Given that she's the daughter of Naomi Judd and sister to Wynonna- women known for being outspoken- it's not all that surprising that Ashley Judd couldn't keep quiet after being publicly lambasted by the media over her appearance.
Reporters have speculated that the 43-year-old actress had fillers injected into her face after she made a recent appearance with puffier-than-normal cheeks. Others have laid into the actress recently for gaining ten or 15 pounds in the last year.
Rather than ignoring the speculation, Ashley is fighting back with an op-ed piece for The Daily Beast.
After explaining that her puffy face was a result of steroid treatment for a sinus infection and her larger frame the result of "a lazy six months of not exercising," Judd has this to say:
I hope the sharing of my thoughts can generate a new conversation: Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place? How, and why, did people participate? If not in the conversation about me, in parallel ones about women in your sphere? What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about? What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about? How does this symbolize constraints on girls and women, and encroach on our right to be simply as we are, at any given moment? How can we as individuals in our private lives make adjustments that support us in shedding unconscious actions, internalized beliefs, and fears about our worthiness, that perpetuate such meanness? What can we do as families, as groups of friends? Is what girls and women can do different from what boys and men can do? What does this have to do with how women are treated in the workplace?
It's certainly food for thought -- but while I see her points, I think that, given her profession, the lady doth protest too much.
Ashley Judd is a Hollywood actress, one who has played the appearance game for years. She has turned up at many a red carpet event dressed to kill and looking fabulous, even by Hollywood's difficult-to-meet standards -- and she certainly didn't seem to mind the positive media attention then.
Like it or not, Hollywood actresses are aspirational figures -- They are thinner than normal, less wrinkly than normal, more glamorous than normal, and they are paid more than normal to look that way. They also get a more-than-normal amount of criticism when they're not meeting Hollywood's standards for beauty.
That doesn't mean I like mean-spirited criticisms of an actress's appearance, or that I would tolerate them if they were directed toward a woman who's a public figure in a more serious and less appearance-based line of work. But I think that any woman who chooses to be a movie star also chooses to take the media knocks that come with the job. If she can't take the criticism, she should probably, with all due respect, choose another line of work.
I fully support a woman's "right to be simply as we are, at any given moment," as Ashley puts it, but doesn't the nature of her profession mean that she has knowingly traded that right in exchange for fame and fortune?
That's my take on the situation -- What's yours?
Image via Splash News