Ashley Judd Rocks!
By Lauren LaBonte
“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,” said Ashley Judd in her response, published online at The Daily Beast, to recent media criticism.
Rarely do celebrities speak out against nasty tabloid accusations. And why should they? Although I’m far from celebrity status, even my self-esteem goes down when reading “Worst Beach Bodies,” “Baby bump?!” or headlines of the like – and that’s not even taking into consideration what these regular people (yes, celebs are regular people who just so happen to be in the media’s harsh spotlight) feel when they see themselves on the cover of a magazine with a completely falsified claim plastered across their body.
Ashley Judd slams the media, specifically US Weekly, when speculations of plastic surgery were made after the media microscope scrutinized her oh-so-out-of-the-celebrity-norm “puffy” face. In reality, Judd explained that she has been on several rounds of steroids to address a medical condition. Speaking from personal experience, steroids tend to add the illusion of “puffiness” – heaven forbid.
Disgusting accusations are made regularly in Hollywood, and what exactly it was about this assault on her timeless good looks I am unsure of, but she suggests:
“…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.”
Regardless of what her exact motive was now to address the current media climate (besides exasperation), I could not have said it better myself. Bravo, Ashley! And seriously…encore. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if more celebrities took a similar stance? There’s a fine line between how frustration toward the ever-scrutinizing media is captured: Gaga/Bieber/pretty much any celebrity can flip the bird at a desensitized paparazzi – accomplishing nothing (but a payday for the photographer), or a star could actually take the time to write an articulate, and quite frankly, badass, feminist essay. I admit, I am much more attracted to the latter for obvious reasons – not to degrade the age-old middle finger, but lets grow up and be a little more eloquent, shall we?
Judd makes points to an upsettingly accurate truth--the tabloid’s claims aren’t just a verbal attack on her physical appearance, but also speak to the constant dissatisfaction that women face daily in part due to society’s incredibly unrealistic-- not to mention unhealthy--standards. We’re setting the bar pretty high, America, especially when taking into consideration that the average women is a size 12 and Photoshop is the norm in the modeling world.
It goes without question that Judd is not only intelligent, but also expressive whether in regard to her acting career or humanitarian work. She’s grown up in the spotlight, and thoroughly conveys her ideas with a strong voice toward the demeaning nature in which pop culture portrays girls and women. And I respect that.
It’s about time that women--especially those constantly critiqued in the media--point out the correlation between negative body image among the vast majority of US girls and women, and the malicious conversations that arise from tabloid allegations.
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Jezebel blogger’s colorful reactions: