Here's Hartkitt:

My instant take on this tragedy after looking at pictures of Brittany Murphy was that she was, like most TV and movie stars WHO ARE WOMEN all bones and stress. She has that look that so many actresses have of distended tendons and skeletal structure way too close to the surface. And yes, it may take a lot of drugs to get that look.

Women who start out looking "normal" slowly shrink up to dessicated wraiths to maintain the thinness required to be a star. Recent pictures of Sandra Bullock, for example, are painful to behold. It's almost a waste of time to even say it anymore, but our cultural standard for womens beauty is moving more and more towards a painfully thin look and actresses have to maintain it if they want to work. Maintaining a lifetime of partial starvation probably requires a lot of manipulation, drugs included.

Now, you can take as written here a general tirade on how keeping women thin and childlike is a way of depriving of them of perceived and actual power in life. If you spend a huge portion of your mental energy on being unnaturally thin then a) you don't have that energy for other things b) you're too wiped out from starvation to have energy for other things and c) you are, in effect saying that the body you live in is BADBADBAD and needs to be gotten rid of. How can this be empowering?

It seems almost impossible to fight against this cultural perception that a normal female body is not fat when all we see on TV, in movies and magazines is women who have every piece of fat removed from their bodies. The best I can do is point out over and over to my daughters that what they are seeing is NOT the norm and most likely not healthy as I did when we read of Brittany Murphy's death. Case in point.

Anyway, my point is that there was a reason she was taking all those drugs and had a weakened immune system and being bone thin could not have helped and may have been a causal factor. While feminism as such doesn't play a massive role in this blog it seems evident that for women, as part of accepting all of oneself, of giving oneself "full permission" to live giving permission to the parts of our bodies that aren't rock hard and bony plays a part.

Once again, don't get me started...

Here's PL:

Good to hear from you, Hartkitt. I understand your strong feelings about this, and at one level, I agree with all of what you are saying. I would add, however, that this is a collective and individual pathology at play here, and so in the truest sense, there are no simple or pure victims. You use a phrase like "required to be a star" as if there were no choice for said star but to decimate her body. "No" is one of the most empowering words in the English language, and if one puts one's "stardom" over one's physical, mental and emotional well-being, then somewhere there has been a choice made to say "Yes" to the narcissism rampant in our culture, especially in certain industries.

Full Permission Living is about self-love and self-acceptance, yes, and trusting in one's first nature. As such, feminism or any "ism" doesn't play a "massive role" on this blog, because in the Yin and Yang of it all, the masculine and feminine are equal and inextricably intertwined essential aspects of All That Is, the essence of which is love.

Thanks, HK!


hartkitt said...

Just a few points. Choosing to harm yourself in order to be a "star" does seem a rather asinine choice. On the other hand, acting is an art form in which you have to attain the approval of others in order to participate in your chosen art. To choose to not meet the cultural standard of beauty is to choose to not "do" your art.

Second, please don't assume that I am painting Ms. Murphy as a helpless victim. You make your choices and you live or die with them. However, the cultural imperative to be and look a certain way is extremely powerful and to just brush this force aside lightly is too careless. Being an accepted part of the pack is a core force driving the human psyche, not just an outgrowth of excessive narcissism. It doesn't make it any easier to ignore that force if what the pack wants is bad for us.

Third I could not agree more with you on the intertwined nature of the masculine and the feminine which is WHY in a story such as this it leaves out half the tale to not look at the role that our accepted images of what IS masculine and what is feminine play in our ability to ultimately grow into our own skins, both as a culture and as individuals.

And on that note, perhaps I should go eat some chocolate.

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