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Beauty and the Messages We Send

Ashley Judd is known for many things–talented actress, humanitarian advocate, celebrity family, etc. However, if you search for mentions of Ms. Judd online right now, your results will be about her post in The Daily Beast, a response not only to the media assault on her "puffy" appearance but to the Conversation that exists in our society regarding women's bodies and appearances. She writes:

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.

As if this was not sad enough, the fact is that as our children seem to mature (or try to mature) at an earlier age, the critiques and analyses of appearances are being applied to, and by, young children. A friend of mine this morning told me that her son told his twin sister she was fat because she is not as thin as the other girls in their grade. She explained to both of them that she is beautiful the way she is. 

The fact is we are all meant to look different and we should celebrate our differences. Tall or short, fat or thin, blonde or brunette, and anyone else in between is perfect just the way they are. All of us, from the young to the old, should try to be the best, healthiest, happiest versions of ourselves.

The messages we send–with words and deeds–to our children, both sons and daughters, is vital for creating a society and culture in which women celebrate, and are celebrated, for who they are and what they do, rather than how puffy they may look.


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