Yep, it’s time for another one of my rants about my world. Wow, you just can’t beat television as a valuable source of material for rants. I’ve struck the mother lode with this medium.
First, it’s important to talk a little bit about “set precedents.” For years, Hollywood has given all of us “real women” an incredibly impossible ideal that all women need to strive for in order to achieve “perfect beauty”: a size 0 (that’s a “zero”, not an “O”, in case you’re also a blond, skinny, chick reading this right now).
Okay, before I start getting responses that accuse me of being sexist, ageist, “fattist” or whatever the latest PC term for overweight is, I will own up to my own figure. I am not, I repeat, NOT one of those women who fit into size 0 pants. If math serves me correctly here, I’m more of a size 14(ish). Bigger on the days I’m retaining water. Less on the days I drink more coffee. Needless to say, I’m “full bodied”. But, I can carry it off better than, say someone the size of a professional jockey. I’m tall. I used to be tall and thin, now I’m just tall. Genetics, aging, childbirth, and not watching my weight (because I no longer care) has added several unwanted, unneccesary pounds to my 5’10″(ish) height. I say “ish” because according to my doctor, I’ve shrunk. I think I was just slouching on that day she measured me.
I own my weight issues and certainly can’t do anything about my height issues. I just thought I’d put this out there so nobody could come back at me and say “Well, you can say all this because YOU don’t have anything to talk about!” (I’m also “blond”, so that argument goes out the window too, nyah!)
But, of course, I do have something to say. Ladies, it is time we take some things back — like weight issues and hair issues.
I saw a preview for the latest round of reality TV shows called “More to Love”, and this one looks like nothing more than an excuse to take the sting out of the word “fat” and soften it up with the euphemism: “real woman”. Are you kidding me?
The premise behind this concept is simple: a bachelor is searching for his “Miss Right” (sound familiar here?). But, with a twist. This time, the chubby chaser is looking for a–yes–they said it out loud, “real woman”. Translation: women somewhere in the 5′-5’6″ height range and between 175 – 215 lbs (rough estimate based on some quick calculations I made regarding circumference) As I once heard it said: “Just a hugging and a chalking I go”. I’m no math wizard here, but I know “fat” when I see it. And folks, these women are “fat”.
I don’t have a problem with the premise of the show. Fat women need love too. I totally support anyone who can find the love of their life — skinny, fat, pimply faced, etc. So long as they aren’t searching for an abusive, controlling, addicted, waste of a human being, who am I to argue or complain?
The problem I have is in the euphemistic and patronizing tone of the words “Real woman”. Come on, let’s call it like we see it. Am I any less “real” as a woman because I don’t weigh 215 (approximately) pounds? Am I less of a “real woman” because I was blessed with long legs and a short torso?
I have an entirely different definition of “real woman”, and it has nothing to do with weight or height, but everything to do with character:
1. A real woman isn’t afraid to leave the house without full make up on, uncombed hair or even an unshowered body.
2. A real woman isn’t afraid to put a worm on a hook, land the fish, kiss the first one for good luck, and pry the bloody hook from the fish’s mouth.
3. A real woman couldn’t tell you the difference between Donna Karan and Dolce Gabbana, but she can hogtie a calf, castrate a bull and chop a chord of wood, if need be — all before noon on a blistering summer day (or midnight on a frigid winter’s night).
4. A real woman doesn’t sit around and whine about her man’s failings, or the fact that she can’t find a decent man, or she’s too fat, too ugly, too poor, etc. She just works with what she has. If she decides to drop any weight, let’s hope it’s the man who doesn’t love her for who she is, not what she looks like.
5. A real woman doesn’t sit around comparing herself to other women. I get that Jennifer Aniston is a size 0. I accept that she is “knock-’em-dead” gorgeous. But I also know that she hasn’t had a stable relationship in years. Evidently, physical beauty can’t buy love and security, huh?
These are just a few things I consider to be part of a real woman’s treasure trove of value. Notice nowhere in there did I say “a-real-woman-is-actually-a-fat-woman-upset-at-being-called-fat-who-is-really-just-trying-to-find-her-place-in-a-society-that-has-created-impossibly-unrealistic-expectations-of-beauty-and-worth.” However, I bet that’s the first thing the pitch people for this reality show said to the network producers as they were hauling out the contract to sign.
It’s time we stopped with all this nonsense about beauty and how it is defined. I, myself, could lose some pounds. As I said before, I own this statement. But, let’s drop the euphemisms and start calling it like we see it. These women on this show are fat. If TV producers want to create a show called “Real Women”, then I say they search for more appropriate and fitting women to answer their audition calls– and sit back to see how many really do show up after all.