Ashley Judd is an accomplished actress who grew up in the musical (and sometimes tumultuous) Judd family. She has been in the public eye since childhood, and is no stranger to the unreasonable judgements perpetuated by Hollywood to look young and stay thin. Ms. Judd was recently vilified in the media due to her “puffy face”. She fought back with a terrific article, and conducted an interview on NBC Nightly News. This is an important subject for any man or woman who has ever had a issue with the complicated issue of body image.
Ashley had been prescribed steroids to combat a severe sinus infection. After seeing a change in her face, the media began to question whether or not Ms. Judd had plastic surgery. While she was promoting the show “Missing”, one reporter actually asked her if she had plastic surgery. Several reports stated “Ms. Judd clearly had work done”. They even went so far as to speculate about procedures she had done! In fact, she has not had plastic surgery.
As a nutritionist in private practice, I work with women and men who have severe body image issues. I’ve been a professional member of The National Eating Disorders Association for over 15 years, and have worked with eating disorder therapists and psychiatrists to help my patients work through these devastating issues. Many women and men have unreasonable goals regarding body weight.
Aging and Adapting
As we age, our body changes. We must continue to eat well, exercise and get adequate sleep in order to maintain (or achieve) good health (and prevent chronic disease). However, how we look at 20 years old, is simply not how we look at 50 years of age. Wisdom comes with age. So do a few wrinkles around our eyes and a couple of pounds around our mid-sections. Ms. Judd is in her mid-40’s and is surely entitled to look different from when she was in her 20’s.
Mothers who have battled weight for most of their lives often become critical of their daughters bodies. I work with many families where a young girl (with an overweight mother) tends to either eat large amounts of food in private, or starve themselves to achieve an unrealistic weight goal. Has anyone ever commented on your weight? Have you reacted in a negative way such as severely restricting your food intake or binging? This behavior is a common occurrence which needs to be addressed both in the media and at our dinner tables.
When a Size 6 is considered “fat”
Even with proper diet and routine physical activity most of us will not obtain the perfect bodies that we lust after. Most of us will never be a size 2 while maintaining good health. Ashley Judd went from a size 2/4 (about 13 years ago) to a size 6 (during a period when she admits to being physically inactive). By Hollywood standards, a size 6 is considered fat. Judd was taken back by comments such as “you better watch out that your husband doesn’t start looking for a second wife” Or “you’re a cow”. On that note, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this subject.