Ashley Judd On Female Scrutiny: ‘The Insanity Has To Stop’


By now it’s likely you have heard about actress Ashley Judd’s rebuttal last week in “The Daily Beast” responding to the media scrutiny of her “puffy face.” In March the beautiful actress appeared on a Canadian talk show in support of her new show “Missing” and the tabloids accused the star of undergoing plastic surgery based on the puffiness of her cheeks.

Judd’s rep explained that the actress was taking high doses of medication to curb a sinus infection and the flu, but the media — and later, the general public — continued to criticize Judd’s appearance. In her eloquent rebuttal, Judd explains that she rarely takes any stock in media scrutiny, but she calls the March incident “different”:

“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 hyper-sexualization 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 explain that our society’s obsession with appearance has gone too far, with both women and men regularly objectified:

“We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.”

I encourage you to read her rebuttal, which is a reminder to all of us of our intrinsic worth and beauty as children of God. Major kudos to Judd for including this line below, which we should all embrace as we face varying degrees of scrutiny and judgment from those around us:

“The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself, my personal integrity, and my relationship with my Creator.”

As a single woman with an online dating profile, do you feel pressure to be pretty? Do you sense an expectation for some kind of Catholic Barbie — a woman with an hour-glass figure and a penchant for the Liturgy of the Hours, someone who rocks High Mass in high heels?

And as for you CatholicMatch men, do you harbor an unrealistic expectation of physical beauty? Does your profile mention appearance at all? Do you personally feel any pressure to look a certain way? 

Leave a comment and let us know!




Further reading

Check out the 24 comments from CatholicMatch members in response to Jessica’s blog post “Would More Men Date Me If I Lost Weight?




  1. Dean-1150250 August 12, 2015 Reply

    Ashley Judd is a hypocrite of massive proportions. She is pro abortion and exploits her genetic beauty for money to help set the social standards she denigrates while claiming women are pressured to meet the standards that she herself helps to implement. She is like Robert DeNiro being anti-gun while making 20 million a movie glorifying extremely violent gun use. The hypocrisy is really disgusting.

  2. Brenda-1013607 April 8, 2015 Reply

    The world is not black and white. I love listening to differing opinions. If an opinion is consistent with Catholic teaching, let it be shared. And since when did feminist become a dirty word? I would like to change that. Please check out the group Feminists for Life whose tagline who look at the early feminists and how the vast majority of them were strongly pro-life- YES! You read correctly! Women do deserve better than abortion! We do not have to agree with everything someone says to listen to them and agree with them on a post. This is how we alienate ourselves as Catholics from discussions that bring unity. Acts 4:32 “The community of believers was of one heart and mind” I love hearing about Ashley Judd’s views. Thank you CM for sharing them! I am proud to be a feminist for life and respect men just as much as women!

  3. Lucia-551179 April 27, 2012 Reply

    I have found that scrutiny here and on secular sites. It’s when I gave up worrying about it that I turned my situation around. Kudos to Ashley Judd for speaking out about this.

    To those who are criticizing Judd for her views on abortion: I think what Jessica did in this article is appropriate. She wrote on the issue of the value society places on women’s looks. She used Ashley Judd because she stood up to her critics when they bashed her for her looks. Now, if the topic was about Ms. Judd’s views on abortion, etc, I could understand why you said this. But to criticize Jessica for her use of the Ashley Judd story to illustrate the topic is not very fair to her.

  4. JM-849972 April 22, 2012 Reply

    To answer your question. Yes as a Single C.W I do feel pressure because even though we are all “Christian people” on this site. I feel like a guy may look at me and may like me and what I have to say about myself, we may have some of the same interest, but he may decide to go with the woman he finds more attractive in her photo with nothing in common. It sounds wrong but very much true especially when you don’t know the person you go for looks over anything else as with all dating sites. Meeting someone at school or work is different because you are getting to know someone by personality over looks where as people only see faces….So ya it is pressure.

  5. Mark-738328 April 16, 2012 Reply

    I thought that I would say is Barbie is only in the mind, or on tv, but we all know that a real person is more than a Barbie could ever be. A Barbie is not to me a real person, but a stereotype that to me does not exist. A real person is one that you can communicate with and have a meaningful relationship. This guy is not looking for a Barbie but a soulmate to finish his life with under our Lords guideness. The other part of being on CM that I can say is I have not seen one Barbie, but warm, friendly people working on finding that special person. The real person will respond and come out of their box and meet with you. Some results will be good and some are not but we all must keep working on finding that match.

  6. Allison-565208 April 16, 2012 Reply

    Ashley Judd is the last person that devout, Catholic women need to be looking to for advice – of ANY kind. She is an outspoken, pro-abortion, feminist who was the honored guest at the “March for Women’s Lives” in DC where she sported a crucifix while rallying in favor of abortion.

    Maybe find someone else we could look to for words of wisdom? You know…someone who isn’t a liberal, pro-abortion, Hollywood feminist…

    • Eileen-400431 April 16, 2012 Reply

      My thoughts exactly. Ashley Judd on our Catholic Match website. I consider her to be downright evil.

    • Michael-253501 April 23, 2012 Reply

      Amen, Allison. Ashley Judd is a pro-abortion zealot whose misogynistic crusade to spread abortion worldwide is truly offensive. Discussing the puffiness of her face is irrelevant given her appallingly destructive, anti-life actions.

      CM Administrators — can this article please be removed from this website? It is a direct affront to the sensibilities of all orthodox Catholics.

    • Jeannie-822585 April 9, 2015 Reply


      Great comment, Allison! I am tiring of Catholic Match Institute articles not edifying Catholic virtues by trying to bring in social media articles that you could find on the Yahoo home page.


  7. Elizabeth-783538 April 16, 2012 Reply

    Absolutely agree: I think online dating – even on this Catholic site – makes us more prone to “window shopping” for a partner, here in particular for a Marian-devoted, Tridentine Barbie. While I am devoted to Mary, and occasionally attend a Latin Mass, I’m not a traditional beauty – I have short hair (which boys, especially traditional ones seeking traditional spouses, are averse to), am more curvaceous, and sport unconventional (yet very modest) clothing style. Some people find this very attractive, but many boys struggle with physical chemistry and switch to another “window.” It’s very emptying.

  8. Lesley-158563 April 16, 2012 Reply

    The Catholic Barbie analogy is so true! Reading some of those who browse me, they want adherence to Latin Mass and lots and lots of sex appeal. No wonder I no longer take this site very seriously!

    • Ramona-738757 April 16, 2012 Reply

      a group of us women were discussing this very same thing in St. Anne’s. I encourage you to join us if you wish.
      Thank you Jessica, for bringing more attention to this very overlooked social situation. It seems so disrespectful when we speak of loving like Christ yet, put such pressure on the physical.
      There is nothing wrong with having a preference. When that preference overshadows all other attributes, so much so that a person is deemed unworthy of love…something is very wrong.
      I’m often amused when I view profiles that state,” I’m looking for a woman you takes care of herself ” REALLY? As opposed to what? And, by whose standards?

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