When US senator and aspiring President Elizabeth Warren shared a video of supporter Ashley Judd on the campaign trail, the actress's name began trending on Twitter — but it had nothing to do with her politics.
While people started critiquing Judd's physical appearance, soon those on both sides of the aisle turned the hashtag into something positive.
On Wednesday, the Daily Beast repurposed an op-ed written by Judd in 2012, after she faced similar criticism for a "puffy" face.
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.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 11, 2020
Chip in $3 tonight, and Ashley could call you to say thanks! https://t.co/qOzNnVvmg4 pic.twitter.com/2SJOEAGKCp
"The recent speculation and accusations... feel different," Judd wrote at the time. "Consequently, I choose to address it because 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 Double Jeopardy star, 51, continued, "The assault on our body image, the hypersexualisation 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. ... That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate."
In the op-ed, Judd — who abstains from reading all press about her — revealed she was on "multiple rounds of steroids" during the 2012 appearance social media obsessed over.
On Wednesday, the steroid "Prednisone" trended in the US with both men and women sharing their stories and defending Judd.
"Ashley I’m no fan of @ewarren or the Democrat party but I just want you to know you’re beautiful," one person commented. "My son is on prednisone for autoimmune hepatitis and he had the same side effects. It’s temporary and those saying negative things are complete scum. #prednisone #ashleyjudd"
"So, disappointingly, #Prednisone is trending b/c people are making s****y comments about Ashley Judd's appearance. I know that prednisone can certainly cause swelling but I honestly don't even see it on Ashley Judd. Her face looks better than mine on my best day, by far," one woman wrote.
"Everybody mocking Ashley Judd right now is ableist trash... People like you are the reason why everyone felt comfortable bullying me as a disabled kid who regularly took #prednisone to keep my chronic illness at bay," another person added.
"I saw that #prednisone was trending and I stand with Ashley Judd," one man tweeted. "I'm on 60 tablets a day, for my kidney disease and the side effects are so awful. while my face hasn't swollen up..yet, I'm angry, anxious and sad all the time and I've got a horrible rash."
Hundreds of people shared photos of themselves on and off Prednisone along with inspiring stories.
For what it's worth, actor Dean Cain denied taking a swipe at Judd for the below tweet — which is what helped get the actress's name trending in the first place.
I’m not exactly sure what to say here... I certainly have nothing positive to say, so I’ll be quiet. https://t.co/Ee02CQNThz— Dean Cain (@RealDeanCain) February 12, 2020
After he was called out, Cain tweeted, "I said nothing about her looks. My problem is she supports the policies of Elizabeth Warren—but you just keep going on, making up stories..."
While Judd hasn't weighed in, it's pretty clear where she stands. Her pinned tweet is a link to her Ted Talk about how the online abuse of women has gotten out of control.