There’s Nothing “Missing” In Ashley Judd’s Latest Rant

There’s no doubt in this photo, that Ashley Judd’s face is somewhat bloated looking by comparison to what the public has come to see her as looking.  In a way, she’s looking almost unrecognizable so, naturally, people are going to wonder what’s going on to change her looks that drastically and rather suddenly.

There’s no getting around the fact that Judd’s appearance has changed. One look at the photos above, proves that much.

As the star of the new ABC television series, “Missing”, where Judd’s character is racing against time to find her missing son, all eyes have been on Judd and with that, her appearance change.

Judd has recently lashed out at the media for their rather hefty and degrading scrutiny, wondering if she’d put on weight or had plastic surgery.  In a long but, well written essay style rant, in The Daily Beast, Judd bashes the media and bloggers for their relentless and hurtful coverage of her puffy face appearance saying,

“…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.”

While we all know that media love to get ahold of a story and beat the daylights out of it from every angle, especially when it concerns a celebrity, it’s not totally unfounded to wonder what has been going on with Judd’s appearance change.

Judd claims that her face puffiness is due to a sinus infection for which she had to take steroids and while I’m not doubting that explanation as steroids do some pretty wild bloating to a person’s body and especially, a face, one need only question why Judd went to the lengths that she did instead of simply saying that she was on the meds and her face would return to normal?  Why the necessity for the rant?

Judd, herself admits that she has learned not to let media get to her and to expect it to happen.  Yet, she has taken this opportunity to go into what some have described as a Feminist stance going further to say,

“The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is  also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us,” adding that her own “personal practice is to ignore what is written”  about her.

She then, goes on to slam other women, who apparently, in her mind,  “joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance,” and bringing attention to her puffy face.

Judd ends her essay with the statement,

“…As focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood.”

While Judd is right that women and men are both objectified and ridiculed for their looks, one has to also be aware that as a celebrity, one has put themselves even more squarely into public scrutiny than the average Jane or John.  When you put yourself upon a public stage, everything is open to scrutiny.  Sadly, that will include a person’s looks.  That’s why there are so many celebrities, starving themselves, working out at gyms and going for plastic surgery.

There is an easy solution to that dilema.  If you don’t want the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

It’s always fascinated me how stars want the attention.  Whether the attention is for their acting or their looks, clothes, fashion sense or whatever, the truth is, one way or another, celebrities want attention, period or they wouldn’t be in the business.  In this day and age, it’s not as though they don’t know that stardom comes with attention.  Some of it will be what they want and some of it won’t.  That’s life.  That’s what everyone has to go through even us regular folks.  Each and every one of us is open to other people’s scrutiny in one way or another.  Most of us know it that we’re being talked about whether we ever hear it or not.  Stars have simply put themselves in a place and position to have more of that type of gossip and scrutiny than us regular joes.

Having said all of that, I do sympathize with Judd’s dilema, outrage and anger but, I can’t empathize with her when she’s promoing her newest show, wanting both viewer and media attention drawn to both it and herself as she laughs herself to the bank with a huge paycheck for it all.  In effect, it is Ashley, herself that is bringing on the attention to herself.  She can’t expect that she’s only going to get what type of attention she’s seeking, how, where and why either.  If you beg for attention, you’re going to get it but, you may not always like what kind you get.

I can, however, say that the principle behind her rant is correct.  We do tend to objectify both females and males in our lives to some extent or another.  It isn’t right nor, is it fair to any of us but, unfortunately, it’s part of life and human nature.  We tend to do it as an attempt to somehow make ourselves feel better about our own flaws, warts and personal fears.  In a perfect world, that wouldn’t be the case but, no one ever said this was a perfect world.

So, to Ms. Judd, I say, either give media the answers so that they won’t speculate, learn to live with the scrutiny or, get out of the public eye where you can live largely unnoticed and change all that you want.  You can’t have everything.

If there’s anything more to take note of here, it’s that Ashley Judd knows how to use a dictionary and thesaurus well.  I needed one to just read her rant.

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