Last week I was scrolling through a news site on my computer when a story caught my eye. It wasn’t news about Ebola or the bombing of ISIS in Iraq. It was a celebrity story about actress Rene Zellweger. Rene Zellweger is an academy award-winning actress best known for her work in the films Bridget Jones Diary and Jerry Maguire. She has always been considered a talented actress and one of Hollywood’s beautiful leading ladies.
For the last few years Rene has not been in the spotlight or in any feature films. No one knows for sure why, but many suspect she needed a break from the pressure of Hollywood and fame. Recently, Rene made a rare public appearance during a social event. At the event she looked different. She looked so different that some speculated she had plastic surgery to alter her looks.
I came across an article featured on The Atlantic titled, “Questions for Rene Zellweger“, by Megan Garber. In the article Ms. Garber lists several questions she has for Rene. She wonders about Rene’s appearance and why she looks different. The article was supposed to emphasize Ms. Garber’s concern for Rene, as she is obviously a fan of hers, however her personal questions came off intrusive and judgmental.
Years ago I was one of those people who would have judged others for having age reversal procedures done such as Botox and plastic surgery. I told myself I would only grow old the natural way and would never resort to doing things that would alter my appearance. However, that was when I was younger.
Aging is not an easy process to go through. We are all grateful for the gift of growing older, but it is still hard to accept how much our bodies change over time. It must be even more difficult for people who live their lives in the public eye who are expected to look a certain way. I don’t know Rene Zellweger , nor do I know if she has recently had some sort of plastic surgery to alter her looks, but I would totally get it if she did.
I have heavy-lidded, small almond-shaped eyes like Rene. I have contemplated many times having surgery to remove some of the skin on my upper lids. Having surgery would not only make me look younger, but would allow my eyes to seem more open and alert especially in photos.
The reason I will not have the surgery isn’t because I think I should age naturally, but frankly because I don’t think I could go through the public scrutiny of having surgery and dealing with other people’s judgment for doing so. Changing the shape of my eyes would make me look very different. Knowing people were analyzing my reasons for the surgery would be too uncomfortable. So as a result my eyes will stay the same.
Imagine going to a social function and having your face being analyzed by millions of people instead of hearing that people are glad you’re back to making movies. Plastic surgery has a place in our society and so do all the products designed to make us look more attractive and younger.
I know several women who have had plastic surgery everything from a brow lift, eye lid lift, breast reduction, breast enhancement, chemical peel, nose job, and full face lift. Do I think less of them for having surgery? No. Each person made a decision that felt right for them. Do I wish we lived in a society that didn’t make women feel the pressure to look different than they already do? Yes. Women of all ages feel the pressure to be thin, dress stylishly, and look young and frankly sometimes if would be nice not to worry about how you look all the time.
Why does it matter if Rene has had surgery to make her eyes seem more open? Why do we care if she had Botox to smooth her forehead? How does judging a person’s choice for how they want to look make a positive difference in my life? The answer is simple…it doesn’t.
I must finally be a grown up because now I believe decisions made that have no impact on other people are frankly none of my business.
Leave Rene alone, folks. Stop talking about her face. Let her get back to work and doing what she is good at…making movies.