyone else, but it’s when it’s all the time and they sound like they dislike them that I get a bit uncomfortable.

      I don’t judge anyone though and especially not by their appearance or how good or bad a parent they are. Just think sometimes though people need to take a step back and appreciate what they have rather than moaning and sniping at others.

      Stevie xx

  3. Mimiroseandme
    23 January 2016 / 8:16 pm

    Beautifull written. This is an issue that leaves me asking so many questions but the most important one is why on earth do some women feel the need to express their opinions on others. I think that to some extent no woman is going to love her body 100% because of the way body image is portrayed everywhere and people feel it’s their right to comment. We are are beautiful whether we have small boobs or a big bottom, we all need to be more positive about the whole issue! I would never judge a person on how they look or whether I deem them a good parent or not! As being a parent is blooming hard work!!! xxxx

  4. Fern
    23 January 2016 / 8:18 pm

    I have small boobs, a tiny waist and quite wide hips.. Ive always loved that I have a defined curve at the waist (less so since 3 kids though..) however Ive always hated my boobs, always been made to feel they dont match the bottom half of my body. Since having boy Ive ended up a small size 10 bottom half size 8 top half (I was size 12 before getting pregnant so no idea how that happened!!) does it mean Im not real? Ive not worked at it at all (with a 3 week old, dream on!) and my best friend has for a long time been size 14/16 and is totally stunning, we are both real though and anyone who has ever said any different just gets eyes rolled and laughed at.

    Ladies really do need to be nicer to eachother!

    and Ive not read the parent bit because I know I am not a ‘typical’ parent and I know for sure I am not perfect, I am however a real parent (I think…) but so is the parent who lets their kids do what they want, as is the one who grounds their child at every talk back.. just because someone does something differently doesnt mean they arnt real.

  5. 23 January 2016 / 9:14 pm

    I love this post. Every woman is a real one, and every Mum a real Mum too! The media has sadly made women into these figures that no-one thinks they can live up to. We need to stop labelling people and live and let live! x

  6. 23 January 2016 / 10:21 pm

    Great post! My toddler is currently going through her tantrum phase (she’s just turned two) and oh my god it’s so hard but I would never call her a d**k – that’s just horrid!! Of course I may call her a little b***h in my mind when she’s scribbling all over my lovely magnolia walls but I wouldn’t dream of writing about it! I know I’m saying it here but I know you won’t blab!! ;)

    And the judging of other thing.. just why?! Of course I may not parent the same as someone else because everyone’s different but so long as the child is healthy and happy and it works for you then who cares! It’s the whole breastfeeding saga that annoys me. Honestly, if the baby is fed then what difference does it make if it’s breast or bottle?!

    Sorry I’m having a rant as well! x

  7. Robyn
    23 January 2016 / 10:48 pm

    An interesting post Stevie! I tend to think we are our own harshest critics and most of the judgement that happens between women is just a symptom of our need to constantly compare ourselves with others. The woman who looks another up and down disapprovingly is probably also looking others up and down with envy. My husband thinks I’m a bit uptight because I can’t have a laugh a videos of practical jokes or people having accidents. In a similar vein to your point about what people post online about their kids, I guess we all have different ideas about what’s funny. Although I tend to think more along the same lines as you regarding that! I might have a bit of a moan about some aspect of my personal parenting experience that’s bugging me, but I try not to do it at the expense of my kid.

  8. 24 January 2016 / 11:34 am

    Great post Stevie and very thought provoking. I may be quite wrong here, but I’m wondering if age has something to do with it. I’m 56 and most of my friends are roughly my age or a bit younger. We really aren’t interested in how each other look or question each other parenting skills. We support and encourage each other and occasionally get frustrated but we never openly criticise and only use social media to say positive things. We accept each other for who we are and not by how we appear. We know parenting can be tough but it’s also very rewarding. As long as we are good role models, provide a loving, caring and stimulating family environment and keep them safe, we are doing a brilliant job. What right has anyone to be judgemental and certainly never via social media.

  9. 24 January 2016 / 5:39 pm

    Great post, I totally agree with you. The thing I find the strangest is how the vast majority of the judgemental criticism in terms of appearance is always levelled at women – whether that’s for being too fat, too skinny, too plain or too perfect. And as for how it’s now ‘cool’ to be a terrible parent, I think that sadly we have bloggers to thank for that. It’s great to be honest about who we are and our weaknesses but bragging about it and blaming our children is just going too far.

    • 24 January 2016 / 8:26 pm

      Thanks lovely, I do think that some parenting ‘truths’ can be funny when said in the right way, but I do think some really do jump on the extreme bandwagon and get carried away without thinking of the future or how they may come across.

      Stevie x

  10. 29 January 2016 / 10:58 am

    I’m totally with you on the ‘real’ women thing – surely all women are real, whatever they look like?? And I quite agree about the parenting thing too – there are funny moments in parenting when things go wrong, or you’re tired and a big glass of wine at the end of the day is very much needed but there does seem to be a trend among some bloggers at the moment for just taking it that one step too far.

    • 29 January 2016 / 1:16 pm

      Definitely, it’s not so much that I’m offended by bad language just that I would hate to think of one of my children reading when they grow up things like that about themselves….especially from one of their parents.

      Stevie x

  11. 29 January 2016 / 1:01 pm

    I wish people would be more accepting. More accepting of others and more accepting of themselves! On social media the lack of face-to-face communication means people say things they wouldn’t say face-to-face. I always think if I am going to say something, would I say it, if that person was in front of me.

    • 29 January 2016 / 1:33 pm

      Exactly my thoughts! I hate nastiness full stop and I would hate to think I had ever upset anyone, but sadly not everyone is so concerned.

      Stevie x