Ashley Judd and the Case of the Sinus Steroids
Every once in a while, the world of Los Angeles sinus medicine and the world of celebrity overlap. Last week was just such a moment: a major national flap over the appearance of Ashley Judd’s face, one which inspired the star to respond to in a widely applauded public retort.
The story: Ashley Judd appeared in a red carpet photo with a subtly different appearance from usual. Commentators called her face “puffy,” and a number of fairly vile assumptions were drawn and amplified all over the Web. When it was revealed that Ms. Judd has been suffering from a rather severe sinus infection, and that she had been treated with several rounds of steroids, her critics were cowed. But Ms. Judd had a larger point to make, writing here in the Daily Beast:
I hope the sharing of my thoughts can generate a new conversation: Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place? How, and why, did people participate? If not in the conversation about me, in parallel ones about women in your sphere? What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about?
As a Los Angeles sinus surgeon, I can only speak confidently to one detail in this story: yes, corticosteroids may be indicated for a serious sinus infection, and yes, some swelling can occur.
As to the rest of the discussion – its politics and its wider implications – I can only say that I appreciate the opinions of Ms. Judd, and that I hope her fans will read the piece.