Ashley Judd, the beautiful actress, humanitarian, sister to Wynonna Judd and daughter of Naomi Judd, has been a fiery topic in the news. After the actress promoted her new ABC drama ‘Missing’ on a Canadian talk show, rumors of Judd having had “work” done spread like wildfire. Due to the actress’s unusually “puffy” appearance, media outlets speculated that she injected fillers into her face for cosmetic purposes, though those rumors were far from the truth.

Now Judd, who in reality had been on a large dose of medicine to battle an ongoing sinus infection and the flu, is speaking out against not just these allegations but what she sees as a deeper issue, “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,” she writes in an article for the Daily Beast.

Her country singer sister has also been a favorite of tabloids. Wynonna Judd has been very open and honest about her battle with weight gain. Ashley points to the further irony of the situation after listing the various conclusions that were made of her in a single day (having had surgery, messing up her face, etc.).

“When I have gained weight, going from my usual size two/four to a six/eight after a lazy six months of not exercising, and that weight gain shows in my face and arms, I am a ‘cow’ and a ‘pig’ and I ‘better watch out’ because my husband ‘is looking for his second wife,’” she writes, adding, “(Did you catch how this one engenders competition and fear between women? How it also suggests that my husband values me based only on my physical appearance? Classic sexism. We won’t even address how extraordinary it is that a size eight would be heckled as ‘fat.’)”

After calling out various media outlets who were quick to run the story without so much as checking with her for accurate details, Judd says she hopes her thoughts will spark a new conversation, one not about who has or has not had plastic surgery but instead about why a ‘puffy’ face is such a controversial issue to begin with.

“If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start,” she says. “Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who … It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation.”

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