They said/We said: What we think about Ashley Judd’s “puffy face” op-ed

Photography via The Daily Beast
Photography via The Daily Beast

It’s not every day that Ashley Judd graces headlines. The actress has managed to steer clear of controversy—being an actress, humanitarian, political activist, fashion designer, model and philanthropist (and now, feminist) probably has kept her busy. But Judd has certainly spiced things up. The actress has written an essay slamming her detractors after being criticized for having a puffy face in recent promo appearances.

In the essay published on The Daily Beast, Judd not only faces her critics who accused her of using facial fillers to acquire the plump face, but she smacks down on body image sexism as a whole, by labeling it as “a misogynistic assault on all women.” She writes: “The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women […] and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.”

After pointing out that part of the puffiness was due to an illness which required her to take steroids, she says, “When my skin is nearly flawless, and at age 43, I do not yet have visible wrinkles that can be seen on television, I have had ‘work done,’ with media outlets bolstered by consulting with plastic surgeons I have never met who ‘conclude’ what procedures I have ‘clearly’ had. (Notice that this is a ‘back-handed compliment,’ too—I look so good! It simply cannot possibly be real!)”

The Missing star, of course, isn’t the only celeb to recently come under fire for her appearance. Renee Zellweger’s pursed lips, Jessica Simpson’s weight gain and Lindsey Lohan’s… well…everything, are only a few examples of the harsh scrutiny celebs face from the media. But Judd’s thoughtful approach to the matter is certainly refreshing.


Jezebel: “There’s a line between reasonable attention and unreasonable scrutiny, and, for my part, I’d rather sacrifice a few good jokes about the flavor-of-the-week’s gaping coke nostril than contribute any more to the commodification and dehumanization of women. My feminism doesn’t end where your celebrity begins.” [Jezebel]

Huffington Post: “With her willingness to talk back (and moreover, write back), Ashley joins the list of celebrities who have defended themselves in the media against excessive body scrutiny.” [Huffington Post]


Lesa Hannah, beauty director: “I thought it was awesome for her to speak up, as well as make it an opportunity to talk on a broader scale about the issue with constantly speculating about who’s had what done. Unfortunately, entities such as Nicole Kidman’s lips and Lindsay Lohan’s well, from the neck up, she will never be able to escape prying, suspicious, judgmental eyes.”

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