Women’s bodies and looks are constantly up for scrutiny in the media. From magazine articles that promise thinner thighs in a weekend, to tabloids discussing which celebrities’ bodies are hot or not, women are always being picked apart.

But Ashley Judd isn’t going to take it anymore.

After many speculated if she had undergone a cosmetic procedure that left her face “puffy,” Judd clapped back against what she saw was a dig against all women.

Judd explains why she decided to speak out:

“I choose to address it 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. 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.”

Judd goes on to break down the media’s attack about her “changed” appearance noting that she has gained weight, been taking steroids due to a medical condition, and has aged over the years–all “normal” and naturally occurring things that happen to women, and yet when a woman is in the public eye the slightest change in her appearance triggers accusations of plastic surgery. Additionally, many of these attacks come from other women. Because as Judd points out,  “Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate.”

While many think Judd’s predicament has little to do with”regular” women, it does. We do not live in a vacuum. Just as the media can be vicious and mean toward celebs it permeates our culture and makes us normal folk the focus of equally damaging attacks. Everyday women are talked about, tweeted about, critiqued because of how we look, and it for some, it affects how we see ourselves.

I applaud Judd for standing up for women (and men too) and wish more celebs would do the same.

What do you think? Should more celebs speak out about our growing “mean girl” culture? 

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