Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s that I’m a mother of three maturing little girls. Maybe it’s that my love of fashion magazines has been waning over the years. Something really struck me when I scanned blog mentions about the recent accusations that actress Ashley Judd had plastic surgery. I wasn’t surprised that the media decided to speculate that another celebrity had plastic surgery (yawn), it was the heart-felt and articulate response of Ashley Judd that struck me.
The argument that Ms. Judd put in written word, is the same argument that I have with myself too frequently. I have to ask why we continue to let this sentiment toward women and girls continue?
“The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.”
The good thing is that people (of both genders) are talking about this kind of objectification that happens every day and has been part of our history for decades. The harder thing is to figure out what we can do about it for ourselves and for future generations.
Get Help and Take Action
Girls Inc. programming is a great place to start the conversation with girls in the Indianapolis community, and nationwide. Their “Bold” suite of programming addresses body issues and teaches media literacy. These programs increase girls’ awareness of the tendencies and behaviors that they may not even be conscious of. To start a positive conversation early is a key component of confidence building.
For adults, I recommend the documentary Miss Representation. Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis co-hosted a screening and conversation for this film late last year at Butler University. The documentary presents astounding information, via video clips, interviews, and more about the media’s negative portrayal of women. The movie encourages us to write our own story.
Maybe that’s what struck me. Ashley Judd is writing her own story, and I admire her for doing that publicly. We need more voices doing the same thing.