Unless you live under a boulder, you've no doubt seen the mean-spirited Internet posts about Renee Zellweger's face. The backstory: On Monday, after the Oscar-winning actress attended the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards—an event that is supposed to honor the work of talented women—all anyone could talk about was the 45-year-old star's appearance. Her crime? Wait for it: Not looking the same as she did MORE THAN 10 YEARS AGO, back when she was in Chicago and Jerry Maguire.
Now really, who looks the same a decade later? I sure don't. (Every time my iPhone camera accidentally reverses to selfie mode, I jump back, frightened.)
Some news outlets even hauled out plastic surgeons who do not know the actress to speculate on what she has or hasn't had done. Ever heard someone ask why Brad Pitt doesn't look like he did in Thelma & Louise? Of course not, because he was like 25 then and it's a bonkers question.
Can you imagine if regular women were exposed to this kind of scrutiny? You'd come in to work one day feeling bright-eyed and then read in your company's e-blast: "Has Lisa had work done? She seems to be doubling up on concealer. And she is clearly dying her hair because you can see a few gray roots. She looks nothing like her ID photo from 8 years ago!"
Renee, to her total credit, is rising above the silliness. She told People in a statement: "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows." Zellweger went on to admit that she wasn't always living a balanced lifestyle: "I am healthy. For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself," she said. "Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion. I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things."
Among her smart choices, according to the star? Her boyfriend, Doyle Bramhall. "I did work that allows for being still, making a home, loving someone, learning new things, growing as a creative person and finally growing into myself," she said.