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.
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…
*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!
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