As it turns out, Ashley Judd looks somewhat chubby or bloated lately.

I hadn’t noticed.

In fact, I had somewhat forgotten that she existed.

But apparently she is out promoting a new project, and at some point during the press junket, she was characterized as looking “puffy” or as if she’s gaining weight.

Little did they know, boy-o, the press had objectified the wrong Hollywood-actress-who-has-posed-nude-to-help-sell-magazines-and-fronted-a-cosmetic-line-but-also-objects-to-patriarchal-beauty-standards*:

Of course, it’s wonderful to be held in esteem and fond regard by family, friends, and community, but a central part of my spiritual practice is letting go of otheration. And casting one’s lot with the public is dangerous and self-destructive, and I value myself too much to do that.

However, the recent speculation and accusations about the unusual fullness of my face in March, 2012, feels different, and my colleagues and friends encouraged me to know what was being said. Consequently, 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 hyper-sexualization 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.

So, you know.  She doesn’t care what you think of her or her appearance unless you think she’s getting fat.

That’s what I’m taking away here.

Cynthia Hawkins, TNB’s most able film critic, whom I both like and respect, beat me to the commentary on this one, but I decided not to withhold my thoughts on that account alone.

I feel like we need multiple perspectives on this one.

There is no lack of agreement, in my opinion, that there is a general problem in most societies with the way women are depicted, treated, thought about, talked about, etc., etc.  There is little disagreement among women and feminists that women are among the worst offenders in this regard.

But Ashley hopes her essay will start a new conversation about how we view and talk about women and their bodies and appearance.

As if the general conversation about impossible or unfair standards of beauty never existed before someone called her fat, and she used her most ponderously overwrought faux-academic diction to write a blog commanding people to talk about it.

As if the conversation about these topics could ever be new to anyone who pays even a modicum of actual attention to these things.

Yet, let’s try.  At Ashley Judd’s behest, let’s have a conversation about this Ashley Judd situation that is not actually about Ashley Judd but some bigger issue.

I have a minor in Women’s Studies.  I have a very intense personal hangup about people paying more attention to my gender than my brain.

In me, Ashley should have one of her most ardent supporters.

Yet she fails to win me over.  Her indignation rings terribly hollow, and the fact that this outrage has materialized coincidentally alongside promotion of a new professional endeavor leaves me suspicious.

There is certainly a newish conversation to be had here, but it’s about the hypocrisy and double-talk inherent in celebrities trying to discourse with the common folk about who and what we do or don’t lift up as beautiful and worthwhile.  (A conversation that would have occurred to Ashley long ago if she were anywhere near as well-informed and critically-minded as she is trying, desperately, to sound.)

But lest we be tempted to do this–to accuse her of being shallow or simple–we are reminded, before she leaves us with her admonition to talk about the patriarchy, that she is also super active and discourse-y about many serious issues that have nothing to do with this issue at all:

News outlets with whom I do serious work, such as publishing Op-Eds about preventing HIV, empowering poor youth worldwide, and conflict mineral mining in Democratic Republic of Congo, all ran this “story” without checking with my office first for verification, or offering me the dignity of the opportunity to comment.

Maybe she’s just calling them out.  I don’t know.

I feel like she’s liturgizing to legitimize her viewpoint.

I don’t mind being cynical. I don’t think being called a cynic is an insult. I feel like it’s okay to question the motives (or at very least, the utter lack of self-awareness) of people who complain about urealistic standards of beauty once they’ve made an entire living from multiple industries devoted to those standards.

To be perfectly frank, at the end of the day, for my part, all I can bring myself to think of Ashley Judd’s face is that I kind of wish she’d shut it.



*The image above is Ashley’s Marie Claire cover, where she poses topless and smirking next to the attention-grabbing headline, “How Snacking Can Make You Skinny.” Underneath that, something or other about how she wants to change the world.

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BECKY PALAPALA is the author of many unpublished poems, diatribes, and terse letters, which she holds captive in a homely tote bag in her bedroom. The poems that escaped can be found in online publication at Strix Varia, Paper Darts, and in other nooks and crannies of the internet. In 2008-2009, she served as a poetry editor for Ivory Tower. After an iliadic battle with higher education, Becky graduated with a B.A. in English Literature in the spring of 2010. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and dog on the outskirts of the Twin Cities, where she pines for her rivertown home and attempts to befriend the rabbit that lives in her yard.

36 responses to “Have You Heard the One About Ashley Judd’s Face?”

  1. Ashley (N.O. Lady) says:

    Becky, I love how your brain works.
    You see angles that I never notice until you bring them to light.
    It’s a gift.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      Thanks, Ashley.

      This one is too easily one-sided and full of obviations. It deserves a more robust conversation, but a lot of people, when pressed, aren’t all that willing to have it.

  2. Gloria says:

    Okay, so she has an agenda. Okay, so she posed topless and holding her breasts next to a caption about skinny snacking (which, for the record, doesn’t mean she signed off on having her name next to that headline. I have a friend who was just telling me last night that she did and interview for Marie Claire and sprawled across the two page article were the words INTERVIEW WITH A SEX ADDICT – even though that’s not what it was supposed to be about. She didn’t sign up for that). Okay, maybe she doesn’t add anything new to the conversation.

    But I’m still glad her essay got loads of attention. Because she’s able to bring the discussion to the masses in a way that someone like Andrea Dworkin can’t. She can reach mass audiences. And bully for her.

    In some ways, this reminds me of the criticism of Jason Russell and the whole Kony debacle, but I can’t quite put my finger on how. I both do and do not understand the backlash to any important topic that gets national attention. It feels like the message is something along the lines of: FEEL NOTHING! THINK NOTHING! NOT IF THEY’RE TELLING YOU TO THINK IT OR FEEL IT! I don’t know… I just know that Judd’s essay feels far more authentic and from the heart than the Kony shit storm.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      I don’t think you can take what I’m saying here as “Think Nothing.”

      That is, unequivocally, the total opposite of anything I ever say.

      I’m not sure what feelings have to do with it, except that Judd goes to great lengths to assert that this is not about her feelings.

      Her essay is full of hackneyed catch phrases and is not even a little bit critical in an interesting or daring or challenging way. She is saying very simple things in an unnecessarily complicated way to sound as if she is someone to be listened to.

      My point here is manifold, but at least some of those points are as follows: Ashley Judd is a hypocrite. Ashley Judd is condescending. Ashley Judd just seems plain old insufferable.

      To the bigger issue, my point is, in part: How come as long as a celebrity pays lip service to the perceived correct stance, they are never taken to task for their actual behavior or expected to actually practice what they preach? Can we all get this pass, or is it only given to those with a microphone big enough to spread teh awareness?

      Does it actually matter what people do, or does it only matter that they say the right thing?

      I mean, on the whole, she is complicit in the maintenance of the patriarchal beauty standards she claims to abhor, yet she has the balls to come out and scold other people for same? It’s just the very worst that celebrity activism has to offer–and she appears to have no sense whatsoever of the irony inherent in what she is doing.

      You can practically hear her arm snapping at the shoulder as she pats herself on the back.

      • Palani Palapala says:

        No shit…and she does look fat…or fatter, still pretty but fatter than previous air brushed pics that have spanned the globe for years.

      • Kate says:

        While I think that it’s a bit ridiculous for someone who trades on her looks to rally against it, I also appreciate that she can rally against it. For someone with a Womens’ Studies degree to insist that an actress from Kentucky be at a beyond Foucault level in discourse is a bit absurd. I think that it’s remarkable that she’s schooling the clueless on her kindergarten level feminism and I hope the c*nts pick up on it. I love it that you’re such a snob, though. More, please.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      I feel like I missed the point (or a major one) of your comment, so I’m going to try again:

      The point is not “Don’t think or feel what they’re telling you because they’re telling you.”

      For me, at least, it’s more along the lines of Oscar Wilde: “When too many people agree with me, I always fear I must be wrong.”

      Or something like that.

      An innate distrust of a lopsided discourse. The intellectual abomination of an echo chamber. For my part, and I suspect there are a lot of people like me out there fueling the backlash industry, I simply hate to see too many people agree too fervently all at once, especially if there are really super glaringly obvious elements that no one at all seems to be talking about.

      Nothing on earth is that simple, so, simply, I suspect something must be wrong. Then when I sit and think about what things people aren’t talking about, or what no one seems willing to say, I get stuff like this.

      And so then people ask me if I believe or don’t believe in the contrary things I say, and I’m never quite sure how to answer that, since I absolutely always believe those contrary things need to be said, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they’re asking.

  3. SAA says:

    Thank you. Thank-effing-you.

  4. I’m always glad for another perspective! As I was working on mine, I did come across something at Salon that was a little more critical (than other pieces I’d read) about her presentation of the issues. Posting in case it’s of interest: http://entertainment.salon.com/2012/04/09/ashley_judds_facial_war/

    • Becky Palapala says:

      Yeah. You know, I don’t find the facts of Judd’s essay all that controversial. I could hardly consider myself a feminist while at the same time denying that there’s something unfair about standards of beauty in this country.

      But, as I mentioned above to Gloria, I simply can’t let a consensus go. Too many “she’s so braves” and “you go girls”, and the hair on my neck starts to stand up. I can’t contain myself.

      I’m glad you won’t hold it against me.

  5. zoe zolbrod says:

    I finally read Judd’s essay after seeing about 5000 links to it on Facebook and elsewhere. My thought was that it didn’t seem 5000-link’s worthy, that she was in a position to possibly offer a fresher or more specific–or maybe I just mean juicier–analysis on this topic than those of us with women’s studies minors have encountered many times before, and instead she stuck to a party line, articulated like an English major. Good for her, but sort of lame that so many feminists get so excited about it, proving we’re/they’re just as celebrity-blinded as the rest of the culture.

    That said, I can’t get on board with telling her to shut the fuck up because she’s in the industry. Dialogue is certainly not going to improve if everyone who speaks on a topic has to pass a perfect purity test around it.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      Well, I mean, are we sure it won’t? I mean, not purity test because that would put me right out, for one.

      But part of the problem with what she’s saying is that it’s so incredibly TIRED that even people with a vested interest in what she has to say, personally, academically, intellectually, have trouble getting behind it.

      It’s more of that awareness talk. Just have a defensible opinion (Sexism is bad! Discourse is good!) and you are unassailable. Fine. To what end? How now, Ashley Judd?

      She wanted a bigger conversation, so here we are. It’s just not the conversation she prescribes, which, incidentally, is another problem I have with this. It strikes me as yet another iteration in the top-down, one-way “conversation” between celebrity and entertainment culture about what we, the common folk, should think and do about beauty.

      When I say I wish she’d shut it, I don’t mean I wish she would never breathe a word about body image because she’s an actress. That’s not quite the point.

      There seems to be no end, week to week, to “brave” female celebrities standing up to the patriarchal standards of beauty or motherhood, or whatever feminist thing we’re caring about this week, but there IS a marked lack of action, a lack of confronting the difficult reality that eventually, when it comes down to it, they’re agents of that system. There’s a gaping hole in celebrity discourse about appearance and body politics, and that hole is the vacuum of their complicity sucking whatever credibility they had right in.

  6. zoe zolbrod says:

    It’s hard for me to talk with much authority about celebrity stuff, because that’s not my beat. But if the reaction to this Judd piece is any indication, if there’s a celebrity every week speaking up about feminist issues, at least some of them would probably have turned up on my FB feed. I got the feeling this week that people just couldn’t freaking believe a celebrity would speak this truth to power. (I’d insert an emoticon signifying mild sarcasm here if I knew how to do it.) Maybe it’s because she used some English-major language, as do or have many of my friends. It’s like that Ryan Gosling meme.

    Like many people, I live more and more in the bubble of my friends. But I suspect that outside that bubble there is not widespread agreement that the way women are depicted is negative, or else surely clicks and magazine sales and cosmetic surgery sales and sales in general would not trend the way they do. Like you, I find her argument to be a little tired, but maybe there are people out there who haven’t heard it enough, or heard it for awhile, or heard it since the mirror is starting to reflect something back to them they don’t like to see. Certainly no one hears it as often as they see a Photoshopped image of Ideal Beauty. It’s like that thing they say about political campaigns, right? You have to have your three points that you repeat 1000 times a day. Reason #6,089 why I could never go into politics. And it’s working. I don’t see people with a vested interest turning away in boredom from her comments. That freaking tossed-off essay is everywhere.

    Again, I don’t know enough about Hollywood and the entertainment industry to know what women are or aren’t doing beyond occasionally writing articles like this. There was all that hoopla about what a big deal BRIDESMAIDS was for women. I liked that movie OK, but I was like, really? This? This is the breakthrough? Not that I don’t doubt that it was, but it depressed me that it was.

    Still, I like to look at attractive performers, and I don’t fault actors for working that angle. I might criticize a really egregious role or pose, but I don’t think looking pretty on a magazine cover sucks all credibility.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      Oh I don’t know. There was Tyra Banks, the supermodel, bravely standing up to the man over some bathing suit pictures a few years ago. Not long ago, someone else bravely posed for a magazine shoot without any make up, then there were some models, one skinny and one plus-sized, bravely making a statement with a photoshoot of the two of them together.

      Maybe it’s just my digital bubble, but I can’t throw a rock without hitting some freakishly beautiful person bravely taking on the man once they’ve already made their millions of dollars by setting themselves up as sex symbols and freakish beauty standards with their make up ON.

      The reasons why average women might continue to buy magazines or get plastic surgery despite a basic awareness of the unfairness of beauty standards are complex.

      I’m fully aware of the implications, and yet I still put on make up most mornings.

      So Judd and others aren’t at fault simply for having opinions on these matters. Anyone can say “that’s wrong” and be absolutely right. But if that’s all you’ve got to do to get credit, there’s hardly any reason for anyone to change anything.

      Again, it’s not their statuses as entertainers alone that destroy their credibility. It’s their complicity, and indeed, or more so, their complacency with regard to their own roles, this extremely important aspect of their position, that they just gloss over.

      The tables turn on them, or they, for whatever reason, become invested in these issues and go OH GOD HOW HORRIBLE, LOOK AT THAT WHAT A SHAME, THIS IS UNFORGIVABLE! while holding their thumb over their image in the picture.

      THAT destroys their credibility.

  7. I think the standard of beauty is really a horrible double standard.

    Whenever I play a male character in the video game Fallout Las Vegas or Skyrim, I don’t care what he looks like as long as he is a bad ass. However, when I play a female character in the exact same game, I find myself returning to auto doc (automatic surgeon machine) to do frequent comestic surgery every time I met a female character who is way, way, prettier than me (or restarting Skyrim over and over). It seems no matter how hard I try, I would never ever be the prettiest girl in the Mojave wasteland or in all of Elder Scroll’s Skyrim.

    That’s how messed up society and I am when it comes to beauty.

    • Palani Palapala says:

      Why is liking beauty wrong or messed up? We are all hard wire to pick and find the fittest mate on the planet, beauty=fitness .

      • Becky Palapala says:

        Well, the genesis of beauty standards is a whole other can of worms.

      • It’s more messed up because when I play a female character, there’s always someone with a more angelic chin, or a thinner nose, or cuter eyes which means I have to have her take a journey back to the Empty Mountain, (MT) where there is a auto doc machine that would do comestic surgeony anytime. I agree that the idea of beauty should only follow physical fitness not the facial structure or form of the person’s body.

        Everyone in Fallout and Skyrim are all in great physical shape, equally. It’s the faces that are usually different.

  8. Elaine Cramer says:

    So, yes, its very ironic that “people complain about urealistic standards of beauty once they’ve made an entire living from multiple industries devoted to those standards.” But what then, should she have done? Is she not allowed to put forward such an idea at all, or is it just that she used big words to do it? I think, even if she just said, “Hey, give me a break. Mind your own business and quit being so shallow or whatever” some intelligent, thoughtful feminist out there would have taken issue. How’s that for irony?
    I’m glad you wrote this article. It’s caused me to think more about it than I would have, and that’s saying a lot, because most of the time I live under a rock. I want to encourage you and all the writers here to carry on, being as aware as you can be because of these issues, because I think print is the best way to attack the beauty standard. ( I don’t think it’s genesis is a whole other can of worms at all, I think it’s the very seed of your issue) As Palani says, we are hard wired for it. But I’ve been reading Suzanne Brockmann lately, and she annoys a lot of people because her characters include gays, plus sizes and varying ethnicities while tackling issues of white slavery and child abuse and I forget what all right now. Her books are NOT anything except light entertainment, and while it offends such people to find such content woven in it (with objections ranging from it’s too much to it’s too inauthentic) many more are reading it far less critically and I’m certain it’s changing their minds about what is beautiful and desirable. Writers can take a detour around the eyes. Go writers!
    But I’ll be very surprised if there ever comes a day when an actress can make the impact that Ashley Judd can with out first going the very route that you find disqualifies her for any meaningful comment. It would be a pleasant surprise, none the less. 🙂

    • Becky Palapala says:

      I’m not sure how many times I have to say it, but I’ll say it again. Ashley Judd isn’t disqualified from anything. That’s not the point. That is a deliberate oversimplification of what I’ve said and implied.

      It’s an attempt to dismiss a legitimate criticism of Judd’s haughty, pedantic directive and our tendency to just accept the one-way, top-down “conversation” that celebrity culture has with the common folk–whether they’re telling us what beauty is or telling us to ignore what they’ve earned millions of dollars saying beauty is.

      It is not my place to decide who is and isn’t qualified to speak. But it is my place to suggest that we maintain a critical attitude towards what people say. Ashley Judd can–and by all measures, does–say anything and everything that crosses her mind.

      Because I am growing weary, I’ll just copy and paste my response from a similar accusation on facebook:

      Ashley Judd is not you and I. She has the liberty of speaking the way she does not because of some innate fearlessness, but because she has earned the liberty (and the financial independence to be a pain the ass to the industry that cuts her checks, I should add) contributing to the images and industry standards she claims to despise.

      It’s rhetorically disingenuous. Failing to address this robs her argument of the one thing that stood to make it extra powerful and interesting, and sets up a totally impossible double standard in and of itself.

      If any little girl wanted to be like her, let’s say–be an outspoken actress–she would encounter an untenable situation. One in which she had to kowtow and live up to this general “patriarchal” beauty standard to be able to oppose it. And Judd doesn’t even acknowledge that. It’s degrading and just as confusing as any other double standard foisted upon women. And by that measure, it’s not even really a matter of what I think or believe. The argument fails itself.

      Though I’m interested to hear what impact you think this has made? You mean buzz? Or is there something quantifiable that has happened that I’m not aware of?

      Because I think mostly what has happened is that people have clicked “share” a bunch of times.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      Also, there is some question in my mind about whether or not Judd has even actually stood up to anybody, or if we just believe she did because she makes noises like she is:

      All these instances of celebrities being “brave” in the face of the industry and, in turn, profiting from the industry (and often from “being brave”) are insufficient. It is the current state of affairs, as I mention in the article itself, that “speaking out” is totally and 100% compatible with the status quo in Hollywood. This kind of behavior is not brave at all. It has simply been spun and subsumed as a marketing tool. That’s because the people (that’s you and I), eat this shit up without ever questioning its inherent contradiction.


  9. Elaine Cramer says:

    Well, like I said, I live under a rock, but the “buzz” made me peek my head out. I’m going back under now. Thanks

    • Becky Palapala says:

      I’m not trying to drive you back under your rock. I hope that’s not what you’re implying.

      I just find the overall conversation surrounding Judd’s action to be totally lopsided. A bunch of backslapping and “you go girls” with no actual real exploration of what’s going on.

      Judd is Judd. She’s prone to this kind of pulpit-pounding windbaggery, and no one is really surprised about it at the end of the day.

      But she does give us an opportunity to talk. She doesn’t lie about that. But no one is talking. No one wants to actually talk.

      There’s a whole lot of lip service paid to empowerment and awareness and speaking out and so on, and a whole lot of link sharing and heart clutching, breathless “she’s so braves!” with absolutely nothing at all of substance behind it.

      That goes for her and us.

      • Elaine Cramer says:

        Sorry I cross posted you. I am a slow thinker! Wish I hadn’t made that rock comment now… But I agree with the lip service thing. (Trying to be quicker about this!) And so that was why I was curious about what a more substantial response would look like.

  10. Elaine Cramer says:

    I feel bad for shooting out that hasty response, after you seem to have given this a lot of careful consideration. I don’t claim to be smart or on the forefront of anything. I’m a somewhat average American just giving my impressions of the buzz that came through over TNB, which feeds into my facebook. That is the extent of my world view, sadly.
    I haven’t even read all of Ashley Judd’s article and maybe if I did I’d have more to say about it, but maybe not. Maybe she is a great big ass. But what I’m curious about is, what would you have said, if you had to start from where she is?
    I didn’t realize I was accusing you of anything. I actually didn’t think I was disagreeing with you very much. I’ve seen a lot your stuff on here, and I’m always interested to hear your perspectives. I apologize for making you feel as if I am trying to minimize your very careful thoughts. That’s not the way I was hoping to add to this conversation.
    I surely haven’t thought of all the ways I am failing to see your point of view and will end up making you all the more weary. I’m sorry for that. Maybe I should just stay under my rock?

    • Becky Palapala says:

      I was asked same elsewhere, and personally, I like to think I’d have said nothing.

      I think yawning silence, maybe a little pointed mockery of the offenders, is the only dignified response to that kind of thing.

      While everything in her post regarding the women and body image and beauty standards is technically true, I don’t know. I’m sort of beside myself that no one else is acknowledging how totally bizarre and self-consumed it is to declare war anew on the patriarchy and call out every woman in America like they’re troops at your command to attack some totally nebulous enemy or superorganic cultural standard with something called The Conversation just because some Page Six hack said your face looked puffy.

      It’s just so pompous. It’s just so disproportionate and wild-eyed and pedantic. Especially for a person who has spent her life in the spotlight and is no stranger to unflattering press.

      I seriously cannot believe no one else is picking up on this. She’s obviously a megalomaniac.

      Maybe it’s I who’s been living under a rock. Maybe this is what thought leaders look like now, and I’m just clueless.

      God, I hope not.

  11. Elaine Cramer says:

    I don’t find you clueless in the slightest, for what that’s worth. But I don’t think silence is the best answer (though now that I’ve thought on it, I didn’t need to ask the question I did, as it’s answered in your article down at the bottom.) I think she had a real chance to bring up the issue of aging and beauty in her industry in a way that would give women like me something to take to heart. But I can’t be bothered to read what SHE says anyway, so what am I saying? I did want to hear what you had to say though. Write on!

    • Becky Palapala says:

      And that was the exact response I got when I said it elsewhere.

      “Why should she have to just sit there and take it?”

      That’s an interesting characterization, and I wonder where/when/why people make that distinction–that is, choose to characterize it as a passive, inert response rather than an active refusal to engage in a petty circus.

      There is no shortage of opportunities to bring up the topic of aging and beauty in Hollywood. The fact that she can only be buggered to do it when she’s personally insulted is telling.

  12. Elaine Cramer says:

    Well, I wasn’t trying to say, “Why should she have to just sit there and take it?”

    As you said, she can say anything she wants to. But as an aging woman, I would have appreciated a more substantial response. However, I think silence is a good answer too. In the clips you posted, she made it seem as if that were her ordinary response and if so, I agree that it kind of stinks that she can only speak to it when she is personally insulted. I think that’s kind of human, though.

    As I said, I haven’t read much of what Ashley Judd has to say about life, and I rarely pay attention to what ANY celebrity says. But you seem to have, and I like that you have called her out on her hypocrisy and “windbaggery” (LOVE that!) I’ll take your word on it. I’ve thought all I’m going to about the issue, I think. But thanks for the ride!

  13. Den Suoi Nha Tam…

    […]Becky Palapala | Have You Heard the One About Ashley Judd’s Face? | The Nervous Breakdown[…]…

  14. Hannah955 says:

    Thank you, Becky, you are my new hero! Like you, I vaguely knew who Ashley Judd was, but only as an actress who basically never made a ripple on my consciousness except on the couple of occasions when one of her movies was rerun on television. Then I heard about this supposedly amazing essay that she wrote, so I looked for it, read it, and couldn’t BELIEVE something so trite and badly written was getting so much praise. It’s full of psychobabble, and reads like something a very sincere but naive high school student would write if she had a mad crush on her English teacher and was trying too hard to impress him.

    And then there are all the points you make about how she didn’t complain about this beauty-centered world when she was benefiting from it (as she still is, with her American Beauty $$$ contract from Estee Lauder). And notice how she managed to point out her own flawless skin, and talk about how she normally wears a size 2 or 4, I think she said.

    And if you want to absolutely giggle yourself to death, I think she has this essay on her website where she’s thanking everybody for supporting her in writing “The Conversation” – and it sounds like an acceptance speech for some non-existent award, and is actually longer than the original essay.

    Ashley Judd – a legend in her own mind.

  15. Kavita says:

    Wow! I love this conversation but I can’t overlook the fact that all (but one) of those who have commented on this post are women.

  16. razz says:

    Holy cow.
    Shut the hell up all you whiny, gossipy, snippy, jealous ladies.
    So many words about nothing!!

  17. Signlady says:

    The last time I saw Judd in a movie was 2019 – I think it was ‘Insurgent’. Or whichever the last of the divergent series was. At any rate, she looked like herself in all 3 of those movies. (I know – some scenes were flash-back scenes) but she looked fine.

    Anyway, she’s georgeous, yes, but I’ve always liked her acting. Some actors just seem like the kind of person you are acquainted with around town, or would even be friends with. She struck me as that kind of gal.

    And, I just read her comments on the subject if her puffy face. She made excellent points and was absolutely correct in all ways . . .

    But – BUT – when your a movie star, and are SEEN – you gotta understand – that if your appearance drastically changes we the viewing public are gonna wonder why.

    Well, I just rented ‘A dog’s Way Home’. I kept thinking, gee, that actress kind’a looks like Ashley Judd. Finally, I realized it was her, and confirmed it on IMdB.
    In only 3 years she looks this different?

    Her article says her appearance was caused by a sinus infection/medication reaction …?
    And also a little bit of weight gain during down time. And, as we all know people gain weight in different places. Some people are slim in the face with fat bodies – some people gain weight only in their belly. Some gain weight only in their upper arms, or their butt, or their thighs. Still when some people gain weight, it goes straight to their face.
    I get this.

    And even if she got shot up with a bunch of botox – she could just say, ‘I got shot up with ___ chemical injection and it didn’t work.

    Whatever. If I was her friend I would beg her never to do injections. If I was her friend during this bad sinus infection/drug reaction, I woulda said lay off movies til your back to normal.

    Because -and here’s the BUT again – but when you’re career is based on screen time – please don’t be annoyed or offended when we are shocked, confused, worried, or dismayed when we see you looking so different in a film.

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