Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sorry, Ashley Judd, My "Puffy Face" Moment is Not the Same as Yours

Puffy or not, she's still beautiful.
I get it. Women are bitches. We pick each other apart instead of building each other up. I got that point in the fifth grade when I wore my first training bra and was teased incessantly about it. It's actually a lesson learned practically daily when dressing and wondering what the female world will think of my outfit. Sad, but true.

But lucky for me, I do not make a living with my appearance. I am aware of the fact that having a better looking appearance helps me in the workplace (sad but true), but ultimately I get paid for my brain. I'm not a model or actress or professional cheerleader. I add that last one in because I was appalled at hearing a professional cheerleader talk about losing those 5 lbs--she was tiny in my opinion. I expressed my anger and then a friend's husband mentioned that there are physical requirements to be a cheerleader, just as there are physical requirements for being a professional football player, and most normal people cannot live up to those requirements. This isn't grade school where everyone gets to be on the team. This is real life.

Which ultimately brings me to my point: Ashley Judd gets paid, and fairly well, to look good. Actually better than good. She gets paid to look idyllic. If she did not look idyllic, chances are good she wouldn't be an actress, at least as successful as she is. Society has always had idyllic examples of beauty and those people--men and women--have always felt the pressure and consequences of living up to their example. But they also get the spoils of what that means too.  So, while I may not agree that the "puffy face affair" was fair, I can understand it.  And honestly, it's not even that bad compared to what some celebrities have gotten (Britney, anyone?)

What I mean to say is this, while I appreciate and actually enjoyed Ashley Judd's essay on her puffy face, I have a few problems with it:

  • Now? Ashley has a problem with the way media treats women NOW. As in, when it happens to her. This essay wasn't about, say, Calista Flockhart weighing 80 lbs in the 90s, or even Christina Aguilera having gained weight now. It was because it actually happened to her. 
  • Okay, Ashley Judd cares. Now WHAT? Just asking people to change and "share their puffy face moments" isn't enough. If she wants to be an advocate, then she should be one. Do something about it, don't just say something about it. 
  • Ashley Judd's response got play on NBC Nightly News, Rock Center and MSNBC. I'm fairly certain none of those programs actually showed her puffy face or criticized her for it. Meaning, she actually more press for herself (and the show she's hawking) through her response than the speculation. Not a bad media plan in my opinion. 
Lastly, as Chef actually mentioned, there are few women who can relate to the extremes that Ashley Judd felt in the criticism. I'm fairly certain that TMZ could give a rat's ass about my psoriasis, no matter how sensitive I am about it. However, there is one group that actually could: high school girls. Those are some mean bitches, and I say that having been one. Maybe this can be a lesson Ashley could help them with. Or maybe it's just a chance for a nationally publicized rant. That remains to be seen. 

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