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Your Puffy-Face Moments, Inspired by Ashley Judd

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In a powerful piece on The Daily Beast on Monday, actress Ashley Judd took on those who had been speculating about her “puffy” appearance, which she said really amounted to a misogynistic attack on women in general. Her essay went viral and even spawned a segment on NBC’s Nightly News. where she asked people to share their moments of being “excoriated” and “objectified.” Her invitation prompted a broad, healthy discourse on the issues she had raised.  Readers submitted their own puffy-face moments over email, Facebook. Tumblr. and in the comments right here on The Daily Beast. Below, we present reader submissions of their own puffy-face moments, in their own words.

Quite like Ashley, I was on steroids, however, I was on them for an extended period of time. I was diagnosed with vasculitis (the swelling/constriction of veins) back in 2008, and was taking steroids constantly for over 3 years. I have finally been weaned off of them.

Having vasculitis was bad enough. The swelling made it hard to walk, since it was concentrated in my lower legs, and every step sent jolts of pain up my legs. I was then told that steroids would help relieve the swelling and

began to take them. My rheumatologist started me off at 40mg daily, and yes, it relieved the swelling!  However, the side effects were rather nasty.

It has been 6 months after I last took steroids, and I have been slowly but surely losing the weight I gained because of the steroids, including the puffy face and the double chin.

I have always been full figured, but have managed to avoid extremely puffy cheeks and a double chin until steroids, and let me tell you: I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. However, your physical health needs to trump the social pressure of size 2 perfection, as it did with Ashley and myself. My vasculitis is in remission, thanks to the help of my medication, and I wouldn’t trade lack of a puffy face for excruciating leg pain any day of the week.

We are perfect the way we are. If someone gains a puffy face because of a dose of antibiotics, that’s nothing to be smeared about! The fact that Ashley was trodden upon because of this is a horrible sign of the times. We need to move past physical appearance and misogynist visions of the perfect woman.

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