What is a REAL woman?

Right now, we're a few days into the Olympics, and there are so many amazing female athletes to be inspired by, yet it's only the ones that fit the media's ideal of pretty that are appearing on the front covers of glossy magazines. The other Olympic standard athletes are being pulled apart for not looking feminine enough or looking too fat in a swimsuit. These are OLYMPIC freakin' STANDARD athletes, people. Women who train their super-fit asses off to be the best in the world. Can we get a li'l perspective here?

Then yesterday, I noticed a LOT of people posting this picture on Facebook.

Heads up, I LOVE the  Dove campaign for real beauty, and I currently work with them to take their self-esteem workshops out into schools, but seeing this particular image, comparing the two sets of girls, made me all kinds o' sad, because all it was actually doing was encouraging girlkind to continue the ongoing comparison game that the media just love us girls to play. The sad fact is, it's a game that none of us will EVER win because there will always, and I repeat ALWAYS - see? I put it in capitals for dramatical effect - be someone that is thinner, curvier, taller, has straighter/curlier/longer/shorter/thicker/thinner hair, a bigger/smaller/more pert/ bum than you. Fact. Playing this game is a SERIOUS waste of our time and energy when, as a girl-hood, we have got far more important shit to be doing, like starting revolutions, dreaming big dreams and making them happen.

I mean, what's a REAL woman anyway? Am I a real woman because I'm a size 18 and flaunt my curves? Is Posh Spice a real woman because she's had 4 children and managed to maintain a size 6 figure? Is Adele a real woman because she's a size 12 AND can sing? Is Cheryl Cole a real woman because she rocks a super-small frame? I call bullshit. By saying one particular body shape is better than the other, we just keep playing the game.

We're all REAL women, and most importantly, we're real women because we are so much more than the bodies we reside in and it's our job, as kick-ass members o' girlkind, to recognise and reject negg-o and distorted images about what so-called beauty 'looks' like, redefine it and change it up. (You can here me talking about this in more detail on the Sara Ellis radio show on Untangled FM.) Here's an idea, let's here and now in SASSYville, create a new discussion. One where girls and women are more than just images of airbrushed perfection shown to us in the media, one where, when magazines/TV/cosmetic companies play on women's insecurities we call bullshit, one where we stop looking for anyone accept for our sweet, sweet selves to validate us. We are not just our body shape. We are valuable, loveable and capable. We kick-ass. We win medals. We run businesses. We make babies. We make history. Girls rock and rule WHATEVER YOU-nique-to-you body shape you come in. There is no-one else like you in the whole entire world, how freakin' awesome is that?!
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What does the term real woman mean to you? I want to know!