Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our Faces, Our Bodies, Ourselves

Ashley Judd is challenging the media as well as the rest of us to stop the incessant focus on outward beauty. She is criticizing the critics telling them to get back to the inherent values of worth: good deeds, kindness, character, inner strength...all "beautiful". It was refreshing to listen to her outrage on last nights Rock Center.

I don't know about you but I am certainly guilty of participating in the practice of "Wonder if she/he's had work done?".  I had the conversation with the husband of a friend who looks so darn good in photos I was sure she'd gone under the knife.  He laughed and assured me she hasn't.  But I started the dialog.  It's part of our world of "looking good is better than feeling good."  I should know.  I'm from L.A.

Women are too often treated as objects, armpieces, decoration, at-your-service.  We may be asked to do things in exchange for climbing the ladder.  We may think it's okay to exchange self-esteem for security.  But we almost always have a say.  We have the right, the obligation to say "No" if we, in fact, don't like what we're asked to do.  Some women/girls have no say whatsoever.  They are slaves, chattel, second or third class citizens.  They are seen and not heard.  Luckily, this is not the norm in America though I know it can happen.  Polygamous society anyone?

We all scrutinize ourselves and one another too much.  We're all critical.  I am probably more focused on my looks now they are changing, aging & losing their luster than at any other point in my life.  It's exhausting.

What are your thoughts?  Have women perpetrated an age-old problem?  Is it thrust upon us by the male hierarchy, still in charge?  The media?  Advertising?  What can we do to change the dialog?


CaliforniaGirl500 said...

I certainly have mine after a night of drinking wine!

Fifi Flowers said...

I think she looks like... we're women we have puffy days... LOL!

guest said...

nice article, wished the actress behaved better toward 'regular' people though.

CaliforniaGirl500 said...

Can you expand on this?

DJan Stewart said...

Once you reach a "certain age" there is no longer any push to be beautiful. I don't worry about it at all and sometimes gaze at a gorgeous woman myself, but there's no desire to be her. I like roses and flowers, too, but I'm happy to be myself. It took getting old, though. I was once very vain.

CaliforniaGirl500 said...

You're honest about it. I'm more vain now than when younger...or else I'm confusing vanity with disappointment. I want a thicket skin (less wrinkles) & a Mora Ephron sense of humor.

Mel Carroll said...

I really admire Ashley for speaking out, and I wish she made a bigger fuss.
My 13 year old daughter had the same reaction to steroids after a terrible bout of pneumonia - her face went from teenager thin to round and bloated in days. It was shocking and I felt so sorry for her to be sick on the inside and look so different on the outside. Our culture is just becoming meaner and more superficial by the day. I don't understand it and I don't like it.

I also don't like how hard it is for me to see my 52 year old self reflected back in the mirror. It's the wrinkles and thin skin that do me in. 

I blame media - entertainment and advertising mostly, for glamorizing images of youth and beauty, and for trying to convince women that their worth lies in their ability to look thin, sexy, young. Most women do not look like cover girls and movie stars.

My latest idol is Jamie Lee Curtis, for staying gray and being exactly who she is.

Thanks for sharing this.

CaliforniaGirl500 said...

Thank you for a thoughtful, informative comment. Steroids have so many side effects. My 85 yr old MIL is taking them tot a specific pain problem. She can't sleep, she's swollen, she combined them with
Ambien the other night & hallucinated 2 gunmen in the driveway. She had everyone up @ 4AM ready to call the police.
Helen Mirren's a knockout who, like many male movie stars, has grown more alluring with age. She fights the stereotype.

Green Monkey said...

yes, you (I) notice it more when its gone.  I used to wonder what all the fuss was about wrinkles.  I try to start my day by telling myself to focus on what I love about me.  Especially now that I've lost my breasts to cancer.  Everywhere I turn I bump in to large boobs.  

CaliforniaGirl500 said...

You make a strong point.  Losing your breasts to breast cancer is such an emotional and physical loss.  The aging face pales in comparison.  Thank you for commenting and talking about it.  


by Cole Scott