Tag Archives: Plastic surgery

My Love For Kathleen Turner

29 Sep

Kathleen Turner first caught my eye when I was quite young, and she was starring on a soap called The Doctors.  Her beauty and sultry voice were captivating. And of course who could forget Turner on the cover of Vanity Fair?  Later I saw her in Body Heat, and wow what a performance.  It was not until Romancing the Stone that I truly fell in love with Turner.  Not only was she amazingly beautiful, but she was bright, independent, and finds her own voice. Here we are in the 21st Century and I think I actually am more in love with her now.

Turner is one of the handful (and I do mean handful) of women who have refused to alter her appearance and has not succumbed to superficial pressure of what women are supposed to look like. For this she has earned my eternal devotion. In fact, I find her even more beautiful because she is her own woman, and her own person.  Her brilliance shines through!

Of course, I also find her politics and use of celebrity amazingly sexy.  Turner has used her celebrity for civil rights causes, including marriage equality and health care rights for women.

Last night, my husband and I watched The Perfect Family, in which Turner gives an absolutely amazing performance and shows how hypocritical and dangerous Catholicism can be.  Turner plays a devout Catholic who is up for The Catholic Woman of the Year Award.  The movie does a great and subtle job of exposing the misogyny and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. It also does a nice job of dealing with LGBT families.  What is also worth noting is that Turner looks her age, which I find brilliant!  What an amazing role-model for women. Ms. Turner, if you ever get to Portland, I hope you will have supper with my husband and me.

Ashley Judd Tackles Patriarchy

11 Apr

Today it’s a pleasure to celebrate the words of a woman who clearly understands our world, misogyny, and its power structures. I’ve found Ashley Judd to be a strong voice for social justice, surprisingly so given her upbringing and fairly vapid relatives. A strong advocate for youth empowerment, a voice for HIV education and prevention, and an activist against exploitative mining practices, this ardent feminist has a powerful voice that needs to be heard!

When she was recently attacked in the media for daring to look “puffy” during an interview, Judd spoke out. The whole article is required reading, serving as a brilliant indictment of the power of patriarchy. She starts with a smart analysis of the fact that most of what poses as journalism is attack pieces and pop culture obsession. Dismantling the 24-hour frenzy on her puffiness, she notes that she was attacked both for possibly having had plastic surgery AND for not doing enough to improve her appearance on TV. That one interview led to reporters picking apart her every appearance (including scenes shot when she was in character for a show), leading Judd to observe:

the remarks about how I look while playing a character powerfully illustrate the contagious and vicious nature of the conversation. The accusations and lies, introduced to the public, now apply to me as a woman across space and time; to me as any woman and to me as every woman.

Building on these observations, Judd smartly observes that many of the attacks came from women, demonstrating an ugly internalized misogyny:

That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. 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.

She then clearly articulates why she chose to use this personal public moment to start a conversation and makes a call to action:

I hope the sharing of my thoughts can generate a new conversation: Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place? How, and why, did people participate?… What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about? What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about? How does this symbolize constraints on girls and women, and encroach on our right to be simply as we are, at any given moment?… Is what girls and women can do different from what boys and men can do? … I ask especially how we can leverage strong female-to-female alliances to confront and change that there is no winning here as women. It doesn’t actually matter if we are aging naturally, or resorting to surgical assistance. We experience brutal criticism. The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others—and in my case, to the actual public.

It’s also worth noting that Judd is healthy enough to generally ignore the press pieces about her. She understands her own power and privilege and knows that irresponsible journalism is a consequence of that position. Brava, Ashley Judd, for taking this opportunity to craft a brilliant teachable moment about larger issues and how we must evolve as a society to ever achieve true equality.  Brava, Ms. Judd!

Ageism…

3 Apr

Another great article by TSM contributor, James Queale.

Ageism: prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Does age define you or is age just a number? This question came to my mind recently because of the artist Madonna. She has been advertising her new album for some time and it was released the other day. What does this have to do with ageism? A lot! I’ve noticed there has been a good amount of criticism of her lately, not because she has done something controversial or because people are not into her music. The big issue people seem to have is that she is fifty-three and still performing. I’ve seen many comments for example like, “I don’t want to see GRANDMA dancing around!” or “Why doesn’t she just stop, she’s so old? That is not sexy.”
Madonna is not the only person of course that has faced ageism. Ever since I was a child there has been a stigma that if you are thirty or older, that’s it, you’re done, you can never be successful or find a career after that point. Really?
How many times has someone older been let go from a job because the company would prefer a “younger perspective”? Even though the older person may have vast amounts of knowledge compared to the new guy.
Sometimes ageism can be gender specific. For example, a man can date a younger woman, but an older woman dating a younger man is looked at as a taboo. These woman are even given a predatory name known as “cougar.”
Where age can get muddled is in politics. There are numerous times that I think we need a new and fresh perspective and society tells us that that means someone younger. But, I’ve seen younger politicians have outdated views just like some older government members.
One industry that continually sees growth is plastic surgery. As a person gets older wrinkles appear. One solution to that is getting botox injections. Some take it to the extreme and their face can end up more distorted then if they had of kept their wrinkles.
This topic hits a nerve because my partner is older than I by a good amount of years and I don’t see him as useless or unable to be sexy. I see him as being just as vibrant as us young folk. What I want to convey today is that we need to change our perspective on what age means. Because of modern medicine and so on, people live longer and they should be able to enjoy their older age and not feel like another outcast of society.
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