Ok – so can everyone who was all, “She’s on steroids!” and “She has Cushings!” please take all the seats now.
Ashley Judd has confirmed that yes, she has gained weight, and yes, she has had a bunch of botox injections, which explains why her face looks like it does now. She’s blaming her appearance on her “siege migraines” in an essay she wrote on her Facebook page.
You know I need to say things about it.
Healthy self-esteem. Good boundaries. Unshakable knowledge of self.
These things are essential when I wake up & learn from caring friends that my appearance has been trending on Twitter.
Let’s just pause right here because I need to get myself to a place where I’m not laughing out loud at the notion that she thinks it’s remotely believable that she found out from caring friends that her appearance has been trending.
Ashley Judd has on more than one occasion told the media that she “abstains” from reading comments about herself online. That might be believable if in fact she didn’t often retweet and/or respond on IG/Facebook to compliments she receives. She also recently responded to someone on her IG who asked if her face had been stung by bees. OF COURSE she reads about herself online. OF COURSE she knew she’d been trending on Twitter. Anyone ON Twitter, which of course she is, knew she was trending on Twitter. Anyone who knows how to use Twitter, which of course she does, knows when their mentions get flooded. It’s impossible to ONLY SEE THE GOOD STUFF.
Anyway. Let’s continue.
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).
Ok. I guess we’re gonna make this a woman thing, and not a just a thing where people notice a DRASTIC APPEARANCE CHANGE in a person, irrespective of their gender. Hey – y’all remember when Mickey Rourke’s appearance drastically changed? Or Val Kilmer’s? Because it happens to ANYONE whose appearance drastically changes. Do women get comments more often about their appearance? Probably. But is it “woman bashing?” Well, if you’re Ashley Judd and you’re a rabid feminist – pretty much everything is.
I find it a gendered way to distract from my political speech: the hate happened in response to a video in support of the Presidential candidate of my choice.
A “gendered way to distract from my political speech,” she says. Because everything is gendered.
What I know is that I have been sick with siege migraines for over a year, and that migraine affects one in four households in the US. It’s the third most common disease in the world. We all either have them or know someone who does. 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. 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.)
What’s to distort? Apparently, you get 31 injections of botox into your head for migraines every twelve weeks, which has obviously done a number on your face. There’s nothing to distort. “Siege migraines” aren’t even a thing. Migraines? Absolutely – they’re a thing – and a thing I’ve watched Daisy suffer from for years. If you google “siege migraines” you’ll find nothing from any medical organization or journal – you’ll find that it’s simply a term Ashley Judd basically made up, because everything Ashley Judd experiences is far more intense and profound than what the common people experience. You might have migraines, peasants, but you aren’t SIEGED by them like Ashley.
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.
Just recently, my doctor gave me medical clearance to return to exercise. It has been joyful to resume running, yoga, and vigorous hiking, and I am already benefiting from everything that comes with movement. I’ve made a date with my favorite half-marathon in early June.
Ok. So she’s gained weight and she’s had botox. It doesn’t really matter that it was botox for migraines – it was botox. So now we know, and all of the ridiculous people who were getting #prednisone trending on twitter and insisting that she was on it can stop now. It was weight gain and botox.
What I know is that misogynists on Twitter have been slaughtering me compared to my pre-weight gain idealized self. My conventionally thin, athletic, “pretty” AcroYoga body, and more slender face, is merely the flip side of the same patriarchal coin.
EVERYTHING THAT ANYONE SAYS ABOUT ME EVER IS THE PATRIARCHY, in other words. Because let’s not forget this:
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.
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.
Oooo – Ashley’s so good at wokeness! She’s gotta make sure to get intersectional on our collective assular areas.
My self-worth and value are neither based on being built up nor on being torn down. Both moves are equally capricious. 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.
Can we just pause another moment and laugh at the fact that the way she wrote that sentence was to say she wishes we’ll all still get beaten up if we speak up?
I mean, there are currently like a zillion people on social media being blown away by Ashley’s wise words and amazing writing, and I’m over here laughing at all of them because she basically just wished we’d all get beaten up. Granted, in the next sentence she clarifies, but STILL. PERIODS MEAN THE END OF A THOUGHT.
She went on:
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.
For me, exercise and wellness are about freedom, vitality, and choice. Just as being of service to others, and participating in incredible adventures like keeping up with the bonobos in the rain forest of the Congo, and traveling the world with organizations that work to help women and girls thrive — who are fighting against gender and sexual-based violence. Not about pursuing ideals so that others may approve of me.
Conversations about our female bodies will continue to roar — both about us and outside of us. What I know for sure is that my peace is on the inside, in spite of the patriarchy and all who participate in it, male and female.
And to those for whom this is obvious and redundant, thank you.
I feel you.
Listen – I know those of you who are new to this site are all, “OMG YOU ARE SO MEAN! ASHLEY JUDD IS SO EMPOWERED AND WISE AND AMAZING AND AWESOME OMG!” but that’s because you probably aren’t familiar with my history with her, and all of the reasons that I loathe her with the fury of a billion suns.
You’re welcome to peruse this site for some of that history.
She’s saying some lovely things about peace being on the inside, and not letting others’ opinions of you get you down. That’s all great. And she’s right! Daisy and I laugh off all the negative crap we get thrown our way, and love ourselves to pieces regardless, because the opinions of trolls don’t matter.
But we’re not gonna jump on the WOE IS ME OMG THE PATRIARCHY SUCKS train, because it’s absurd and ridiculous and tired and overplayed.
She gained weight and got botox. Just as we all suspected. The end.