Too ugly, you say?

My daughter recently shared on Facebook a post from Meryl Streep with a photo of herself circa 1974, I am guessing, on the way to an audition for King Kong where she was told she was “too ugly”–not just ugly, but too ugly for the role of Dwan.
Meryl has gone on to be nominated 21 times for an Oscar, taking three home and as well, given the nod 31 times for a Golden Globe, winning eight, and she is not done yet.
The lesson was clear and inspiring, the never letting one person’s ill-guided judgment derail us from our path. But then I read a comment from some troll on Aimee’s post.
Let’s call him Dyce, though I have a much more suitable name for him. Dyce went on to assert his judgment that Meryl wasn’t attractive in any of her roles, citing the advice was prudent and it got me thinking.
Women are held to such a bizarre standard, as though our appearance supersedes and negates any qualities and skills we naturally have.
I can’t help but feel pity for Troll Dyce and the many, many others like him who live in such a two-dimensional world.
Several years ago I was helping an elderly woman who no longer left her house on a regular basis.
The reason she cited for her self-imposed house arrest was her appearance and I have to tell you I was shocked by her confession.
She was able-bodied, warm and friendly, intelligent and informed yet her assessment of self was limited to her appearance.
I felt tremendous sadness departing her home that day and confusion as to what it means to be human, specifically a woman.
I tend to blame the British and their United Kingdom with their class structure, worshipping their monarchy as if they were any more human than the rest of us, but we have fed on this notion of what it means to be beautiful with a frenzy, taking more notice of what one is wearing than what one is doing or saying.
I think of the media hysteria when President Obama wore a tan suit, considered a scandal, a controversy, while millions freaked out, none more so than the Republicans.
“He’s really done it now,” they warned with hands on chest to still their quaking hearts.
Then he wore the dastardly suit again.
The Me Too movement provided a platform for a frightening number of women to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse.
I truly thought a social shift was upon us, but I wonder if we have truly learned anything from this, if we have adjusted our thinking and/or our behaviour in any way.
The Troll’s comments would have me believe that we are still wading through society’s muck as we decide who has value and who does not.
So this morning I pulled on my jeans and over-sized hooded sweatshirt, my uniform to greet the day.
I looked in the mirror and wondered if my garb was a statement of having given up or the courage to allow myself the time and space to be concerned about the issues that matter to me, rather than what I wear.
I suppose it depends on your perspective.
I haven’t the time nor the inclination to care.