I am a beautiful woman, a former rollergirl, an accomplished writer, and the homeschooling/homebirthing mother of four.
Here’s a photo of me, non-puffy, in the best physical shape of my adult life:
Here is another photo, taken around the same time, puffy:
I had just skated in my first roller derby bout as part of TeamMILF, in the Las Vegas heat of August 2008. Do I look “MILFy” to you?
Even though I’m pretty sure I could put any naysayers into their places for disparaging remarks, it still pisses me that I feel pressure not to share photos of my triumphant moment—skating my heart out with some of the best players in the country—because of my puffy face! The sweat, the ironicly-comical open nursing bra, the gigantic man-crushing thighs…? None of those things bother me.
It’s that my face looks puffy and fat.
And puffy and fat are demonized in this culture. I overcame thyroid problems, lifestyle challenges, training goals, and financial considerations to play a sport that I loved, which is supposed to be all about empowering women. But it was not until you asked for #PUFFYFACEMOMENTs that I realized how much my moment in the sun was blotted out by a little puffiness.
And that’s not empowering at all. That’s the opposite of empowering. It’s objectifying, and what’s way, way worse? I’m a smart lady and I feel silly that I didn’t realize it before now.
This is me, #PuffyFace and all.
Ashley Judd has had enough of what she calls a “pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic conversation about femininity in our culture, and she’s inviting women—and men—to speak up about their own experiences. “I want people to share their puffy-face moment,” Judd said on NBC’s Nightly News. “I think what happened to me is very common. It might look a little different than other people’s lives because they might not be public figures, but we all go through it.”
So let’s hear it! Tell us your puffy-face moment—those times you were bullied or judged for your looks, and what you did about it—by writing about it on your tumblr! Be sure to use PUFFYFACEMOMENT as a tag so we’ll see it! We’ll be publishing a bunch of them on The Daily Beast, and reblogging our favorites right here on nwktumblr.
In case you missed it and have no idea what we’re talking about, see this post for some background.
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