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"Honey, look at this National Enquirer! Do you see how bad Hillary looks? Just so ugly!"

This was an actual comment I heard a mother say to her teenage daughter as she came through my checkout line at the grocery store where I work.

Now, I have a lot of strange, odd, and even appalling things happen to me at my "day job". Coupons have been thrown, threats have been made, jobs have been offered from backs of cars. You name it, it's happened to me. But this took the cake.

This is just one in a group of many disparaging comments I've heard in the last few months about a woman's appearance. It's nothing new, sure, but I've had it.

Regardless of who you're going to vote for in this year's election (and you should vote), a person's appearance does not affect their ability to lead and should not affect how you vote. These comments go way beyond that, however. I strongly believe and have plenty of evidence to prove that the former Secretary of State would not be receiving these comments if she were a man.

You want proof? Okay. Yes, Secretary of State Clinton has an unflattering photo of her plastered of the covers of the Enquirer this week, but what this mother failed to notice (or at least comment on) was the presence of another political figure on the cover: her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

I'm just going to be honest here. The picture of President Clinton is awful. He looks about 20 years older and close to death. That's what these magazines do, though. They distort images and the truth to sell their rag. I firmly believe, though, that if the former president had been running for the same position his wife is, this mother wouldn't have made the same comment to her daughter.

This idea that a woman's appearance detracts from her talent, intellect, ability, and worth is so damaging. It is beyond me why a woman would want to instill a young girl with  the same believe. Odds are this woman has faced the same discrimination, and the only way to change that is to point it out as just that: damaging, wrong, and antiquated.

This isn't just a political issue, either. As an avid Star Wars fan, I've had several conversations with friends, family, and strangers about the latest film. While I was excited to see many multi-faceted female characters in what would be an undoubtedly influential film, others never fail to point out something else.

Carrie Fisher is an actress, brilliant writer and comedian, survivor of addiction, and activist for mental health issues. Quite frankly, she's someone I've looked up to for a long time. She's not only an incredible talent and Hollywood royalty, but also a survivor. Despite all this, many of my conversation with fans and critics of The Force Awakens contain comments about how the actress has aged.

She's 59! Of course she's going to age! Why does that matter? She's playing an older version of her former character, anyway, and with great strength and grace, I might add. LEAVE IT ALONE. Have I heard anyone say anything similar about Harrison Ford? No. Not ever. To most, his performance matters, not his age.

A professor of mine commented on the lead actress in the French film Fat Girl, 13 year-old Anaïs Reboux, as being "a powerful presence, despite her weight". Wait, what?!? A young girl, who is clearly going through puberty, cannot be a good or compelling actress because she's overweight? If her weight is unforgiven, what's going to happen when I, an overweight 21 year-old, and so many other women like me act on screen or stage? Are we immediately terrible?

This is an issue for every woman in every profession, disabled or able bodied, and of any age group or skin color or weight. It's a hopeless conclusion that our work, our minds, and our abilities mean nothing because of how we look. It makes no sense.

Let women age. Let women gain and lose weight healthily. Don't let the color of a woman's skin, or a disability, or a few years or pounds or anything else affect your opinion about them. It's about ability, intelligence, and behavior, not a mirror's reflection. Wouldn't you want the same for you and the women around you?

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