We need to stop using “real” as shorthand for “people I can relate to.”
We already have a word for that. It’s relatable.
All of those people you view as richer, poorer, fatter, thinner, celebrities, the infamous, younger, older… All of those people are real.
They all have real problems.
She trembled a great deal, as though cold or afraid; she cried, suddenly and noiselessly, and the tears would fall and she would not wipe them away. She’d cry paralytically, sitting rigid in a chair or walking the street or in a market, cry without knowing she was crying, and not touch her eyes, but continue walking or continue sitting or continue shopping.
—Alfred Hayes, My Face For The World To See