Ever since Angelina Jolie went public with her big announcement about her recent prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, I’ve been wondering…
Why is there this tendency for so many people to judge the decisions, especially medical ones that women make about their own bodies?
I find this phenomenon to be quite interesting, rather troubling and somewhat baffling.
I know Ms. Jolie is in the public eye, but still, what’s up with all the judging?
Since the big announcement, I’ve read more than a few articles and posts by other writers and bloggers and quite frankly, I’ve been a bit astounded by some of the comments about her choice, some of which were really “out there” and I won’t repeat them or link to them. In case you missed it, you can read my thoughts about her announcement here. (Yeah, I’ll link to that!)
Of course, women’s bodies are scrutinized, analyzed, critiqued and criticized every day.
We like to blame the media for this. We like to blame TV and movie actresses along with other celebrities, who for some reason have come to represent what true beauty “should” look like. We like to blame the love ‘em or hate ‘em beauty pageants where judging women’s bodies is actually a requirement in order to pick a winner. We like to blame the male portion of the human species. We like to blame a lot of things.
But it seems women are just as guilty of this judging. Melissa Etheridge caught a fair amount heat for her recent judgmental comment in which she called Ms. Jolie’s decision “not brave at all” but rather one based on fear.
And then there’s the judging that goes on when a woman decides to for-go reconstruction following her mastectomy. I’ve had more than one reader tell me they had to convince their doctors they truly did not want reconstruction because come on, how could a woman choose such a thing, right?
I remember the very first time I felt judged physically. It was when someone, a family friend actually, asked me this
dumb seemingly innocent question about my height:
“Why are you so tall when you’re the youngest of your sisters?”
I was asked this question when I was obviously at an impressionable age since I still remember it well and exactly how I felt upon hearing it. As an already awkward feeling pre-teen, I immediately felt being shorter must be a whole lot better.
If I had been the third sibling in line and a boy, I wonder if such a thing would have been asked of me. I bet not.
Yes, this judging of the female anatomy starts early and never really ends.
Is it the same for the boys and the men?
I don’t think it is, at least not to the same extent, and I’d like to know why.
What is up with all the judging of women’s bodies and decisions they choose to make about them?
Male or female, decisions we make about our bodies are ours alone to make.
And male or female, YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Why do you think there is so much judging going on?
Do you think males are judged as harshly?
When have you felt judged based on your appearance?