Ashley Judd Says ‘Puffy Face’ Criticism Is ‘Hatred of Women’

by | April 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM | Missing, The Today Show

Ashley Judd (Photo: NBC News)

Ashley Judd‘s media blitz continues, as the “Missing” (Thursdays, 8/7c on ABC) actress takes a stand against our culture’s obsession with looks.

Judd is speaking out about the Internet backlash she faced last month, aka Puffy Face Gate, when she was criticized for her “puffy” appearance. She says it was the result of taking steroids for a sinus infection.

Shocked by the negative reaction, Judd particularly takes issue with the “nasty, vitriolic and gloating tone” of the media that immediately jumped to the conclusion that she’d had plastic surgery.

The 43-year-old actress lashed out earlier this week in a potent op-ed essay in The Daily Beast that slammed the media, and followed it with an interview for NBC News that appeared on “The Today Show” this morning and “NBC Nightly News” last night. (She also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!“.)

“I think it’s hatred of women that invites criticism,” Judd told Brian Williams Wednesday night. “I think it’s the objectification of girls and women and this hypersexualization of our society that invites criticism.”

Ashley Judd Fights Back:

She added, “It doesn’t have anything to do with me, really, and how I look.”

But she says the plastic surgery debate is a double-edged sword, one she can’t win either way. “If I look bad … I’ve had work; if I look too good … I’ve had work.”

For those who believe Judd is fair game for commentary based on her appearance simply because she is a celebrity, she disagrees.

“I don’t think being a public figure makes it legitimate to criticize people the way that people are in this cultural climate.”

Judd’s new show, “Missing,” airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.

Here’s a preview of tonight’s “Missing,” which finds Judd’s Becca Winstone reeling from last week’s bombshell that her dead husband isn’t so dead any more! For more on that exciting twist, read xfinityTV’s exclusive interview with Sean Bean.