By Attiya Karodia

A young girl comes home one day from school almost in tears with a decision based on nothing more than an aesthetic goal, to be ‘curvy’. The girls told her that she had chicken legs, that she was a toothpick, an ironing board, a frame structure, so she ate pap for 2 months to somehow change her body to fit what a normal girl in her world would look like, but to no avail.

Fast forward from then and that girl learned to love her body as is, she learnt that standards fluctuate, but girls that are hell bent on encouraging image-fueled victimization wouldn’t change at all.

Tell me, what constitutes a REAL WOMAN? Curves? Natural Hair? Well how about letting every woman be a ‘real’ one on the basis that she makes her own choices, has her own body and form of beauty? I’m skinny, and don’t work out, but my mother wasn’t and she didn’t starve herself or make me feel like I needed to gain weight to be perfect, when did it become ok to do so?

In an age where Anti-Feminist support  is a growing wave of worry with millions claiming self-sufficiency separate from the movement, we still have girls, not women, girls who support encourage and rile one another up with selfish memes and tweets, all aimed at gaining validation by tearing down another woman. I have seen countless housewives talked down to for choosing to be mothers and at the other end of the scale, I’ve seen some of the most inspirational women in my life treated like irresponsible power-hungry and bags of unchecked emotion for breaking glass ceilings and climbing the corporate ladder to success in male-dominated industries.

Sadly, at the center of this entire issue, is a man’s set of criteria and demands which push and pull through preference, making girls out of potential women by thrusting insecurity on them. In some circles, independent women are in demand and in others, homely women are and so we have women who choose a side, or claim to be on both, surrendering any sense of self or diversity to a one-dimensional character enforced by the silver screen (think Olivia Pope vs Francis Underwood). My question here is, at what point do you begin to live beyond the expectations and roles set by others and learn to live, speak and act on your own accord? Therein lies the real freedom for women, and all people for that matter.

Main Chicks degrade Side Chicks, forgetting that they’re both competing for the attention of a man who has his bread buttered on both sides.

“If I’m still texting your man, it’s because he’s still replying” says the Side Chick. 

“Side chicks that think being loyal is gonna change the way a man views her lmao. Your a side chick for a reason. Have some self-respect” says the Main Chick.

“Real Women have CURVES”- so I guess I need to reapply then?

Hoes come and go away, real women stay.” – I need to stick around no matter what debauchery my man gets up to?

Every woman has the potential to be a Real Woman by my definition, but very few grow beyond these societal demands. A real woman is you, but only when you stop acting like an insecure little girl.