I love collecting clippings of beautiful images, funny cartoons or great articles out of newspapers and magazines. I recently came across one article which touches on the theme of finding beauty in imperfection.
Richard Godwin described the hysteria in the media surrounding celebrities and, what Ashley Judd refers to as ‘the CONVERSATION’, that ensues after a celebrity has been out for a run or at a party. One of the many flashing cameras recently caught the lovely Scarlett Johansson in an unflattering angle and then all hell broke loose.
“IS SCARLETT PREGNANT?” wonders the Conversation. “NO, SHE’S JUST FAT” replies the Conversation. “GROSS!” says the Conversation, “HAVEN’T YOU HEARD OF LIPOSUCTION, GIRLFRIEND?” And so on… Here is what Richard Godwin wrote:
“However, just as the male who couldn’t care less about Scarlett Johansson’s dress size or whether Princess Beatrice is wearing Spanx begins to wonder why it’s always his fault, Judd elaborates: “Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate … It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.”
The unfortunate fact is, the Conversation is largely conducted by women, about women, for women. Usually for the ultimate profit of men, admittedly, but I’m not sure this counts as a masculine conspiracy.
Personally, I can scroll down the Mail Online “sidebar of shame” untempted by the articles about Kourtney Kardashian’s “pregnancy shape”, or Chloe Sims’s £4,500 bum lift, though I know many intelligent females who lose hours to this stuff. “I can totally resist women’s magazines, and yet I find myself looking at 14 pictures of Kate Middleton’s coat-dress,” a feminist colleague raged recently. Surely what fuels that anger is the mirror that these articles hold up to female concerns?
We all know where the Conversation leads: to anorexia, depression and dysmorphia; to the idea that bodily hair and pale complexions are quasi-medical afflictions that need “treatment”; to women choosing Botox-frozen brows that look good in a pap-shot over faces capable of registering human emotion in real life…
As a man listening in, it can be hard to get a word in. So perhaps all I can usefully say is that it makes us sad that you think of yourselves in that way. We don’t. We think you’re great. We like your minds. We just wish you did too.”
I love his response! Of course, I am not perfect either and I have no problem in living with that. We can all have our bad days, but what you choose to focus on makes all the difference.
Would love to hear what you think of his response?