Last week, I spoke about a few hot topics. I almost wrote about Ashley Judd then but I really wanted to highlight how AWESOME I think this woman is. So often women in the media capitalize on their beauty and never speak to the ridiculousness of a system that tells us that girls in their twenties need Botox and airbrushing. A system that seemingly requires plastic surgery and fillers for celebrities yet creates derogatory terms like “Frozen Brow” and “Trout Mouth” when the results are less than perfect.
So Ms. Judd spoke the truth.
She called out the fact that she was being compared to pictures of herself from 14 years ago. She pointed out that the fact that if she looked too good, it was attributed to plastic surgery but on the same note, if she looked bad, it must be surgical. But mostly she pointed out just how insane the whole thing is and that women are not just the victims, we aretoo often the perpetrators. (You can read her full piece on The Daily Beast.)
And I am so guilty of this.
First, I buy into it all. I have drawers filled with products each promising to “fight” aging. A fight that I am destined to lose unless I die too young. Not a very good trade-off. I have a cream to fill my smile lines. I have a cream to keep my jawline taut. I have one for my heavy lids and another for the crows feet. It is all too much.
Now, I like makeup and creams. I am not suggesting that we all go cold turkey but I know I could be more aware of the time and money that I invest in this process. What if I spent just a tenth of that time and money on food that made my body healthier? What if I used another of those moments in the mirror telling myself that I am beautiful to start not just after all the products? Finally, what if I invested in changing this dynamic for my daughter?
But it goes beyond that. I have played the bad celebrity plastic surgery game. I justify my meanness with humor. “I’m only being snarky.” “They can’t hear me so it doesn’t hurt them.” I am perpetuating the idea that they owe it to me to be perfect.
And why? Jealousy. I didn’t have the success in acting that others had. And sometimes I act a bit like a “hater”. I never think of myself that way. “I’m nice. I’m kind. I’m everybody’s friend.” But the truth is I am being a mean girl.
And the ridiculousness of this came home to me when my beautiful Little Diva shared some of her wisdom. She was talking about a young girl who bullied her last year. I saw them playing together this year, so I asked about it. LD explained that they played together now.
Me: Does she play nicely now?
LD: Yeah. She’s nice now. She doesn’t bully me anymore.
Me: (skeptically) Well, that’s good… Why do you think that is?
LD: Last year she was jealous when I cam to the class. And that’s why she was mean. And now I stand up for myself. She changed and I changed.
If my daughter at the age of five can come to that big of an understanding, I think I can do a little better. Well, a lot better.
So thank you, Ashley Judd for speaking up. You are heroic but my real hero is my five year old Little Diva. Because she speaks the truth.