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Real women have curves… NOT

I see this a lot: Real women have curves.

Now, imagine this:

After everyone starts gaining weight or getting boob, butt, and hip implants because “real women have curves”, the skinny people will start empowering themselves this time by saying, “skinny women are pretty” and the cycle goes on.

The real women have curves statement might be helping curvy women (although, I don’t believe so) but it’s certainly not helping skinny women. It’s also not helping those who are in denial with life-long obesity and health issues they are facing.

I know it was coined with the intention of helping non-skinny women develop a healthy body image and I think it was supposed to mean “curvy is beautiful too.” But taken at face value, it’s not promoting a healthy source of self-esteem.

Are we saying that I am a real woman because someone else isn’t? What if everyone becomes curvy, from where will we get our self-esteem? from another person who we think is inferior to us?

We can’t empower women by putting down others. There’s enough beauty and real woman-ness to go around for everyone.

Skinny women are real women too and they get just as much flak as curvy women. I should know, because I’ve been both skinny and chubby.

When I was skinny, people told me I should eat.  People asked me if I’m starving myself. People said to me ‘mas maganda ang may laman’ (It’s better to have some fat under your skin). Some people assumed that I have an eating disorder. Until now, I don’t know why I lost that much weight, I almost had myself checked by an endocrinologist because even when I ate like a pig, my weight continued to plummet.

After dropping that much weight, my hormones went haywire and I gained so much weight–35lbs to be exact. That’s a lot for a 5’0″ tall person. People had new things to say to me like ‘what happened to you?!?!’ and ‘ang taba mo!’

I knew better than to mind it, because at any size–I see myself the same way and I felt the same amount of real woman-ness.

71 Comment

  1. Completely, 10,000% agree! We women shouldn't cannibalize on each others' insecurities. We definitely need to find a way to stop being so catty on one another. Calling the fat girl ugly, and then saying the thin girl is uglier, is just uglifying all women. Change the conversation!

  2. I guess whether you're skinny, chubby or not women will always be sexy in its own way. There are women who are chubby yet sexy, women that are skinny yet curvy what I supposed to say is what ever sizes you are in, women have curve in nature it just differ from how you look unto yourself and how to carry it and stand out as what you are.

  3. Well, women before were sexy if they're chubby. And now some find skinnys sexier. But any woman can be sexy in their own ways. I am skinny, but ain't sexy. Lol, Oops i'm not a woman.

  4. Sue me, I want to skinny again. But not because of what people say, since most around me say I look fine (currently 105 lbs. at 5'1″) but I still have some excess baggage around the middle which I want to get rid of. Otherwise, I love myself just fine, thanks very much. ;)

  5. >> Marie, I'm a little bit iffy with that too, pero siguro nga people hate skinny people and think they're unhealthy. Skinny doesn't mean unhealthy (at least not intentionally).

    Anyway, it's true, health is more important.

  6. “Healthy is the new skinny.” Just read that from a friend's fb wall before heading here hihi. So no matter how one's body is shaped, as long as she's eating healthy then be it…

    We're not made to conform to a certain shape hehe, kain and be healthy, yun lang. Peace!

  7. Krissy, thanks for sharing this link, naka-relate ako. Based on experience, more people were sensitive to my feelings when I was overweight compared to when I was skinny. People seem to think it's acceptable to make skinny comments because for some reason they think we should be ok with it. But that's not the point, all of us come in various shapes and sizes and one is not better than the other.

  8. I so get you! I have always been skinny and have never tipped the scales to more than 100 lbs even though I eat a LOT. The “real women have curves” team have always irked me as well, here's something I wrote about it last year if you'd be interested to read it :)
    http://www.krissyfied.com/2011/11/skinny-on-being-skinny.html

  9. Oh my thanks for writing this. I am agree with you on everything you have written up there. I am naturally curvy so no matter how hard my diet is, I will never be skinny. Sometime it hurts me when people say that I am fat, but as time goes by I learned that being beautiful is in your mind. When I believe I am pretty, nobody can judge me.

  10. The real woman for me is what God has given her and she keeps and maintains it. The real woman is a woman who knows what is best for her in a natural way.

  11. nice article.
    i feel for you, i have been through the same situation.
    skinny or curvy, it doesn't matter…loving yourself is what matters! :)

  12. well said! besides you're pretty if you're skinny or curvy.. who cares?! i rather look at the persons attitude and personality than weight! :)

  13. You know what, in my eyes, there's very little difference with your photos. Maganda ka pa rin. Though I must say, I think I like the after photo at 115 lbs :)I can't remember the last time i was 115 lbs. Ang tagal tagal tagal na nun.

  14. Spanish Pinay, that's exactly what's wrong with that statement. They're trying to build self-esteem from external validation again.

  15. Thanks for the compliment Gene + well-rested ako sa photo na yan.

    Naka-relate ako sa pag-shopping sa kids/ teen section. Anong size mo? Size 14 ako sa kids section, haha.

    P.S. I really thought ako lang yung matinding nabobother sa 'real women have curves' na slogan.

  16. So true Chrissy. Re: my size, ok na ako, nasa acceptance phase na :D

    On the overall-being-happy-with-myself part, I still have a few things to work on. And sometimes I imagine myself not needing anything from external sources to be happy, just the thought of that inspires me even more to source my happiness from the inside.

  17. Thank you Bonzenti :)

    I agree, nasa pagtingin nga sya. Pero sana yung iba, if they think it's not beautiful, wag nang mang-api. A perspective is not the same as fact. :D

  18. ileOdarod, true. When a person is skinny, people automatically assume s/he's unhealthy. My mom is skinny too, and she'd give anything to gain weight pero ganun lang talaga sya.

  19. Aya, ako naman I used to want to have all the curves on the right places. I badly wanted to have a noticeable hourglass figure. Pero nawala na yung want na yun as I matured. :P

  20. Kudos for this “I feel the same amount of real woman-ness” so true. It doesn't matter how skinny or curvy you are. As long as you have confidence and love yourself, you're the real woman of them all.

  21. Journey of A Dreamer, thanks. I'm ok with how I look now but I get tired easily (which means I'm not as fit, I need to get stronger)

  22. you still look sexy. I have gained so much weight and i really wanted to be as fit as before.

  23. When you age, you just can cease the slow metabolism and it's killing m'y jeans. Haha. The important thing is that we feel sexy and we try to exercise to get rid of the unwanted fats just to stay healthy.

  24. Women should develop not just the outer beauty but also the inner, maganda nga pangit naman ugali, baliwala din,

  25. Yes. You look well In both photos. Being a real woman is skin deep. Before I was also so skinny even after I gave birth 2x. But when I reached 32 I started gaining weight. People say it suits me. I just hope I could lose the belly fats :P

  26. I used to be thin but today I'm so so so fat. I vow to lose those weight after I give birth. hayz!

  27. Same here.. when I was skinny people thought I have disorder.. when I become chubby (yup and gained much weight too) people say it's not right cause I'm a small girl. Geez.. I guess we don't have to depend on what others think about us cause they all got different preference. But the best way to be pretty is to be happy and proud inside and out :)

  28. I love this post. I've been through (or still going through) that seesaw weight episode. We truly just cannot please everybody. We are all beautiful. If other's can't see that, it's them who are blind. And true beauty is inside.

  29. We do have a lot of problems about too much labeling in this world. Too many people have to say on too many things – everything misleading. This “real woman/real men are… ” statements are all coming from insecure people trying to gain acceptance from others while the biggest problem is about accepting what we are and getting the proper knowledge about what's healthy living… and not what's “beauty living”. Nice article. A thought-provoking one :)

    Spanish Pinay

  30. I honestly hate those Real women/real men statements. It annoyed the crap out me. It's like they are saying that there is a specific mold for someone to be real? We are all different. As long as we are healthy and happy then nobody has right to give us crap.

    Anyway, I grew up being skinny. As in I wear clothes from pre-teens section in my college days. I was that thin. But I ate like a pig and my chubby friends envied me because I was thin. Then I started working and I found out that I eat when I was stressed. Half of my salary goes to dining out hahaha! Then I became pregnant, lost weight in breastfeeding and then gained weight when I stopped it. I'm trying to be fit now. I really don't mind what I ate, though I now prefer eating healthy. Nasanay siguro when I was pregnant and breastfeeding. I know for a fact that I need exercise for my own health, secondary na yung looking good. :D

    By the way, you look really good in the second photo, parang blooming ka compared to the first one. :) Sorry for the long comment. ;P

  31. I love this post. :) It's inspiring and helps me to remember that there's no such thing as “perfect”. It's really up to you to be happy with yourself.

  32. Being beautiful is not about having a “perfect” body. A woman's beauty is about loving herself for being a woman and knowing what she wants in life.

  33. You look amazing! I have 2 kids and my height is same as yours, but my weight is stuck between 43-45kg even after giving birth. Yeah, I'm so payatot. But it's fine with me. I'm happy as can be :)

  34. Seth, go! I can imagine how difficult that is, baka 100 lbs talaga yung normal weight mo. Yung growth ko from 95 to 130 made a big impact on my mobility. Mas mabagal ako kumilos tapos mas mabilis ako mapagod. So I guess wala ako sa optimal health ngayon. I started exercising ngayong recent months.

  35. Eds, I think hormonal yung biglang pagpayat and biglang pagtaba ko. Siguro, to look less lanky, try to grow some muscle na lang. Parang sila Heather Morris ng Glee. She looks really slim pero she doesn't look sickly. Fortunately for you, makikita agad yung effort.

  36. As they say, too much of anything is bad enough. So whether you are skinny or chubby as long as there's no “too” word before it, is okay. LOL! You look great with that two pix above. Trust me!

    Cheers!

  37. i actually have the same problem. I am currently underweight and everytime people sees me they only have 1 thing to say, ” pumayat ka” heler.. I haven't gained weight then pumayat na nman ako? Urgh! It's really depressing and eventhough I eat a lot wala parin. What did you take to gain weight? with the pictures you posted mas ok nga ung nag gain weight ka.. so what did you do?

  38. i am currently in the process of losing weight.. i gain way too much in the past couple of years eh..

  39. Right now I am in the battle of loosing weight not because of wanting to look beautiful but for my health sake…Currently I'm 130 lbs and I want to get back on my pre preg weight which is 100 lbs.

  40. For me ok lang ang chubby or skinny, the important there is on how they project or handle themselves to the public that makes other think in a negative or positive way. Sa pagtingin lang kasi yan. Kung ako ang tumingin sa yo rae? Sexy ka. :-)…

  41. Oh ok. I was going for the there's-no-need-to-choose message coz most of us have defined shapes already no matter how much/little we eat or exercise.

  42. Hahaha I see myself in you. People would always have things to say no matter how you look. We can never please everyone, I guess.

    I also have problems gaining weight. My mom thought I'd put on some weight once I give birth, but this hasn't been the case. In fact, the only times I put on some weight was during my pregnancies. But two months after childbirth, I'm already back to my old self.

    People think I suffer from a eating disorder but after witnessing for themselves how much of a glutton I really am, it surprises them. So I just leave it at that. They can think whatever they want. I know the truth and their comments should not bother me.

  43. Being a real woman definitely has nothing to do with curves or on what others perceive of herself . Acceptance has always been the key to knowing who you are . It would be better if one maintains a fit and healthy lifestyle than one that focuses on curves and sexiness.

  44. Until recently I'd never thought about the downside to this type of thinking. Now I realize that the problem isn't the type of body we're idealizing, but that we objectify our bodies and make value judgements based on meaningless physical traits that most people can't achieve–curvy, skinny, or anything else.

  45. I have the same weight issues kahit pa nung high school pa lang ako. Di ko din sila maintindihan kung saan ako lulugar. Btw, I want to ask something sana about sa PFT support group. If you remember, I also want to join kaya lang I have this thyroid problem. After three months lumiit yung goiter ko and parang nawala here comes another problem. Nagka ectopic pregnancy ako then may operation. Can I ask you a favor?Pede mo ba itanong sa fitness instructor mo kung ilang months ako pede na mag-exercise?Ayoko na kasi bumalik sa OB ko, I had a nightmare kaya ayoko mag-ask sa kanya. Thanks. Censya na OT

  46. … and I do believe, it's the same with men.
    weight has nothing to do with manliness.
    nice site!

  47. great post, rae!

    we can't say anything about our own greatness by putting down others. the moment we do that, that means we aren't as great as we think.

    thanks!

  48. Womanhood won't be define by one's shape. True enough, medyo distorted din ang perspective ng ibang tao sa BODY ACCEPTANCE. Long as you're HEALTHY, be in any shape you want. There would be times when hindi talaga ma-control ang shape because of certain illnesses kaya people should just stop judging both ends of the pole when it comes to shape and start accepting that what really matters is how really healthy you are :)

  49. I love this post. Very inspiring. And you look great.

    I have had the taste of being skinny and being curvy. Curves or lack thereof never really affected my being feminine/womanly.

  50. I agree. I'm 5'5 (or 5'6) but I only weigh 99lbs. And that's my maximum no matter how much I eat. I don't think I'm any less of a woman compared to others with more flesh than I have. :)

  51. I used to want to be as skinny as a model, but now I just want to be healthy and fit enough to take care of and have fun with my son. You look good in both photos naman!

  52. Good for you! I like your outlook on the way you look. It's really tough for a lot of women (including myself) to be happy at our weight when it's not our ideal. The last I checked, i am also around 130 and i'm not tall either. I am Ok with it because I'd rather be happy than to care obsessively of how skinny I'd rather be :)

What do you think?

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