Ashley Judd has had enough and is talking back. The 43-year-old actress, who recently debuted in the new series, Missing, has found herself at the center of scrutiny, not for her performance, but for her appearance. The media has been a bit, shall we say – critical – that she “just isn’t as pretty as she used to be”, and that the recent “puffiness seen in her face, is due to a botched plastic surgery job”. The criticism goes on and on, and is snarky in tone and outright mean, but Ms. Judd is not staying quiet on the sidelines. 

“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 said in the post that she wrote for Daily Beast yesterday.

The fact that many of these comments were originally propagated by women, is a sad truth and one that Ms. Judd addresses in her rebuttal. She also goes on to explain, “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?” If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start.” She continues to say, “Join in – and help change – the Conversation.”

The “Conversation” Judd is referring to is the one that is solely focused on outward appearances, which seems to have taken hold in modern media today. Ms. Judd is known as an activist and humanitarian, and has dedicated her most of her time this past decade to traveling around the world, visiting programs that focus on poverty, public health, human rights, and social justice, which is what people should be talking about. As an actress, is she required to sit back and take the criticism of her appearance, whether lies are being told or not? Or is Ms. Judd in the right to slam the media for it?

You can read Ashley’s post in its entirety here. Tell us what do you think about the points she brings up.

Lead photo by Richard Drew