Ashley Judd Slams Reaction to Her Puffy Face as 'Woman Hating'

Ashley Judd Attacks the Critics
Ashley Judd, in 2006 (left) and in January 2012
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Katy Winn/AP

updated 04/12/2012 at 12:30 PM EDT

originally published 04/12/2012 07:55AM

Ashley Judd says the generally horrified reaction last month to her puffy face, caused by the medication she was taking for a sinus infection, is a sad commentary on our society's obsession with appearance.

"I think it's hatred of women that invites the criticism," the Missing actress, 43, said Wednesday on NBC's Nightly News, with additional comments on Thursday's Today show. "I think it's the objectification of girls and women and this hypersexualization of our society that invites the criticism."

She added: "It doesn't have anything to do with me, really, and how I look."





Judd says the reaction to her appearance was swift and negative. "There was no presumption of goodwill," she says. "The conversation went straight to, 'Oh my gosh.' "

Particularly galling, besides the "nasty, vitriolic and gloating tone," she added, was the speculation that she'd had plastic surgery.

"I started to catch the double bind where, you know, my face looks puffy, 'She's had work,' you know?" Judd says. "And then, look at the same image in a different interpretation by a separate set of people is, 'Oh, come on, she doesn't even have any wrinkles at all, she's clearly had work.' So, I look bad, I've had work. I look too good, I've had work."

Judd made many of the same points earlier this week in an op-ed column in the Daily Beast.

In that piece, she said she decided to address this incident "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."

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