Since 2014, there has speculation about changes in Renee Zellweger’s appearance, ranging from the curious to the downright cruel. Whether or not Zellweger had elected to have plastic surgery, the fact that she was no longer a fresh faced ingenue seemed to offend people. Crazy how the aging process works! This came to a fever pitch with the release of the trailer for the upcoming film, Bridget Jones’s Baby, when an essay emerged speculating “is she a different actress if she is no longer recognizable?.” There was plenty of backlash, with many coming out to defend Zellweger and decry this kind of blatant sexism, but Zellweger did not publicly comment on the controversy. Until now.
On Friday, Zellweger penned an essay for The Huffington Post entitled “We Can Do Better.” In the post, Zellweger opens up about the conversation surrounding her changing appearance and the toll that it took.
“In October 2014, a tabloid-newspaper article reported that I’d likely had surgery to alter my eyes… Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I did not make a decision to alter my face and have surgery on my eyes. This fact is of no true import to anyone at all, but that the possibility alone was discussed among respected journalists and became a public conversation is a disconcerting illustration of news/entertainment confusion and society’s fixation on physicality.”
The entire post is worth a read (seriously, go read it), and Zellweger really brings it home with a direct response to the previously mentioned essay.
“I am not writing today because I have been publicly bullied or because the value of my work has been questioned by a critic whose ideal physical representation of a fictional character originated 16 years ago, over which he feels ownership, I no longer meet… I’m writing because to be fair to myself, I must make some claim on the truths of my life, and because witnessing the transmutation of tabloid fodder from speculation to truth is deeply troubling.”
Zellweger goes on the drag our cultures obsession with unrealistic body standards, and if you aren’t cheering in solidarity, it’s time to reevaluate your choices.
(Via The Huffington Post)