Ashley Judd made a TV appearance last month looking larger than normal and with a puffier face, and the ensuing criticism of her appearance led her to write a scathing but eloquent response in the Daily Beast. Judd was on steroids due to an illness (leading some to assume her puffy face was the result of having had work done) and had gained a little weight over the winter (leading some to joke that her husband must be looking for a new woman). "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," Judd writes.
Particularly worrisome is the fact that women themselves jumped right into the objectification. "Patriarchy," she writes, "is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate." Her piece (worth a read in full here) garnered quite a reaction. Samples from both sides:
- "Like it or not, Hollywood actresses are ... thinner than normal, less wrinkly than normal, and they are paid more than normal to look that way," writes Lindsay Ferrier on The Stir. "Any woman who chooses to be a movie star also chooses to take the media knocks that come with the job." Full piece here.
- Judd is "a smart, bold, kickass feminist," declares Lindy West on Jezebel, noting that the older she gets, the more she rejects "the notion that when you profit from being a public figure you become public property." As for West, she's done with covering "the flavor-of-the-week's gaping coke nostril. ... My feminism doesn't end where your celebrity begins." Full piece here.