The Size of a “Real Woman”

I’ll get right to it.

I buy my bras in the girls’ section at Target.  I got nothing going on up top and the thought of spending crazy money on a fancy bra seems ridiculous and wasteful.  I couldn’t care less about the size of my breasts.  They’ve served their purpose.  They were perky when I was young enough to care and when I became a mom, they fed my babies.  And now… eh… whatever.

What kind of irks me, however, is the occasional comment about what a “real woman” looks like.

Now, I don’t expect sympathy.  I know that many women really struggle with weight issues.  However, to characterize a full-figured woman as the “real woman” intimates that people like me aren’t.  I even heard one local radio personality comment that skinny women just look like “little boys.”

So what size should we be?

A healthy size!  A waist under 35″ for women and a BMI under 25 (http://health.msn.com/weight-loss/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100173487) puts you at lower risk for heart disease and diabetes (and, it seems, cancer).  With 70% of the US population currently overweight and headed, by 2020, to being 75% obese (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/202075-PercentAmerica-Obese/2010/09/23/id/371359), we need to think carefully about what we embrace as “real.”  Our children are part of the first generation since the Civil War who have shorter life expectancies than their parents (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/17/health/17obese.html).

A “real woman,” I contend, is one who takes her health into her own hands.  She eats well, sleeps well, stays active, and supports other women in her life with understanding and encouragement.  She teaches her daughters to do the same and to strive for health, not some contrived, outward physical ideal.

(On a side note… has anyone noticed Andrea Mitchell’s arms?  She is cut!)

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