Actress Ashley Judd’s now-viral essay posted on The Daily Beast on Monday (April 9) about our society’s blatant misogyny and harsh judgment of women’s appearances made something that feminists have been touting for ages seem fresh once again, like the urgent and pressing issue it is.
But that’s not exactly what I’m raving about — I mean, lots of women have written and said virtually the same things as Judd, minus the lens of being recently judged for having a “puffy” face. It’s not even the sea change she’s talking about that needs to happen around cultural expectations about women’s appearances. Instead, the most rave-worthy aspect of this whole situation to me is the outpouring of support around Judd’s essay from various media, the public and other celebrities.
Nearly 16,000 people have shared the essay on Twitter, while 374,000 people have liked it on Facebook. And regardless of how you feel about Judd and the fact that she’s a celebrity and, as many a commenter has pointed out, “It’s her job to be judged on how she looks,” let’s all just revel for a moment in the fact that so many people are thrusting their positivity toward a simple idea: kindness.
“There is so much negativity online, so even if the content on a website is positive, the community is often incredibly negative,” Zooey Deschanel, actress and cofounder of my own personal happy place HelloGiggles.com, tells Mashable. “I was always shocked by how mean people could be when they were allowed to make comments anonymously online.”
Seeing all of this positivity around Judd’s essay reminds me that there are a lot of people who would like to see more niceness and less brutal critique in this not-quite-HelloGiggles world of ours. So thanks, Ashley Judd, for (re)sparking the conversation about the scrutiny of women in our society and giving us all a reminder that we’re not just a bunch of mean girls and boys.