Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ashley Judd Fights Back Over Critique Of Appearance

Actress Ashley Judd, who has appeared in over ...
Actress Ashley Judd, who has appeared in over twenty different movies, attended Sayre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14:  Ashley Judd attends ...
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Ashley Judd attends Ashley Judd in Conversation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the United Nations on March 14, 2012 in New York City. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)
Ashley Judd Fights Back Over Critique Of Appearance

I have always loved Ashley Judd.  She seems very raw, gritty and real, despite her absolutely stunning outward physical appearance, she seems to possess so many other greater gifts.

I have read off and on over the years critiques of her made when she added a curve or two to her tiny frame, and it always irritated me because whatever her size - a 2 or an 8 (as she references in the article above) to me she is always stunning.

Perhaps I especially love Ashley's article above because she referenced having gained some weight due to being on steroids for an illness.  Instead of anyone asking her for comment to the criticisms they all just piled on her - including publications that she writes serious pieces for.

I related to this frustration on her part.  Years back I was so horribly sick that my lung capacity was down to 30% and I was living on steroids for around 2 years and many other horrific breathing treatments just to get through any given day.  It took its toll.  Not only did it permanently change my appearance, from the weight gain, shape of my body, the puffy face, it caused my immune system to crumble and led to a subsequent two year series of other awful sickness (recurring Staph infections for one and shingles).

I knew that people noticed, commented behind my back.  I had always been pretty petite  - and suddenly through things outside my control - serious illness - my appearance changed. Like Ashleigh, I went from a 2/4 to an 8 - and God forbid that is considered BIG or FAT.  It was personally devastating for so many reasons, but that attitude of other men and women toward the physical appearance of women - and in many ways women being the harshest - can be very hurtful.

I in no way compare myself to the amazing Ashley Judd, rather, what she wrote hit a chord with me and she asked that we "Join the Discussion" -- so that is what I'm trying to do via this Monkey Blog.  Join the discussion, ask some real questions about our values and whether or not we want to continue to promulgate the detrimental attitudes toward women that are handed out like candy by the media, magazines, advertising and more.  It is ever more important to think about once you become mom.  I can take it, I see it for what it is.  But my daughter is sweet and innocent and I take seriously what she will be bombarded with in the media both subconsciously and consciously. 

In another portion of the article Ashley addresses that media outlets said that she better get her looks together because her husband will start looking for wife number 2 - is particularly offensive.  It is equally offensive to men as to women.  To say that her husband, or any man can not and does not marry a woman for any reason other than her outward appearance is ridiculous and shallow.  (not that it doesn't happen, but I'd like to believe that most men don't get married just because some girl is "hot.")

When I was going through my illness and gained weight, my husband knew it was hard on me as a woman.  We are always hardest on ourselves, but it grows even more difficult with the constant bombardment that the media heaps onto us about how women are supposed to look.  That airbrushed women, and gaunt 14 year old runway models some how become the standard bearers for how our bodies and faces should be.  I have been sick of it for a long time.  Have you?

Ashley asks that we join this conversation.  Specifically - a portion of her article states - much better than I can:

"If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start. Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who. The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood. 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 

How does this make you feel?

Have you ever felt that self loathing about your own body because you look at a magazine and see the airbrushed perfection and wonder why you can't look that way? 

How can you join this conversation if it speaks to your interests?

THANKS MONKEYS.  Thanks Ashley Judd.

You are a bad ass.  I hereby stamp my approval on YOU as a role model for my angel baby, Tyler. 

talk to me:  conquerthemonkey@hotmail.com


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Slamdunk said...

Having worked extra jobs around the Judd family; Ashley is as inspirational as she appears to be.

I agree; go Ashley Judd.

Willoughby said...

Ashley Judd put the media in their place! I don't think anyone, celebrity or not, should have to explain a change in their weight.

I get awfully tired of the being bombarded with the stereotypical perfect woman. Have you ever noticed the Macy's ads on tv? I don't think I've ever seen a woman who wears anything larger than a size zero in their spots. There is nothing wrong with being a size zero, but it's not realistic for everyone.

My son's girlfriend left a copy of a teen fashion magazine here and I was looking through it. OMG, talk about reinforcing negative stereotypes and shallowness!

Courtney said...

"That airbrushed women, and gaunt 14 year old runway models some how become the standard bearers for how our bodies and faces should be. I have been sick of it for a long time. Have you?"

YES!!! And apparently, sometimes these women aren't quite good enough either, because they are photoshopped thinner in magazines. Remember that whole thing with the Ralph Lauren model who was trimmed down so much it looked like her waist was smaller than her head? Apprently, she was considered too fat at a size 4.

Every once in a while, I see these annoying articles about a curvy actress defending herself because she has, well, flesh on her bones. So I wonder geez, just how bad does she look? And I do a google image search and find a stunning beauty. What kind of standards do we have if that's worthy of criticism? I don't get where the hostility is coming from.

Cameron said...

Slamdunk, that is good to hear, thank's for letting us know Ashley is the real deal!

Willoughby, those teen mags are terrifying. guess it means we gotta stay on top of parenting because it's everywhere, and maybe stand up against it more! so great to hear from you!

Courtney, I fully hear you and had read that issue re: Ralph Lauren, so crazy. I find when I see pix on media and in mags I'm more drawn to the gals who have real figures. To that end, there is some validity to magazines, example, I enjoy fashion in general not fashion for the pin thin, but I find I'll rip out a page when it's a designer shown on a woman w/ curves because i think, "hey, I could wear that."

All, thank you truly and deeply for sharing your feedback and joining the conversation!

Yours in Monkey world,