Why do 'real' women have to be fat?

Posted Tuesday 2nd September 2014   By Ericka Waller

So there is a new trend sweeping Twitter. Photos of women who you would not “normally” see in a bikini (ie; not a size 0) taking selfies and tagging them #fatkini. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great. I think all shapes and sizes should be celebrated, but why label these larger women ‘real’. Does that mean I can’t be, because I don’t have any junk in my trunk?

Why must us women be pitted against one another, like dogs in a fight to see which one wins? I am not overweight, but I am very real.

I gave birth to three 9lb babies, and then nourished them with my teeny tiny breasts for six months. But then, even if I hadn’t given birth naturally, or been able to breastfeed, I would still be real. I really have a fanny. You don’t really need to see it in order to see me as a woman do you?

I carry pregnancy scars that mean I can fit in a size 6-8 bikini, but I would look bloody awful in it because of my stretched skin. People are much more likely to run screaming from me as I emerge out the sea than they are from a shapely woman strutting about in an itsy-bitsy yellow polka dot bikini. Does that make me a loser?

My three daughters all have different body shapes. One of them may be naturally bigger than the other two. What do I tell her when she comes to me bemoaning her thighs in a few years time? “Don’t worry darling, you are real. Your sisters and I, we are just pretty decorations, like those dollies that cover loo rolls. Now run along and take a selfie.”

When people tell me how lucky I am because I can eat what I like I say sorry. Why? ‘Real’ women don’t apologize for over-eating or having a thyroid problem, why must I for my metabolism?

About a year ago, I went to see a plastic surgeon. He ran his hands down my ribs, tugging the skin on my tummy down so it looked like I was wearing a tutu. He fisted the flesh and said “imagine all this gone.”

TUMMY TUCK T Why do real women have to be fat?

I looked down and my tummy was perfect. No scars, no testicle, no orange peel. Then I thought of my daughters. What example could I possibly be if I had a tummy tuck? What message would I be sending to them, that they must look perfect to be loved, to be able to love themselves?

Where and when would their surgery start? Skin peels for spots? Laser surgery for hairs? When the surgeon let go of the skin, it flopped. It was pink and mottled from being tugged about. I covered it with my hand and I felt like me. I felt real.

We should not be doing selfies named #fatkini. We should selfie #bikini, with no label attached. Fat, thin, scarred, smooth, missing body parts. We are all real. We are all women. Here’s to having a fanny!