April 17th, 2012 by faye
“Double Jeopardy” star Ashley Judd has finally responded to the critics of her puffy face appearance by writing an essay about the issue, as well as the sexist scrutiny of women’s bodies. By Tuesday, her essay had gone viral and by Wednesday, Judd’s piece was the focus of a three-minute segment on the “NBC Nightly News.”
It all started on March 12, when 43-year-old Ashley Judd was on a promotional tour for her new ABC drama, “Missing.” The actress exhibited a puffy face appearance, which certainly looked fuller than before, and that apparently fanned the fire of speculations that she had a plastic surgery.
This prompted Ashley Judd to defend her puffy face appearance as well as address the issue of image-based appraisals. “I think it’s hatred of women that invites criticism,” she told NBC.
In an essay Judd wrote, she addressed the sexist scrutiny of women’s bodies, pointing out that the discussion about her puffy face appearance had little to do with her and everything to do with the preposterous and spiteful discourse about women’s bodies that passes for legitimate discussion these days.
“I think it’s the objectification of girls and this hypersexualization of our society. It doesn’t have anything to do with me, really, and how I look,” the “Dolphin Tale” star said.
This sort of commentary “embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle,” wrote Ashley Judd in her article. By Thursday, the actress’ article had been shared on Facebook more than 360,00 times.
Meanwhile, Ashley Judd told NBC, “I don’t think that being a public figure makes it legitimate to criticize people the way they are currently criticized in this cultural climate. We are anesthetized to it . . . taught to not to admit how much it hurts. There was an incredibly nasty, vitriolic and gloating tone about [the commentary]. There was no presumption of goodwill.”
“I started to catch the double bind where, you know, my face looks puffy, ‘She’s had work done,’ you know?” Ashley Judd says, noting the irony. The actress added, “Then, look at the same image in a different interpretation by a separate set of people is, ‘Oh, come on, she doesn’t even have any wrinkles at all, she’s clearly had work.’ So, I look bad, I’ve had work. I look too good, I’ve had work.”
Ashley Judd said she decided to address this incident “because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in modern culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day.”
This happens “in ways both outrageous and subtle,” she concluded.