Advanced search be so sad about the fact that women can't just be happy with their bodies.

(65 Posts)
justanothernotsoyummymummy Sun 29-Sep-13 15:39:29

The thin ones are told they're not "real" because they don't have curves.

The heavier ones are told they need to follow fad diets to become thinner.

Why can't we just be encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle and to embrace our figures for what they are?

It really upsets me. sad

IceBeing Tue 01-Oct-13 10:30:31

Yes if one moves the emphasis from 'looking the best one can' which could mean anything up to and including surgery, to 'being clean and tidy' then I am all for it.

I don't think many people would describe my appearance as 'unkempt' or anything of that nature...but there is no way I 'always look my best'.

I don't for instance use make up (beyond drawing some eyebrows on for communication enhancement purposes) and I don't straighten my hair etc.

Nancy66 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:40:00

Icebing. yes Eldritch has hit the nail on the head really.

I think the majority of us have some pride in our appearance and it IS how we are judged. It's naïve to think that we're not.

However I do see the difference between me wanting to leave the house with clean hair and a bit on concealer on my eye bags as opposed to spending 2 hours looking like a Playboy Bunny.

EldritchCleavage Mon 30-Sep-13 14:35:24

'Look your best' I always understood as being about trying to be well turned out, well-groomed. So your shoes might be old, but they would be polished. Your clothes might not be fashionable, but they would be clean and pressed. And taken like that, as a message of dignity and self-care, I have no difficulty with it.

But if it now means, strive to be as conventionally physically attractive as possible, including undergoing surgery whenever it is deemed necessary, then it's part of the problem.

IceBeing Mon 30-Sep-13 13:04:17

oh * nancy* there really really is something wrong with the 'one must look ones best' meme.

It focusses attention on something that really isn't that important...and that makes our daughters unhappy with their own actual bodies. When children are saving up for cosmetic surgery there is something wrong with telling them they should 'look their best'. Surely you can see that?

IceBeing Mon 30-Sep-13 13:02:01

Every so often I catch an advert pre peppa pig on youtube...

some sort of shitty plastic dolls house crap with a little girl playing at dressing up..

It kicks off with the phrase 'Everyone wants to look their best for the ball'

Unless we as parents take a stand against this kind of gender stereotyping body confidence undermining shit, they will continue to broadcast it and our daughters will continue to grow up unhappy about their appearance.

So who is with me? If enough people start flagging this kind of advert as 'offensive' then the ASA will start to take notice....

zatyaballerina Mon 30-Sep-13 12:59:26

It's human nature to want to be attractive and to compare well with others. There are always standards that people judge themselves and others by, even in primitive societies, it's just magnified in a global media culture because we're not just comparing ourselves with our friends/neighbours/colleagues/people we pass on the street but with advertisements/television/movies/public figures and the general standard set by those who live in public eye.

blue2 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:43:06

I think getting fitter is one of the ways forward. Its better to be fitter than slimmer, my GP once told me, and I think she's got a point.

I'm a size 16-18, 5'6" and have been for years. I have an eating problem - nothing terrible, like some poor folks upthread, but it shows on my body. I am obese.

However, I do try and keep fit. I walk 2 dogs every day, and go dancing twice a week... and it does two things:

1. Takes me out of the house and away from the kitchen
2. Boosts my mood so that I don't come home and binge afterwards

After 47 years, I'm looking after myself as best I can.

Nancy66 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:36:07

I think it's a balancing act.

I don't think there's anything wrong in wanting to look your best but it makes me sad to think women feel compelled to look a certain way.

However, all this 'celebrating' being obese thing troubles me. Being obese is unhealthy and will shorten your life. I don't think celebrating poor health is a positive step forwards.

EldritchCleavage Mon 30-Sep-13 12:31:54

I understand what you are trying to say but I don't like the thread title. It implies that women are the source of the problem. Actually, society generally (and the fact that it is patriarchal) has made women's bodies into a fraught issue.

It is so hard to be happy with your body when so many people in so many ways are invested in making sure you aren't happy with your body, from WeightWatchers right through to abusive partners.

justwondering72 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:30:12

What Fonzie said. Health and appearance are separate issues. It is possible to be a size 16, have cellulite etc and still be living a perfectly healthy lifestyle. It's a completely different issue from the one the OP raised, which is more to do with the fact that women are continuously judged, scrutinised, criticised etc for their appearance, their body size and shape being particular targets.

I don't actually have the words to describe how much I loathe the celeb magazine/ heat / mail online trend and it bewilder s me that the vast majority of people that keep them running and hugely profitable by buying them etc are women.

PaulSmenis Mon 30-Sep-13 08:58:50

This "real women have curves" stuff is annoying. I'm straight up and down and I'm a real woman.

It's swful the way the media constantly picks fault with the way women look. You're either too fat, too thin, your boobs are too small, too big, your to ugly, wearing the wrong clothes or your two old.

Toadinthehole Mon 30-Sep-13 08:47:40

It is not so bad for men.

I often get asked if I ever eat anything. Frequently I used to get mistaken for a woman. I get asked for ID in off-licences even though I'm in my mid-thirties. I get told not to grow facial hair as I'd look like a paedophile. I've on occasion been nicknamed "the hobbit" at work. I got bullied at school, and getting my hair ruffled by the girls was as much romantic success as I ever had there.

I know that I'm no Adonis and probably don't get the breaks I'd have had if I'd been taller, more handsome and so on.

But to be honest, I really don't care, just becuase although being skinny and short didn't help, no one ever really encouraged me to put any value on my appearance, as long as I was half-decently turned out. It is so very different for women. It is so much better for us men.

SupermansBigRedPants Mon 30-Sep-13 08:25:24

Emmabemma - if anyone else called me it I'd rage - More calling me a shit than fat though grin i was a but tipsy and poking my flubby dough belly last night I wouldn't normally refer to myself as poop flowers

Fozziebearmum2be Mon 30-Sep-13 06:31:47


There are 2 issues here being discussed health and body image.

My view is that women's bodies are interesting as they are so many naturally different builds - big boobs, small boobs/hips etc. We can never change our build (without surgery) and should feel good about the unique body we've been given and embrace this.

But, there is a health epidemic and I do believe we need to all eat healthily and exercise to maintain our health. I'm not talking about being a gym bunny-far from it, just eating a balanced nutritious diet and exercising in a way that you enjoy-walking/swimming etc and bringing the next generation up the same way.

Assuming you do these things it should be irrelevant whether you are naturally a healthy size 8 or 16. I have no idea why the media likes to shoehorn us into feeling bad for not being their 'ideal' shape-who decides what this is?!

If you look on awful websites daily mail where they judge women's bodies, the comments sections are always full of positives and negatives around someone's body. We don't all have the same view!

I don't find the same male physique as attractive as my friends-why would I, would make for a very dull world..

englishteacher78 Mon 30-Sep-13 05:55:42

I was doing really well, until an awful 'friend' at the gym. Decided to take me aside and say she was worried as I'd put on weight since the wedding. (Size 12 instead of size 10 - over 9 months)

EmmaBemma Mon 30-Sep-13 05:41:10

"I'm a fat shit"

I know you prefaced that comment with "I love me" and obviously you can describe yourself however you want but I felt quite shocked and sad to read that. If you'd posted that someone else had called you that, it would look like the most brutally abusive language.

Darkesteyes Mon 30-Sep-13 02:02:05

Opalite what a lot of men want is for a woman to be slim but have big boobs and still be able to eat steak and chips with him.

Opalite after what you wrote in your post i thought you may be interested to see this article Spotted it in my twitter feed earlier this year.

ZingWantsCake Sun 29-Sep-13 23:11:10


and a very good question.

SupermansBigRedPants Sun 29-Sep-13 23:09:02

I'm not happy with my figure, I'm tall but fatter than even my height can handle, starting the gym tomorrow for my dc's - fit healthy mummy - and also to fit into clothes without looking for either fat sizes or a fat people department.

I love me though and although I'm a fat shit I dress nice and am confident in myself most of the time.

Opalite Sun 29-Sep-13 23:00:03

YANBU at all.
It's not just about being underweight or overweight. It goes A LOT further than that. Look at the women who are represented in the media, even women in serious and important roles are picked apart in magazines, their outfits, hair and figures analysed and criticized as if a womans worth is based on her appearance.

Yes, it happens with males too but not as much. Women on TV are regularly being replaced by younger, more glamorous women who conform to a certain ideas of what an attractive woman is. Tv programmes, films, music videos and magazines constantly reduce women to their appearance, ignoring their character and them as a person, it's so easy to be influenced by this and to want to conform and 'be as good as' the women that are represented in the media. This is fed to girls from a very young age and continues to be fed to them. With SO much importance placed on the appearance of women, it can be bloody hard for a woman to be happy with their body, especially when that celeb beach body diet plan tells you that you can achieve a figure that has actually been airbrushed and altered to death and can't be obtained because it doesn't exist. Or when you're constantly told that men like 'curvy' women but there are very specific rules for those curves and the celebrities they fancy are actually very thin women with various implants, a figure which can't really be obtained without plastic surgery...

Nusatenggara Sun 29-Sep-13 22:56:06

I'm thin and hate it. Someone in a shop the other day asked me if I ever ate anything hmm. I find it so offensive, I wouldn't dream of suggesting to someone overweight to lay off the cakes.

I'm 5" 4" and weigh 7.5 stone, have done for 30 thirty years and really dislike the way I look, actually that's not strictly true, I'm fine with myself until somebody makes a comment like the one above, or that I need feeding up, or some meat on my bones or other such delightful comments. Then I feel like crap sad.

PaulSmenis Sun 29-Sep-13 22:00:44

I think it is a real shame. My friend is in her first trimester and is basically not eating because she doesn't want to go from having a good figure (in her words) to being overweight. She is determined to be a yummy mummy. I'm a bit worried about her/

justanothernotsoyummymummy Sun 29-Sep-13 21:52:32

Sinful1 there are plenty of people, myself included, who are healthy but skinny. For me it's a combination of high metabolism and genetics. Why should I be told I won't appeal to men as I'm not curvy?

DD (16) is just like me. We ordered her a bodycon dress for a party. She tried it on and cried because she has no curves; and thought the dress looked bad. Why can't girls grow up feeling happy in themselves?

This makes me feel so depressed. sad

justanothernotsoyummymummy Sun 29-Sep-13 21:44:56

To all of you saying that extreme obesity or being severely underweight is a bad thing - obviously I realise that, and that isn't what I was referring to. What I mean is size 8 women being told they aren't "real women" and size 14s being told they need to be skinnier.

Please bear in mind that I did say in my OP - we should be encouraged to have a healthy lifestyle - i.e. obesity and being very underweight would naturally need addressing.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 29-Sep-13 21:43:44

Oh, thanks for your concern Thants - I can assure you that i really don't have body image issues and the list of "work" that i would have done is total fantasy rather than a dream. Honestly, wans't being entirely serious - have had too much wine I am having counselling for my self esteem issues and my body is definately not on the agenda, if you read my previous post you will see im actually happy with it. Despite my wish list to the contrary grin

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