Now, there is nothing worse than being accused of something you haven't done. If Ms Judd hasn't had surgery, it must be enraging to be accused of having done so. I would be furious if someone accused me of having had plastic surgery. (Actually scrap that. I wouldn't. I'd be thrilled that someone thinks I'm so incredibly good looking it just couldn't be natural.)
I understand Ms Judd's anger, even if I can't exactly understand all of her points. ("The accusations and lies, introduced to the public, now apply to me as a woman across space and time; to me as any woman and to me as every woman.") However, I don't think she's entirely capturing the spirit behind the speculation on her appearance.
Yes, we women are judged on our appearances, no more so than actresses. Yes, we women are scrutinised as to how well we are aging, definitely no more so than actresses. And yes, this serves to diminish our value as human beings, to focus with such intensity on the physical and not on the emotional, intellectual or spiritual. I agree. One hundred percent.
But our public fascination with the 'who has, who hasn't' had plastic surgery is, I feel, a backlash to that. For so long we have been fed images of impossibly beautiful and youthful celebrities, who claim to look twenty-six at the age of forty-two because of nothing more than 'sunscreen', 'good genes', 'drinking lots of water', 'an organic diet', or 'insert name of ridiculously expensive cosmetic here'. And we, as the public, gaze upon these miracles of nature and think, 'WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?' Why can't we look like them? We eat well. We drink lots of water. We use sunscreen. And yet our foreheads still move and our necks are getting crinkly and we keep on looking older and older and they are FROZEN IN TIME.
|Ashley Judd in a not-puffy moment|
I am NOT saying that Ashley Judd has had surgery. I have absolutely no idea and it is not relevant anyway. But I am saying that the motives fuelling speculation about her puffy face have less to do with pure spite, and a lot to do with us trying to deconstruct the myth of ageless beauty, so that us normal people in the trenches can stop feeling like failures for actually getting old.