Ashley Judd Follows Her Kickass Feminist Essay with Kickass Feminist TV Appearances

This past Monday, actress Ashley Judd released an essay on the Daily Beast regarding the inappropriate and invasive media speculation regarding Judd's appearance during a television interview in which her face looked — le shock! — slightly puffier than some of us thought acceptable. The essay is an awesome "fuck you" to the way we, men and women, find it okay to use a woman's appearance to weaken or keep her down. (Read our own Lindy West's fantastic response here.) While it's disappointing that this conversation needs to be had at all, it's all the same important that Judd is forcing us to have it in such a public way, now bringing the discussion to several news shows.

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In the past 24-hours, Judd has appeared on the NBC Nightly News, Rock Center, The Today Show and Access Hollywood Live. This brings the argument of how women's bodies are portrayed in the media directly to some of the problem's main perpetrators. When Billy Bush on Access Hollywood Live brings up that women often feel good when you compliment their appearace (in this case, the appearance of a woman who has lost weight), Judd stands her ground, saying, "I believe that is one of the ways that it's very cunning and insidious because it is a compliment, yet it's a backhanded compliment."

Question: Instead of discussing various women's puffy faces, can we discuss Billy Bush's smug one? And, more specifically, how anyone can sit across from him for more than 5-seconds without attempting to claw it off his skull?

DISCUSSION

"When Billy Bush on Access Hollywood Live brings up that women often feel good when you compliment their appearace (in this case, the appearance of a woman who has lost weight), Judd stands her ground, saying, "I believe that is one of the ways that it's very cunning and insidious because it is a compliment, yet it's a backhanded compliment.""

Word.

A little over five years ago, I lost a significant amount of weight over a period of six months. Now at size 4/ under 130 lbs., I had no need to really lose weight (except for maybe 5 lbs. of extra belly that was obvious to pretty much only me...), but sooooo many people would tell me, "Oh you lost weight—you look great! Granted I live in L.A., the unhealthy image capital of the world—but even though I was largely in denial, I couldn't shake the feeling the complimenting someone on what was clearly due to illness (I had undiagnosed type 1 diabetes) was @#$% up.