Ashley Judd called critics of her appearance "misogynistic savages" following a stream of ugly social media messages after the actress appeared in a video for Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren.
Judd, 51, drew negative comments calling her face "puffy" and asking "how much work she's had done" after Warren's campaign posted a Twitter video of her making phone calls on Warren's behalf.
Judd became a trending topic on Twitter with people making fun of her appearance while others defended her.
"I've heard of plastic surgery, but this puffy-rubber surgery is a new one to me,'' one person wrote. "Yikes."
"Omg!! I didn’t even recognize her,'' another wrote. "Ashley, you were so naturally beautiful. You don’t need all that face work that was done."
"The people making comments about her appearance are disgusting,'' another countered.
"So many comments under this post are breathtakingly mean,'' another person wrote. "I hope Ms. Judd doesn't even read them."
Judd released a statement on Facebook Thursday in which she said she receives regular Botox injections to combat "siege migraines." Botox has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for chronic migraine headaches, according to the Mayo Clinic.
"These things are essential when I wake up & learn from caring friends that my appearance has been trending on Twitter,'' she wrote. "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)."
Judd wrote that she has been sick with migraines for more than a year and has sought regular treatments.
"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.)"
She added that her last migraine lasted for 4 1/2 months, which also caused her to experience "some un-fun weight gain." Judd noted that she has recently been cleared by her doctor to resume exercise.
"What I know is that misogynists on Twitter have been slaughtering me compared to my pre-weight gain idealized self,'' she wrote. "My conventionally thin, athletic, 'pretty' AcroYoga body, and more slender face, is merely the flip side of the same patriarchal coin.
"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 also encouraged other women not to be afraid to speak out against criticism of their appearance.
"Speak up anyway,'' she said. "The slings and arrows will come, but your voice and the body from which it comes is beautiful, courageous, powerful, and necessary."