Ashley Judd might have been criticized by the media for her "puffy face" and accused of plastic surgery, but she certainly did not take the jabs lying down.
In mid-March, Ashley Judd became the latest in a string of celebrities to be accused of undergoing plastic surgery after she appeared on a Canadian talk show with a noticeably puffy face. When viewers saw Judd on CTV's "The Marilyn Dennis Show" they immediately took notice of her swollen cheeks, slit-thin eyes and frozen forehead. Many speculated that the 43-year-old actress had had work done, particularly filler injections that create a fuller, inflated appearance.
At the time, Judd's rep vehemently denied that the actress had any plastic surgery. "For the record, this is unequivocally not true," Judd's rep, Cara Tripicchio, told E! News. "Ashley has been battling an ongoing, serious sinus infection and flu. Therefore, Ashley has been on a heavy dose of medication to overcome it so she could get on a plane and travel to Toronto and New York to fulfill her commitment of completing four consecutive days of press to promote her new show 'Missing.'"
"This may have contributed to her face appearing 'puffy' on the talk show in Toronto, however anyone who is truly paying attention and not looking to perpetuate a ridiculous story can look online further at photos of her last night during an Apple store event in NYC and see for themselves that there is zero sign of plastic surgery, puffiness, fillers, etc., that has become a silly and erroneous topic of conversation. Ashley is a natural beauty enjoying her 40s gracefully."
The issue did not end there.
On Monday, Ashley Judd took to The Daily Beast to respond with an essay detailing the media's negative approach to analyzing and picking apart women's bodies.
"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," wrote Judd. "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."
"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," she added.
Ashley Judd went on to clarify that the issue is not men versus women but rather men and women versus women.
"Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women's faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times-I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women."
Judd's article took off and quickly went viral online. The actress took to her Twitter account to thank fans for their love and outpouring of support.
She asked Twitter fans to keep the conversation going by sharing their own "puffy face" moments to combat "the system of patriachy that abuses girls/women, boys/men."
Ashley Judd is one of multiple female celebrities to be vilified for having a "puffy face" or for reportedly undergoing plastic surgery.
Recently, Lindsay Lohan met similar criticism. In the midst of her "Saturday Night Live" appearance, buzz sounded that Lohan had gotten plastic surgery that dramatically changed her 25-year-old face. "Um WTF has Lindsay Lohan done to her face?! Besides use it to lie her tail off on the @todayshow," tweeted one Gossip Girl. "Lindsay was funny on SNL! Of course it looked nothing like her," tweeted radio station 94.5 PST. "Lindsay Lohan is only 25. So sad that her face looks all puffy from weird plastic surgery and she could barely say her lines on SNL. :(" posted user Ryan Case. "Lindsay Lohan will be on SNL tonight. I am scared to see what her face will look like in HD," tweeted user @DollarMenuTweets.
Another actress criticized was 38-year-old actress Rose McGowan, who was photographed in Los Angeles looking particularly puffy. "It is regarded as the tell-tale sign of a little too much 'help,'" wrote the Daily Mail. "So when Rose McGowan stepped out in Los Angeles yesterday with a suspiciously plump-looking face, eagle-eyed observers were quick to question whether the actress had succumbed to cosmetic enhancement ... sporting a 'pillow' face - unnaturally plump lips and cheeks - during a lunch date."
Plastic surgeon Alex Karidis of the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth told the Daily Mail about the "pillow face" look in 2009. "A lot of people are injecting their faces to counter the deflating effect of aging," he said. "Especially those that like to keep trim as their facial fat diminishes. But the question is where do you draw the line? A patient wants more and more and ends up with a fat face."
Some celebrities, who have openly admitted to cosmetic alterations and have expressed regrets, attacked the issues from the flipside. French model Emmanuelle Beart started a campaign to raise awareness about the risks of plastic surgery.
"I had my mouth done when I was 27. It was a botched job," she told Le Monde. "Obviously, if I had liked my mouth I wouldn't have had it redone. If a man or woman has something redone it is because he or she can no longer live with that part of their body, it is no longer bearable. Either they get help and find the strength to fight [the urge to have plastic surgery] or they proceed with the act."
Beart said she was "profoundly affected" by getting plastic surgery, according to the Daily Mail, and would not consider getting it again. "It is a grave act in which you don't necessarily foresee all the consequences. Just the idea of an injection these days devastates me. So I don't know how I will get through these stages" of middle and old age.
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