Images of Judd's fuller face sparked a frenzy in March when critics wondered if she had any cosmetic procedures done.
“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,” Judd wrote of speculation she had cosmetic surgery.
She also lists a series of "conclusions" critics made about her appearance based on nothing more than a photo including the following:
“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."
But what seemed to intrigue the actress most was the fact that much of the sniping came from women. “That the conversation about my face was initially promulgated largely by women is a sad and disturbing fact,” she said. “Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate.”
Judd admits even she has “internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly.”
The actress’ candid confession received a flurry of positive feedback. And she’s been responding to comments on her Twitter account. Writers online have added their support to the impassioned essay.
“The whole essay is great,” Jezebel writer Linda West said. “In a cultural moment when ‘feminism’ is still a 'bad word' (YAAAAAAAAWN), it's incredibly rare for a celebrity to make such a concrete feminist statement.”
“We love Ashley Judd's brave, biting, intelligent response to the criticism of her appearance. And her plea to put an end to ‘body-snarking’ is definitely one that we can get behind,” writes Donna Kaufman for iVillage. “But the issue of women's bodies, and the way we talk about them, is even more complicated than Judd acknowledges.”
What do you think of Judd’s essay?