top & shoes - Primark
jeans - Zara
coat - Zaful
top - Zaful
skirt - StyleWe
bag - Zara
shoes - Primark
"Real woman" is one of my least favourite phrases. Emblazoned on the front of magazines, make-up packaging and lingerie ads, the terms has seeped into everyday life, much like ironic hashtag overuse and the ever expanding emoji encyclopedia (both of which I am fond of I must admit).
The word 'real' is usually put before a subject which you may question the authenticity of e.g. lemon juice or that murder drama you've been binging on Netflix. By all accounts, by using the word 'real' to prefix something that very much is real, is tautologous. It makes you doubt whether the thing is real in the first place. As well as outlining certain characteristics as essential to achieving "real" womanhood, it's divisive. Rather than being allowed to exist freely, the hypothetical "unreal" woman becomes what we all need to aspire to. And yet, as we all know, she doesn't exist.
My mum is an avid fan of the home shopping channels, so much so that I have found a special place in my heart for them too. It's almost therapeutic hearing people talk so positively about a product you definitely don't need, as well as providing a welcome break from other current affairs, both nationally and globally speaking (Donald, I'm looking at you.)
However, what is one of my least favourite phrases actually seems to be rather popular among the presenters.Whether it's an anti-aging cream, cellulite serum or floral bomber jacket, it's always a product for "real women". That tailored coat will always help to cover those "problem areas" and those shaping jeans will always cover "the bits that you want to hide."
OK, so maybe you think I'm overreacting a tad. They're only phrases, right?
But when you're told the same thing on a continual basis, they become more than just phrases; they become thoughts.
Being told that your body or your face is a "problem area" tells you that it is a problem. It tells you that it needs to be changed to conform to something else.
I realise I'm not breaking new ground - far from it - it's this self-perpetuating rhetoric that underpins the beauty industry as we all know. But being told that we have "problem areas" goes beyond simply convincing us to buy that extra bottle of cleanser; it tells us that we need to correct ourselves, whether there's any kind of "problem" or not.
What's your opinion on these phrases?