It has been a while since Ashley Judd has been in the spotlight. I can remember when the world fell in love with her, and her face, when she debuted in Ruby in Paradise. She as always had that cherubic rosy cheeked girlish beauty akin to her mother’s Naomi Judd of the country duo The Judds. She has always had that youngest child “look ad me, see me” energy, and I get it she was not blessed with a voice (at least not enough of one to make the duo a trio when she was old enough too) and she grew up on the road where no doubt her famous mother and sister and their careers took precedence over her needs. So I get that energy that she gives off that demands that you acknowledge her almost like she had to prove that she was good enough, smart enough, talented enough – she has always displayed an enviable vocabulary and intellect that set her apart from her famous mother and sister.
Early on in her career it was these characteristics, her beauty, intellect an vocabulary, and her southern grit that put her on the map and set her apart from the pack of her day. You liked her but she could be kind of annoying with her know it all, let me explain it to you sort of manner. That having been stated, no matter how you felt about her or why, you always respected her. So She has come back on the seen with a new drama called Missing (ABC), a sort of throwback to the characters that made her famous (Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy) but now she is a mother, a CIA agent who is looking for her son. The drama started when Ms. Judd started her press tour and she looked well a bit…puffy about the face.
I have to admit I did notice it, it was hard not to, she looked different. I thought it was age or weight, (the weight that sometimes comes with age) I did think that maybe she had work done (a possibility) but if you look at her she looks “puffy” like bloated not over injected she was puffy all over not just in the smile line area, so I ruled that out. I chalked it up to weight and let it go. But the media outlets didn’t and that caused Ms. Judd to pen a response to the comments on the Dailybeast.com. She breaks it down, and makes some valid and truthful points! Check it out
Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance
by Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd’s “puffy” appearance sparked a viral media frenzy. But, the actress writes, the conversation is really a misogynistic assault on all women
The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.
As an actor and woman who, at times, avails herself of the media, I am painfully aware of the conversation about women’s bodies, and it frequently migrates to my own body. I know this, even though my personal practice is to ignore what is written about me. I do not, for example, read interviews I do with news outlets. I hold that it is none of my business what people think of me. I arrived at this belief after first, when I began working as an actor 18 years ago, reading everything. I evolved into selecting only the “good” pieces to read. Over time, I matured into the understanding that good and bad are equally fanciful interpretations. I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. I thus abstain from all media about myself. The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself, my personal integrity, and my relationship with my Creator. Of course, it’s wonderful to be held in esteem and fond regard by family, friends, and community, but a central part of my spiritual practice is letting go of otheration. And casting one’s lot with the public is dangerous and self-destructive, and I value myself too much to do that.
However, the recent speculation and accusations in March feel different, and my colleagues and friends encouraged me to know what was being said. Consequently, I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.
A brief analysis demonstrates that the following “conclusions” were all made on the exact same day, March 20, about the exact same woman (me), looking the exact same way, based on the exact same television appearance. The following examples are real, and come from a variety of (so-called!) legitimate news outlets (such as HuffPo, MSNBC, etc.), tabloid press, and social media:
One: When I am sick for more than a month and on medication (multiple rounds of steroids), the accusation is that because my face looks puffy, I have “clearly had work done,” with otherwise credible reporters with great bravo “identifying” precisely the procedures I allegedly have had done.
Two: 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!)
Three: When my 2012 face looks different than it did when I filmed Double Jeopardy in 1998, I am accused of having “messed up” my face (polite language here, the F word is being used more often), with a passionate lament that “Ashley has lost her familiar beauty audiences loved her for.”
Four: When I have gained weight, going from my usual size two/four to a six/eight after a lazy six months of not exercising, and that weight gain shows in my face and arms, I am a “cow” and a “pig” and I “better watch out” because my husband “is looking for his second wife.” (Did you catch how this one engenders competition and fear between women? How it also suggests that my husband values me based only on my physical appearance? Classic sexism. We won’t even address how extraordinary it is that a size eight would be heckled as “fat.”)
That the conversation about my face was initially promulgated largely by women is a sad and disturbing fact.
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