"It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation." -Ashley Judd
I stumbled upon an article this morning. Ashley Judd has been criticized lately for having a "Puffy face" (I feel like I could write an entire blog post about the fact that the media spends countless hours and money to make illegitimate allegations... all because one celebrity's face looks slightly puffy). So-called "legitimate" news sources are going out of their way to "explain" her puffy face (Don't believe me? Check out this article by U.S. Magazine). The societal discourse about something so simple (she had been sick for a month and on steroids) became "pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic."
Ashley's article (read it here) is a well written and pretty searing response to the media attention that was given to the 43-year-old's puffy face. She alleges that society no longer allows us to age gracefully... instead, no matter how we age, we are criticized. If we are natural and our age begins to show, we are criticized for looking haggard or fat. If we are natural and our age does not begin to show, society spreads lies and assumes we've had work done. Ultimately, she says, women just can't win.
The way our society judged Ashley "embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle."
This isn't just a problem derived from the male perspective, though. Women are perpetuating it, too. And it's to our own detriment, isn't it? We judge each other, perhaps to make our own insecurities feel less blatant. We allow (and even assist) men to objectify body parts and we encourage the valuation of our worth based on our physical appearance (while also complaining that this is the case - what gives?!).
I was particularly disturbed by the discussion that occured when Judd allegedly gained a few pounds... she was called a “cow” and a “pig” and the media told her she “better watch out” because her husband would be "looking for his second wife.” Really? Do you see how that alleges, first of all, that someone as thin as a celebrity can be a cow or a pig? What is the rest of America meant to feel like, then!? Second, do you see how that alleges that her husband only values her because of her physical appearance? What does that teach the rest of us about the sanctity and value and purpose of marriage? Third, it is begging us to compete with each other... begging us to believe that we should fight against EACH OTHER for the honor of being objectified by a man.
Does this make your eyes roll as much as mine? What do you think?