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What’s Wrong With Renee Zellweger

My Facebook feed combusted yesterday, a feeding frenzy of cat-calls and judgment.

Over a photo. At a Hollywood event.

Renee Zellweger walked the red carpet looking………..different.

I had some time on the train, so I scrolled through article after article about Renee Zellweger’s face. People (mostly women) bemoaning changes they couldn’t quite define. Doctors (who haven’t treated her) speculating about possible ‘work.’ Pictures (side by side) of Zellweger ten-to-fifteen years ago and today, at age forty-five.

A few people even called her “the next Jennifer Grey.”

I read through the feeding frenzy and almost puked.

Because it doesn’t matterย whether Zellweger’s had anything done to her face. If she’s happy, who cares? Why do we continue to propagate the sexist, demeaning notions that women aren’t supposed to age, only to shame them when they (possibly/maybe) do something about it?

I see what’s happened to my own forty-five-year-old face in the past decade. Without any assistance, I know what I’m going to look like.

me one day

A bulldog. I’m going to look like a bulldog.

And, without outside assistance, almost every woman in Hollywood would look like a bulldog variation eventually. If those women did nothing, a whole sector of the internet would erupt with glee over how badly they were aging. But if those women do something, that same sector (and again, can I say HOW MANY WOMEN PARTICIPATE??) shames them for doing anything.

Renee Zellweger’s face is nobody’s business but hers. For the record, I think she looks great, but it doesn’t really matter what I think. She’s happy. She’s said so.

Will we ever get to a place where a woman is beautiful simply because she’s a woman?

67 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well said.

    October 22, 2014
  2. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. There is definitely an unattainable standard for women. If we don’t do something to look young, there is the threat of being thrown away for a young woman. Women have given men way too much power over us and our bodies.

    October 22, 2014
    • But so many women participate in this, too. Many of the articles I read and the posts I saw were written and propagated by women. It’s almost like Mean Girls never grow up.

      October 22, 2014
  3. Amen, sister. Well said.

    October 22, 2014
    • I wanted to say so much more and tried to type this out last night, but I was just too worn out.

      October 22, 2014
  4. Kir Piccini #

    Amen Andra..AMEN. I don’t know when her face became our business but I am not floating in the fodder.

    October 22, 2014
  5. Bravo, beautiful Andra, taking the vibe from the inside out! RZ can do whatever she chooses, and, yes, I think the after looks natural and OK … oops, it doesn’t matter what I think, and that’s the whole point, anyway.

    October 22, 2014
  6. Well said, and I love the image of the future you. I wish we could see the beauty that comes with age, and that every line and every pound tells a story.

    October 22, 2014
    • I don’t love the image. Ha. I really am going to look like a bulldog.

      October 22, 2014
  7. Pop culture is not in my wheelhouse. That is to say: it’s not my cup o’ meat; not on my radar, not something I would take home to meet mom. It is venal and banal. Celebrity fascinates. Judgement is purt-near unavoidable. See? I’m judging pop culture right now. I judge it to be shallow and misguided.

    But honestly, any opportunity to study Ms Zellweger’s face is okay with me. She is a lovely human being.

    October 22, 2014
  8. Unlike Narble, pop culture is 100% in my wheelhouse ๐Ÿ™‚ so I can’t bite my tongue on this one. Stand by for a passionate Nancy Rant. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Renee Zellweger is certainly not an anomaly in Hollywood (or anywhere else, for that matter) by having work done. The issue that everyone is pouncing on is that there is a difference between having work done for general maintenance/upkeep (see shining examples of EXCELLENT and unrecognizable work on women like Demi Moore and Sharon Stone) and having work done that overhauls your features such that you no longer resemble your pre-surgery self (see Meg Ryan, Jennifer Grey and now Renee Z…).

    The further argument is that the changes Jennifer Grey (and Renee Z) made were ones that made them more generic (i.e. that standard nose, those standard eyes, lips, etc.) Some call it the Hollywood face; that face where you can’t recall the name of the actress because they are almost interchangeable.

    With all that said though, it’s HER face. She can do whatever the hell she wants with it.

    One of my favourite quotes of all time is from Cher. She was being interviewed, and was asked about the extensive work she has had done. Her response, “If I want to put my tits on my back, it’s none of your fucking business.” Brava, Cher. Brava.

    October 22, 2014
    • I’ve always loved that Cher quote, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I don’t know that anyone starts down this road intent to look dramatically different. (Except Jennifer Grey. She wanted her nose changed, because it bothered her, and she’s lovely either way to me.)

      I suspect much rides on genetics and the skill of the person doing the work. It may also be that the absolute outcome of these procedures is somewhat unpredictable, given said genetics. Really, I think a lot of this shaming comes from women who are either too young to understand what’s inevitable or cannot afford to deal with their own issues.

      I think my mother is one of the most beautiful women I know……..and if my dad dies before she does, she’ll be at the young-face-place getting everything under the sun done. She doesn’t need any of it, but it’ll make her happy not to see bags under her eyes and a wobbly chin. I understand all that, now that I’m starting to have the same issues. ๐Ÿ™‚

      October 22, 2014
      • Everyone needs to do what feels good for them! I’m hoping I never feel the burning desire to do injectibles or go under the knife, but I know better than to say I would never.

        October 22, 2014
  9. It’s sad that women are usually a target. Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp are older that Renee. But you don’t see shaming articles about their aging process. When is this going to stop????

    October 22, 2014
  10. jsteven3 #

    I have known for years what I would look like as I aged- I am the spitting image of my mother! These bags under my eyes and my chins I despise but, I can’t afford to fight heredity.

    October 22, 2014
    • I think you look great, Jill, and I’ve known you for twenty years.

      October 22, 2014
  11. tarakianwarrior #

    She WAS happy until she walked the red carpet and then got called on the carpet for simply aging. Sucks man! And you’re exactly right – we woman need to lift one another up, not drag each other down. It made me sad…not because I thought she’d done anything to her face, but by all the uproar. If she were a weaker woman…she wouldn’t be coming out of her house for a very long time.

    October 22, 2014
    • I was glad she addressed it head-on. She’s happy. She’s healthy. She’s in a much better place than she was a decade ago. She feels good about herself. And all those things are what’s important.

      October 22, 2014
  12. You’ve hit the nail on the head by noting that women (especially in the media) are chided if they age OR if they have work done. It’s a lose/lose situation. The only thing I will say is that men are catching in terms of their far reaching efforts to stay youthful looking (Bruce Jenner?)–not that it makes it any better, just slightly less sexist. Very slightly.

    October 22, 2014
    • I know there are sites that show before and after plastic surgery pictures, but I haven’t spent any time on them. I’ll bet most of those are women, though.

      October 22, 2014
  13. The whole thing is icky. Can’t we just either enjoy or ignore her performances, depending on our preference, as that is the part of herself that is any of our business?

    October 22, 2014
    • I’ve enjoyed some and ignored others. ๐Ÿ™‚ And you’re right. That’s really the only thing that merits commentary.

      October 22, 2014
  14. Couldn’t agree with you more.!! Frances McDormand, of “Fargo” fame makes some really great points about ageing in a recent NYTimes article. I’ve included the link –
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/arts/frances-mcdormand-true-to-herself-in-hbos-olive-kitteridge.html

    October 22, 2014
    • Okay. I just have to say that I detested that book. I couldn’t finish it.

      And I have a problem with Frances’ being sick about her “friends'” getting work done. It’s none of her freaking business what anyone else decides to do. I respect her decision not to, and I think she’s an amazing talent.

      October 22, 2014
      • Didn’t read the book. Not sure if I’ll see the movie.

        I agree with you about her freaking out about her friends getting work done. Everyone is entitled to their own life choices. I appreciated her take on people being afraid to age.! And yes she is an amazing talent ๐Ÿ™‚

        October 22, 2014
  15. Well said, I was thinking the same myself, The media (with the help of people.) paint women into the corner, it’s a no win situation. Look older get negative comments. Try not to look older, get negative comments. As you said as long as she is happy.

    October 22, 2014
  16. Rebecca Davidson (author of the article on Renee) has a long list of articles critical of women using mostly “good girl’ stereotypes with which to compare her subjects. I would say women do not need a friend like her.

    October 22, 2014
  17. “Why do we continue to propagate the sexist, demeaning notions that women arenโ€™t supposed to age, only to shame them when they (possibly/maybe) do something about it?”—Hear, hear.

    October 22, 2014
  18. This is telling, (1) as to how much attention I pay to the “rich and famous” — I read exactly NONE of the referenced blather; (2) as to how extremely sad it is that so many focus on the outer shell, instead of the inner being; and (3) that something so unimportant gets any attention, compared to what’s truly important in this world!!

    Personally, I’ll be content to stay relatively healthy and happy, and let whatever will be, be — I always thought I’d look more and more like my Mom as I aged, but as time passes, I think I look more and more like my Dad’s Mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

    There’s an interesting study here: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/ana-oliveira-identities

    October 22, 2014
    • I think I’m going to look more like Dad’s mom, too. Eeeeee gads. ๐Ÿ™‚

      October 22, 2014
  19. Well, I may have gone to spam again ? ? ?

    October 22, 2014
  20. I think the commotion is more because she looks fairly different. Not better or worse — just different. Her eyes are wider, puffy cheeks are gone. It’s really up to her, and in 5 years no one will care. I have thought about getting a face tuck here or there or under the eyes, but I realize I’ll still look like me. And, unfortunately, I can’t afford the repair job. So with me (for better or worse) what you see is what you get. Unless it’s first thing in the morning…

    October 22, 2014
    • I’m not buying the ‘she looks different’ argument for all this shaming. It depends on the camera angle. And lighting. And however they’ve manipulated the picture.

      October 22, 2014
  21. “Will we ever get to a place where a woman is beautiful simply because sheโ€™s a woman?”
    I have no idea who Renee Zellweger is and I’m not sure how to answer your question, especially since it looks as though the answer is more ‘no’ than ‘yes’. And that’s probably because as long as there are women who can get face lifts, cheek lifts, eye lifts, lip tucks (the list goes on), then the skinnier, prettier, smoother-skin, much improved but fighting-natural-aging woman seems to be the embraced standard – irregardless of what’s in her heart, mind or soul. Unfortunate but I think there’s hope as many more women are speaking out. Change will come!

    October 22, 2014
    • I think there are many definitions of beauty. Perfection isn’t the only one.

      October 22, 2014
  22. I’m not certain I can articulate what I want to here but this, to me, is a continuation of the Jennifer Lawrence sexual assault. In that case, the most disgusting comments I read came from men, but the nastiest, most judgmental and downright awful comments all came from women. It seems if you are a female who dares put herself out in public (see Sen. Gillibrand’s book about the things said to her by other Senators) you are judged to be a target, uppity, a bitch, slut, or ho and generally someone who must be taken down a peg and it wouldn’t/couldn’t happen if women didn’t participate and in some cases lead the charge.
    I could go off on a long political rant here (but I won”t) except to say that outside of mental illness from which RG and JL clearly do not suffer, what anyone chooses (not is forced but chooses) to do with their own body is their damn right and no one else has a voice or should make a comment.

    October 22, 2014
    • This is why many of my closest friends are men (and women who aren’t mean girls.) Women are so SO SO unfair to other women. If we could shame these women into a corner, we could accomplish so much good.

      October 22, 2014
  23. I go out of my way to avoid celebrity “news”, as it’s NOT news at all. Kim Kardashian gets hit by a bus driven by Gilbert Gottfried? I won’t know unless someone tells me and I won’t care because I have other stuff to worry about.

    Oh, and your combo fake photoshoppe work made me shoot water out of my nose when I scrolled down. My week needed that. A bulldog. Yaaaah-ha-ha… wow.

    October 22, 2014
    • I don’t know how to use photoshop. OBVIOUSLY. ๐Ÿ™‚

      October 22, 2014
  24. Kathy Waller #

    Wars, genocide, Ebola, global warming, and Renee Zellweger’s face.

    October 22, 2014
  25. She does look like a different person. I guess everyone talking about her is the price she pays for being a public figure. I’ll have to dig up pictures of me from 15 years ago and put them side by side with current pictures. I know I won’t like what I see either! I wish I was 33 again (physically), but mentally I’m glad to be right where I am now.

    October 22, 2014
    • I was happiest with my face when I was 38. I started to drag out those photos and make those comparisons here, but………..why feed the machine?

      October 22, 2014
  26. aqilaqamar #

    I don’t care what she has done but she looks very different man I think two of them as different people. I just think I can’t recognize her. And I like women and men aging but we do recognize all the actors who have aged and it’s natural but I don’t know why but REnee is looking like another person. I wonder if that was her wish though. I don’t know.

    October 22, 2014
    • I think she looks great. And she’s happy. And the rest doesn’t matter.

      October 22, 2014
      • aqilaqamar #

        We don’t know if she is happy yet but I do agree that people should lay off on her case. If she isn’t like what she was years ago that’s no reason to make her feel like crap. The best thing about being human is aging. You and I are not our prepubescent selves and we should be Thankful for that too, no ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also there is a delicacy, an intricacy about aging into even 70s that you won’t find when you are 17 so Thank God for aging. Yes, I found her looking so different but I haven’t all all rejected her as an actress because as a person I don’t know her and frankly I don’t have the right to reject her based on that. If she acts as great as she did why bother. I think people are disappointed because her lips like Julai Roberts’ one were considered “signature” of how they related to her. I think they are failing to understand that maybe she didn’t want them anymore like that; it could have been a legitimate problem for her. We don’t know if she was sick or not and if she also wanted a makeover well many people do so others should not judge her solely on looks.

        October 22, 2014
  27. it was crazy, all the frenzy, and i remember when people used to be really mean about how she looked before – let people make their own choice, who cares?

    October 22, 2014
    • Haven’t checked the frenzy lately, but I hope people have moved on to something else.

      October 22, 2014
      • Big article in USA Today today. So maybe not.

        October 23, 2014
  28. Yes, but a damn cute bulldog!

    October 23, 2014
  29. This is a beautiful post! By the way…I can identify with the bulldog comment….I laughed so hard. Thank you!
    Ana

    October 23, 2014
  30. Shawn showed me the photo last night, and then I read her response… which is all that I allowed myself to see/read/ about it. You’re 100% right on. And, all I can say is that at least there are voices speaking up about this. It won’t make it stop necessarily, but it will become less tolerated.

    October 23, 2014
    • Also, I forgot to add the laughter that I experienced in the middle of the post.

      October 23, 2014
  31. Lance #

    I felt bad for her and women, in general. My 44-year-old body is falling apart despite constantly upkeep with working out and diet. I don’t want to know what people say about me on the Facebook when pictures are posted.

    October 23, 2014
  32. John Coleman #

    In “The Green Mile” John Coffey says he’s tired of people “being ugly to each other.” He wasn’t talking about appearance, of course. I agree with him–and you, Andra. Peace, John

    October 24, 2014
  33. Occasionally I am caught off-guard when i pass a mirror and see my older reflection, but I never expected to hold onto youth, so the let-down isn’t tragic. I can only imagine what it is like for women who rely on their appearance for their work. When I read about Renee Zellweger this week I realized that I hadn’t heard or seen of her in quite some time. Maybe now we know why–and I thought both the younger and the “newer” appearances were equally beautiful. Whatever she wants to doโ€ฆI couldn’t agree more about all the tongue-wagging. I hope she just gets out there and begins to work again! She’s a tremendous talent.

    October 26, 2014
  34. OMG, that split picture of the “future you” made me crack up! Thanks for making me laugh. You are so right about judgements and useless criticism about people! Enough is enough.

    October 27, 2014
  35. Andra, this is one of the most frustrating things about being a woman, the idea one’s value is determined by appearances. It’s unbelievably demeaning. Here’s some commentary I did on the subject a while ago.
    http://joannevalentinesimson.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/on-being-a-woman-valued-part-2/

    October 28, 2014

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