I've never thought much about Ashley Judd beyond the blandest adjectives—she's pretty, she seems nice, her pores look really small—but it turns out she's also a smart, bold, kickass feminist. In an essay for the Daily Beast today, following weeks of tasteless speculation about the puffiness of her face, Judd smacks down her detractors and frames the entire kerfuffle (along with our celebrity-shredding culture at large) as "a misogynistic assault on all women." Which it is. My love for Ashley Judd grew three sizes this day.
In case you haven't been obsessively following Judd-puff-maggedon 2012 (because you possess actual priorities, a conscience, a desire to take a nap, or literally anything else to do), here's a brief refresher: The tabloid press—and, by extension, the entire internet—recently noticed that medium-famous celebrity-woman Ashley Judd went from having a regular beautiful face to a very-slightly-puffier-than-average beautiful face. And everyone went fucking apeshit.
Ashley Judd had work done! Ashley Judd is filling her face with facial fillers! Ashley Judd gets her face stung by therapeutic bees! Ashley Judd is injecting butt-fat into her face so her face looks more like a sexy butt! Ashley Judd is a liar and a coward who is terrified of aging! Ha-ha, women, we tricked you! The only thing worse than looking old is trying not to look old because we told you not to look old! Also, you're fat!
Um, no, says Ashley Judd. Ashley Judd's face is puffy because Ashley Judd is sick and on fucking steroids, you intrusive, judgmental dicks.
The typical celeb response to mean, speculative shit like this is "Dehydration! Respect my privacy! But also I'm totally not mad and my new single drops next week so please buy it and I'm sorry I was so very very puffy and it won't happen again and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DON'T STOP LOVING MEEEEEEE!!!" But Judd skips that equivocating bullshit entirely and engages the broader issue with a level of sensitivity and personal transparency that we, the public, definitely don't deserve:
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.
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