Ashley Judd Says It's Time Women Took Their Power Back, And I AGREE
It's the age old dilemma us women have been battling for what seems like forever-- being judged quite harshly not based on our brains or brawn but on something as superficial as our physical appearance. And while we may all wail against it- as women we allow ourselves and those who perpetuate this practice to continue to fuel it. As women, we don't allow ourselves the luxury of owning the years and hard fought experiences those lines etched in our faces speak to. In fact, we do everything within our power to cover them up, shoot Botox into them, pump with silicone, as we are told we should be ashamed of them.
Enter Ms. Judd, who after being lambasted by the media who raked her over the coals for a puffy looking face, decided to call out those who chose to focus on the defects in her physical appearance, and had these choice words to say in an article she penned for The Daily Beast
"I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hyper-sexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about....I hope the sharing of my thoughts can generate a new conversation: Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place? How, and why, did people participate? If not in the conversation about me, in parallel ones about women in your sphere? What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about?
What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about? How does this symbolize constraints on girls and women, and encroach on our right to be simply as we are, at any given moment? How can we as individuals in our private lives make adjustments that support us in shedding unconscious actions, internalized beliefs, and fears about our worthiness, that perpetuate such meanness? What can we do as families, as groups of friends? Is what girls and women can do different from what boys and men can do? What does this have to do with how women are treated in the workplace?"
Thank you Ms. Judd for bringing to light such an important issue- this tendency of our society to force us women to feel our value and worth stems from our physical attributes and that once we lose them- as all of us eventually do- in a sense we also lose our power, our visibility and our purpose. We need to start shifting conversations away from the physical, if not for us then for our daughters. We need to stop buying into this idea that recapturing our youth and sustaining a youthful appearance is all that will keep us vital and viable citizens. We need to start seeing our age as wisdom, those lines as hard fought years of experience which are assets rather than deficits. Like it or not- every extra dimple on my thigh, every extra pound on my belly, the scars, the laugh lines, the wrinkles, they’re mine. I've earned them-they are permanent records of the most joyous occasions, like the birth of my kids, and others are a painful reminder of darker events.
The scars which I cannot escape, especially because they are indelibly etched on my face and in my heart.
Ultimately we need to model this type of behavior-- even if we are just faking it- so that the next generation of women do not succumb to this type of misogyny.
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