Why I’m Angry On Behalf Of Renee Zellweger


Earlier this week, the internet spontaneously combusted when new photos were released of Renee Zellweger looking different to how we are used to seeing her.

I personally don’t see what the big deal is. Firstly, what Ms Zellweger does to herself, whether it’s plastic surgery or getting a complete tattoo sleeve containing the lyrics of ‘Nothing Else Matters’, is none of our damn business. Nope. That’s is. It’s none of our business.

We don’t own her. We don’t own her face. We don’t own her likeness. Renee Zellweger is for Renee only. That’s it.

What’s really angered me is that most of the comments are along the lines of “If anyone feels that they want plastic surgery that’s fine, I won’t judge them. But …” Bullshit. We all know what comes after the “But” right?

“I’m not a racist, but …”

“I’m not a sexist, but …”

“If anyone feels that they want to have plastic surgery, that’s fine, I won’t judge them. But oh my goodness, I’m going to miss her old face! She looks so different!”

No. It is not acceptable for you to in one breath say you support her decision for plastic surgery if that’s what she really wants, and then in the next breath, say how different she looks, and how sad you are because she doesn’t look how she did 10 years ago.

Just like it is not acceptable for you to say in one breath that a woman has a right to choose whether or not she’ll breast feed her child, and then in the next breath, staunchly push your agenda because you did it a certain way.

We all have people in our lives that tell us something supportive, and then follow it up with a stab in the back. This is what I hear quite regularly.

“You look lovely today! But if you lost a couple of kilos that skirt would fit so much better.”

“You have such a pretty face! But you look so much better with makeup on!”

We need to be supportive of one another. FULL STOP.

“A woman has a right to choose whether or not she breast feeds her child.” FULL STOP.

“A woman has the right to an abortion.” FULL STOP.

“People have the right to plastic surgery if that’s what they want.” FULL STOP.

Please stop trying to hide your judgements behind concern, and certainly stop trying to hide your judgements behind faux support. It would have taken courage on Ms Zellweger’s part to go out that night, as she would have been well aware of how people would react and she responded to their comments beautifully.

We live in a world where everyone should be treated equal, and should not be treated unfairly based on race, religion, sexual preference, or gender. We need to be teaching the younger generations that differences are not a hindrance, but something to be celebrated. This certainly can’t happen when the world flips out because of a choice one person makes.

Did the public backlash over Renee’s new look annoy you? Did you think people’s comments were justified?

  • Melissa Savage

    I haven’t actually commented on this until now, because a) none of my business (much like Mrs Clooney last week) and b) everyone is talking about her ‘choice’, and no-one is talking about the broader structural issues at play (much like Mrs Clooney last week).

    Why the heck is a good looking and talented 40-something actor not had a role in 5 years while men the same age are hitting the peaks of their careers? Think about her male contemporary Ben Affleck who has gained a little weight and gone a little grey and is clearing a shelf for all his Oscars (and playing a gritty Batman FFS). Or Mr Clooney himself. If people were willing to put money into movies that told women’s stories, instead of casting women as love interests and eye candy, there’d be plenty of opportunity for actresses past the age of 35.

    • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

      I think in her statement she mentions that she chose to stop acting and has been producing instead…

      But You are correct about many female actors disappearing in the their 30s and 40s…

      • Melissa Savage

        But why did she’choose’ to stop acting? Because there was so little on offer.

        • Monique Fischle

          I completely agree with your comments about how it’s so much harder for older women than men to find good (or any) roles in Hollywood. But I think part of why Renee stopped acting and stepped out of the spotlight was after her marriage ended after 5 months and she didn’t want to be in the public eye. It doesn’t excuse the wider issue, but I think that’s part of it (it’s what I’ve gathered from interviews).

        • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

          She said she chose to stop acting because it didn’t make her happy and was causing her to live an unhealthy lifestyle

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      This is why I’m such a big fan of the Marvel universe. Ming-Na Wen is 50, and plays the most kick arse character I’ve ever seen. All the right hand men are women.

      But there is still such a long way to go.

      • Melissa Savage

        Ming-Na Wen is the absolute best, and I love the way she is a mentor to the younger members of the team and a trusted peer to Coulson. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Avengers had a 50-something actress playing Wasp as a mentor to the group? Or late-30s Capt. Carol Danvers doing military liaison? A 40-something Jennifer Waters as legal counsel?

  • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

    For me, the startling difference is her eyes. And I don’t mean that they are a different shape – look how sad those young eyes are! And I thought that before she said what she did. She looks happy now.

    I don’t really care what people do to their faces. If anything at all.

  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    I am someone who loves actors and loves watching great actoring…

    One of the things I love about great actoring is watching the faces of great actors… I could look at some actor’s faces forever.

    Zellweger’s face was a face I used to love watching – I’ll never see that face in a movie again, and I’m going to miss it… I think that’s why so many people reacted so emotionally to those pictures this week…

    Having said that, I agree with everything you’ve said in this post – Everyone should be free to do whatever they want with their appearance – but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a new actor’s face named Renee Zellweger now – and I hope I get to see her in many great performances – but I’m not going to pretend I won’t miss that other face that was once the actor Renee Zellweger… I’ll never see that face act again.

  • http://livingmyimperfectlife.com/ Sanch Living Life

    There were some articles on the whole topic that annoyed me but at the same time, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t judge her. My judgement though came from a mental health background — when someone changes so drastically, I wonder what kind of mental illness they are struggling with. Body Dysmorphic Disorder did come to my mind and it saddens me because there will be other girls looking up to her and contemplating undergoing dramatic changes too. When you say “. We need to be teaching the younger generations that differences are not a hinderance, but something to be celebrated.” in your post, I can’t help but wonder whether her changes are actually showing that you need to fit in…that you can’t be different. That you have to being a certain shape/size to be accepted. Ergo, differences are in fact a hinderance.

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      There is a big difference between those concerned because of aesthetic reasons, and those concerned because of mental health reasons. Most comments are coming from the point of how difference her face is and how upsetting that is, and not the reason behind it.

      Mental health is such a big issue that needs to be addressed. There are some whose mental states are unstable because of other people, and not because of something out of their control.

      But Renee has come out and said she’s happy. That she’s happy that people are noticing a difference because her life is different now, and she’s relaxed and happy. Considering the industry she’s in, she’s done remarkably well to know when to step back and look after herself.

      If however the change was due to pressure from others, shame on them. We really need to look at the way we interact with others. We need to get to a point where changes are celebrated, and that anyone who tries to make changes a hinderance should be put in their place.

  • Sally

    I’m not going to be the most popular person today. But I hate cosmetic surgery. With a passion. (Note I said cosmetic – not plastic, which encompasses things such as microsurgery, reconstructions after injury, scarring, etc.)

    Personally, I feel sad that a woman who was so perfectly imperfect has radically changed the way she looks.

    I looked at the recent pics and she could be any other Hollywood celebrity. She has lost the uniqueness that I loved about her. Now she’s got the wide eyes and orange skin that everyone else in the industry has. I’m sad that she may have felt pressure to look a certain way. As women, we are always being told to look a certain way: Get a bikini wax! Get a tan! Shave those armpits! Get that manicure! Where that make-up! Lose those last few kilos!

    I guess to me, Renee is just another victim of societal pressures to conform or risk being labelled old, ugly, fat, disgusting, unhealthy, weird, abnormal, etc. We are all subtly being bombarded with the message that being different is a bad thing – otherwise tabloid magazines’ biggest selling issue of the year wouldn’t be the Stars Without Makeup issue where we can all comfortably, in the privacy of our own homes, look at celebrities being normal and go, “Ew, gross!”

  • A Blog Called Henry

    That particular shot, she does look very different. But I have seen other images from the same night, and she looks like Renee Zellwegger…but 25 years older. Seriously. She has lines in her forehead, around her eyes. Her face is longer, less round and her make up is different (heavier eyes and paler lips than she ever would have worn 15-20 years ago). I think she had work done a while ago, but this isn’t a porcelain-perfect actress with fillers and what-not. This is also a woman who is now in her late 40’s and not 20 anymore. I am not so quick to jump on the ‘omg, she’s had WORK done’ bandwagon. A lot of my friends (in their mid to late 30’s) are on the botox train big time at the moment and I notice that their skin is super, super smooth. Except for the bridge of their noses – when they speak they get all their wrinkles there. It looks weird. Another friend (in her 50’s) has had a face lift and she looks completely different because her skin is so tight and taut and her eyes slant up now.
    Anyway, I find it interesting to watch and it seems like a slippery slope and I am glad that I don’t give a shit because I would rather take an overseas holiday than spend money on my face. You know, I live in a regional area too…why, oh why?! So, my summary is, (in my non-expert opinion) I don’t think she’s had as much work as everyone is banging on about.