I LOVE Ashley Judd. I think she’s an underrated, smart, gorgeous actress who has done some pretty amazing things with her life and with her fame. She is unabashedly a feminist, and I dig that about her, and she explains very well what a feminist IS and why it’s so important to not forget what that means.
I recently watched her new show, Missing. It’s pretty good. It’s not going to bring world peace, but she might, and so watching her in a decent alternative to women getting attacked and killed on every network there is sounds all right to me.
The evidence is there on Twitter that I also watched it because I love her haircut. It’s similar to mine, if I was a movie star and had a hair crew on hand, and a good haircut is important to me. I’m not ashamed of that….if she wanted to go all Charlize Theron on the part, I’m sure she would have, but instead she’s a mom in search of her kid who happens to have AWESOME hair and dress well.
So. She was doing interviews, and she had a puffy face and was slammed in the media for it and then wrote a response, and if you’ve been in a hole or aren’t on facebook, I linked to it at the top. Go ahead and read it, and google pictures of her if you want. Indeed, she had a puffy face for a few interviews and she did not seem like herself. She goes into what the reasons were, and describes how the public felt a need to contradict itself on how she looked TOO good for age 43 so she definitely had surgery, and also how she looked like a HAG so clearly she was letting herself go.
On my Facebook page, SIX female pastors linked to this article yesterday. Okay, I’m friends with a decent amount of chick pastors, but that’s a lot, and I’m assuming there are going to be more. Clearly, this is hitting a nerve with those of us who are pastors and also women.
Despite the title of this blog, I usually just like to think of myself as a pastor. But like Ashley, I have times when I realize again that this may never be the case. I was chatting at our Easter breakfast when someone said, “wow, that’s an interesting outfit. I guess you wear the skirt AND the collar?” Um. Yes? And the number of people who commented on my shoes was legion. Yes. Really. To be fair, they WERE cute shoes….they’re my Easter shoes that match my Easter stole, and by any other stretch except by being on a pastor’s feet they are not that remarkable compared to some of the other awesome footwear I saw on Sunday.
I could go on and on, but it gets where it’s just routine. Every week, though, someone comments on something I’m wearing in a weird way. I’m not talking about people saying that they like my outfit….that’s fine and I don’t mind one bit, and I like theirs too. I’m talking about people saying, “I liked your hair better the OTHER way,” or, when I don’t wear lipstick,”are you okay? you look tired.” Every single time.
If you’re any sort of a woman in any sort of public, you are public property. If you have a bad day and wear something weird, or your hair is sticking out, or you decide to dress up because you feel great, or WHATEVER, it’s going to be part of the conversation.
And why this is a feminist issue is because it takes something extreme for a man’s appearance to be talked about. Dude pastors can wear pretty much whatever. No “mandals,” and maybe heavily tattooed dudes might get a look, but mostly, they get a pass, because it’s assumed that whatever they have to say transcends their appearance.
All I ask for is the same consideration. It’s coming, but it’s slow, and I want to say thank you to Ashley Judd, who’s being so honest and open about a conversation that all of us have at one time or another. Puffy face? Plastic surgery? Open toed shoes? No lipstick? Short hair?
Let’s just listen to what each other has to say. Okay?