Ashley Judd Calls Puffy Face Criticism “Hatred of Women”

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Ashley Judd's puffy face scandal is still going strong.

In an exclusive interview on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams airing Wednesday night, Judd fired back (again) at rumors she's had plastic surgery. 

The actress, 43, blames the "hyper-sexualization" of society for the recent criticism she's encountered regarding her puffier face.

"I think that it's hatred of women that invites the criticism," the Missing star says. "I think it's the objectification of girls and women and this hyper-sexualization of our society that invites the criticism. It doesn't have anything to do with me, really, and how I look."

Judd says her puffier face was due to a sinus infection — which required her to take serious steroids. "And maybe I had something salty, as we would say in the south, and I swelled up."

"There was no presumption of good will," she says of critics assuming she's had plastic surgery. "The conversation went to, 'Oh. My. Gosh…she's had work.' " 

ashley judd brian williams interview
Actress Ashley Judd arrives to The Paley Center for Media presents A Screening of ABC's "Missing" at The Paley Center for Media on April 10, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

And Judd feels she'll never be without criticism. "So I look bad, I've had work. I look too good, I've had work."

On Monday, Judd wrote a lengthy essay on the Daily Beast addressing the rumors.

"The conversation [about my face] 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," Judd wrote.

She added that the debate is "really about" what she calls "the assault on [women's] body image."

PHOTOS: Hollywood feuds

Judd does have some supporters. Miley Cyrus, 19, who has faced some criticism herself this week for promoting a gluten-free diet, tweeted a kind note to Judd after reading her essay Tuesday. "Thank you Ashley Judd. This article was music to my ears. Beautifully said and beyond inspiring. I hope everyone woman reads this." 

Judd's full interviews airs Wednesday evening on NBC Nightly News. Watch the sneak-peek clip and tell Us: Do you agree with Judd's opinion?

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