Twitter — ever a microcosm of human nature – showed both its heart and its teeth after Senator Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate, posted a video of actress Ashley Judd on Tuesday. Soon after, Judd’s name began to trend, but it wasn’t because of her affiliation with Warren. Instead, some people began criticizing Judd’s physical appearance, while others rushed to her defense.
If this all feels like deja vu, that’s because something similar happened in 2012. In an article in the Daily Beast, Judd wrote about media outlets speculating that she’d undergone plastic surgery. “When I am sick for more than a month and on medication (multiple rounds of steroids), the accusation is that because my face looks puffy, I have ‘clearly had work done,’ with otherwise credible reporters with great bravo ‘identifying’ precisely the procedures I allegedly have had done,” she wrote at the time.
“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,” Judd added.
My friend @AshleyJudd made a few calls to people who chipped in a few dollars to our campaign. I’m proud that our campaign is grassroots—built by people, not Super PACs or billionaires.
Chip in $3 tonight, and Ashley could call you to say thanks! https://t.co/qOzNnVvmg4 pic.twitter.com/2SJOEAGKCp
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 11, 2020
Plenty of folks retweeted the Daily Beast op-ed in response to the negative comments under Warren’s video. Then people began posting comparison photos of their faces when they are and aren’t taking a corticosteroid drug, using the hashtag #Prednisone.
“Since #prednisone is trending, I thought I’d share how much my face swells when I’m on it,” one user wrote. “I truly believe that it saved my life back when my #IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] almost killed me. It’s a miracle drug, yet has horrible side effects! Pls be kind & empathetic to those who are going through this.”
Since #prednisone is trending, I thought I’d share how much my face swells when I’m on it. I truly believe that it saved my life back when my #IBD almost killed me. It’s a miracle drug, yet has horrible side effects! Pls be kind & empathetic to those who are going through this pic.twitter.com/xTCU80FvRf
— Corri Gardner (@democratcorri) February 12, 2020
Another user wrote: “I guess it’s as good a time as any to talk about my chronic illness. Yes, #prednisone took my face from the way it looked in the first picture to the way it looked in the second.”
I can’t believe this is an argument on Twitter right now, but oh well—I guess it’s as good a time as any to talk about my chronic illness. Yes, #prednisone took my face from the way it looked in the first picture to the way it looked in the second. I had to be on it several… pic.twitter.com/XITsRWOcNJ
— Mandi Jourdan (@MandiJourdan) February 12, 2020
Prednisone — and drugs like it — are used to treat many conditions, including rashes, lupus, and asthma, according to the Mayo Clinic. Common side effects including fluid retention that can cause swelling, and weight gain in the face, abdomen, and the back of your neck.
Judd hasn’t yet addressed the most recent comments about her appearance. Refinery29 has reached out for comment.
Click HERE to read more from Refinery29