Lauren Ashburn: Ashley Judd’s Puffy-Faced Sisterhood

April 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Videos

The Twitterverse lit up last week with talk of actress Ashley Judd’s plastic surgery. Except it wasn’t true. She was spotted with a puffy face on a talk show, which led to speculation and criticism and Ashley would have none of it.

Her rep fired back with a statement denying any plastic surgery and stating that Ashley “has been battling an ongoing, serious sinus infection and flu” and had “been on a heavy dose of medication to overcome it.”

Judd penned a piece for the Daily Beast, popped off on NBC piping mad about the false allegations, and stole the narrative away from the nasty gossipmongers. Suddenly we found ourselves in a worthwhile debate about the broader issue of how women are perceived in society.

Ashley wrote:

I hold that it is none of my business what people think of me. I arrived at this belief after first, when I began working as an actor 18 years ago, reading everything. I evolved into selecting only the “good” pieces to read. Over time, I matured into the understanding that good and bad are equally fanciful interpretations. I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. I thus abstain from all media about myself. The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself, my personal integrity, and my relationship with my Creator. 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.

And the introspection hit a chord with women everywhere, many of whom took to Twitter to tell their stories using the hashtag #PuffyFaceMoment.

Betsy Buring Fisher:

“A woman patted me on the stomach and asked when I was due. I’ve never been pregnant. #puffyfacemoment”

Margaret Doyle:

“A female coworker saying “Ohmygosh, I HAVE to blow dry my hair EVERY DAY….or it will look like YOURS”. #puffyfacemoment”

KJ Dell’Antonia:

“An ex, on my post baby short haircut: “You look like a Mom.” (later insistence that he meant a MILF no help) #puffyfacemoment”

Suzanne Riley:

“was teased as a kid when wearing a ponytail cause of protruding ears. Carried w me thru adulthood but no more!#PuffyFaceMoment”

Even fellow actress, Minnie Driver, bared her soul in the Twitter confessional:

Minnie Driver:

“a NY daily reviewed me in Circle of Friends thus:’A jaw as square as a window frame and a face with no view’”

I could add to the mix with a literal puffy face moment of my own when weeks after delivering a healthy baby boy, a woman asked me when I was due.

It’s hard not to get down on yourself when someone tells you or, even worse, the world that you’re — fill in the blank — ugly, fat, untalented. Judd helped remind us that even when the negative accusations attempt to pierce your self-esteem, the best medicine is to fight back — hard.

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