Ashley Judd is firing back at “misogynistic savages of both sexes” after people commented on her looks and weight gain in a video in which she helped campaign for 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren.
In the campaign video she is seen calling donors to thank them for their support of the candidate. Unfortunately for her, many people’s main takeaway was not about her political message or Warren’s candidacy, but rather her appearance.
The 51-year-old actress penned a lengthy note to Facebook in response to what she called “a gendered way to distract from my political speech.”
“These things are essential when I wake up & learn from caring friends that my appearance has been trending on Twitter,” she began. “The misogynistic savages of both sexes have come out, as have plenty of folks who empathize and see it for what it is (woman bashing).”
Although her main message was for people to focus less on her looks and more on her message, Judd went on to provide an explanation for her appearance in the Warren video. The star noted that she’s suffered from siege migraines for more than a year. She confessed that the last siege migraine she suffered lasted for four-and-a-half months. As a result, her doctor told her to take a break from any exercise other than “mild walking” until very recently. She also noted that the change in her face is, in fact, due to botox.
“Have I had botox? It is a standard treatment for the ailment that I experience,” she wrote. “My union insurance pays for thirty-one injections every twelve weeks. (Some friends suggested that I not post this medical fact, because it can be excerpted and used against me, but I think it’s honest and real and is a public health message. Shame on anyone who distorts my words.)”
The actress concluded her post by noting that people commenting on her looks doesn’t bother her, but notes that it speaks to a larger issue with how women are treated when they speak up publicly.
“Those of you who are talking about my female appearance, making assessments about my worth and desirability are basing your opinions on wholly gendered norms. The good news for my empowered self is I don’t take compliments any more seriously than I do slurs,” she wrote. “I also know that as a cis white woman, the hate I get is pretty generic compared to women of color, to my friends in the LGBTQIA+ communities, and those of diverse lived experiences.”
Judd added: “My earnest wish for all of us – because I know my experience is far from unique – is that when women speak up, we still get beaten up. Speak up anyway. The slings and arrows will come, but your voice and the body from which it comes is beautiful, courageous, powerful, and necessary.”