See, Ashley assumes that women who engage in all the catty speculation about her loss of looks must be — MUST BE — willing members of the Patriarchy. Can’t be anything else!
Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
Okay, so let’s back up a minute. It was fine for her to allow herself to be sexualized by Hollywood back when she was a struggling actress. She didn’t have any trouble posing alluringly for the camera, so that men could ogle her. She wasn’t some self-hating woman back then, enabling the patriarchy to victimize her, right?
But now she’s a victim! And don’t you forget it! And all you hens who are busy cackling about how puffy she is, well… you’re just part of the hated Patriarchy!
Here’s a reality check for Ms. Judd:
For over a decade, back when you were in your heyday, women had to endure as their boyfriends and husbands, as well as the media, waxed poetic about your smokin’ hawtness. Those less blessed by Nature found themselves held up against the “Ideal of Feminine Beauty” represented by Ashley Judd, and were found woefully lacking.
So is it any wonder, now that your beauty is fading a bit, that those same women might be taking just the slightest bit of glee that time has finally toppled Empress Ashley from her throne of perpetual hawtness?
Women aren’t being mean because they’re members of the Patriarchy, hon… they’re being mean because YOU were. YOU willingly sold yourself as the hawttest thing ever. Your appearance on the covers of countless magazines — airbrushed even back then to make you more stunning than you actually were — was an unfair and unrealistic standard the rest of us were expected to live up to. And none of us could. Not even you. But now — NOW — you’re whining because people have stopped appreciating your hawtness.
You were more than happy to let men and society in general use you as the standard by which all other women were judged; that makes you a willing accessory of the Patriarchy. And now that you’re down on the level with the rest of us mere women, you want to cry foul? You want to blame your less attractive sisters for being complicit with the Patriarchy because we dare to make some cutting remarks about your fading beauty? We weren’t the ones being held up as the standard, dearie. We weren’t the ones making a very good living off our looks. That was YOU. And now even you can’t live up to the past Ashley Judd standard. Well boo-frickin’-hoo.
You know what this reminds me of? It reminds me of a centuries-old fairy tale…
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who’s the fairest one of all?
I wonder how the Evil Queen took it when the Mirror had to admit it was no longer she? Oh yeah… the aging Queen wasn’t too happy about that, was she?
See… if Ashley was nearly as smart as she likes to make out, she would’ve picked up on the fact that beauty fades and is always supplanted by the newest crop. In other words: there’s always someone a little younger and prettier who can easily take your place. So if you’re living your life by the fickle and shallow whims of fashion and beauty, sooner or later you’re going to be deemed less than society’s ideal.
That’s just how it is. And at that point, you can bitch and moan — or attempt to commit murder, like the Evil Queen — to try to change reality, or you can sit back and accept that beauty is fleeting. At least you had it, dearie. Most of us never know the adulation of millions based solely on our flawless skin and well-formed ta-tas. Then again, most of us don’t mind that we were never seen merely as a perfect set of breasts.