The Mighty Logo

People Post Their Prednisone Photos on Twitter After Speculation About Ashley Judd's Face

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Update: On Feb. 14, Ashley Judd shared a public note on Facebook in response to the “misogynistic savages” who criticized her appearance in a recent video. The actress revealed she has been dealing with migraine and, in addition to weight gain due to restrictions on her ability to exercise, the actress was prescribed Botox. 

“What I know is that I have been sick with siege migraines for over a year,” Judd wrote on Facebook. “We all lose control over the experience of our bodies on occasion and need grace when we do. You will have it from me when you do. Have I had botox? It is a standard treatment for the ailment that I experience.”

Judd previously posted on Instagram in August 2019 she was in the hospital for migraine treatments. She added in her Facebook post:

Earlier this year, my neurologist pain specialist banned me from anything but mild walking exercise. My last siege migraine lasted a grueling four and a half months. Along with medication, and the inevitable laziness that gathers around forced inertia, I have experienced some un-fun weight gain.

People began sharing before-and-after photos of their faces on the steroid medication prednisone on Twitter Wednesday, in support of Ashley Judd, whose appearance was mocked on the platform.

On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) posted a video in support of her presidential campaign featuring Judd. The tweet went viral after actor Dean Cain, best known for his turn as Clark Kent/Superman in the 1990s, shared the video of Judd along with the comment, “I’m not exactly sure what to say here… I certainly have nothing positive to say, so I’ll be quiet.”

Though Cain did not specifically reference Judd’s appearance in his tweet, Twitter trolls attacked Judd and made fun of her appearance because her face looked “puffy” in the video.

In response, some Twitter users pointed out that women on social media often face bullying for what they look like. Others resurfaced a 2012 Daily Beast article where Judd pointed out how poorly women are treated online as well as explained that her puffy face — the cause of speculation in 2012 — was due to the medication prednisone.

“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,’” Judd wrote in 2012, adding:

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 hypersexualization 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.

Prednisone is a corticosteroid that’s most often used as an anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressant to provide symptom relief for people with cancer and many chronic illnesses, including Crohn’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. However, for all the relief it can provide, prednisone comes with some notorious side effects such as tremors, difficulty sleeping, fluid retention, weight gain and facial swelling, sometimes called “moon face.”

“I have very mixed feelings about prednisone. It is a wonder drug. But I hate having to take it,” Mighty contributor Rosie Koina wrote in an essay about the drug’s side effects.

In Judd’s defense, people with chronic illnesses shared photos of how their faces changed while taking prednisone. The photos also show how important it is to not jump to conclusions about facial and body changes — like the characteristic “moon face” of prednisone.”

The Mighty reached out to Ashley Judd for comment and has yet to hear back.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Donna Lou Morgan, U.S. Navy

Originally published: February 12, 2020
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home