Recently, all the media seems to have been gaping and gasping at the changed looks of the ex-Bridget Jones actress. When Zellweger appeared at the ELLE Women in the Hollywood Awards in Beverly Hills recently, her face was thinner, her eyes fuller and she looked noticeably older.
Rumours ran rampant – she’s had plastic surgery, she’s suffering from a nervous breakdown and it showed, she’s taking botox fillers. Journalists and fellow actors alike goggled and glared, saying that they could hardly recognise her – that her unique perennial squint was gone, that all that which had previously made her cute and fresh-faced had disappeared, and that somehow, this was all her fault.
First of all, I ask you, what business is it of anyone’s if a person decides to have cosmetic surgery. Did her face deserve to be splashed all over the news just because she had changed? We all change, some more than others it is true, but age itself changes people in ways we had not thought possible, and seeing that Zellweger is now in her mid-forties, one should surely not expect her to continue looking like a young Bridget Jones!
It’s not as though her previous appearance had inspired only words of praise and admiration. Incessantly criticised for her ‘funny looks’ and ‘lopsided glances’, she had been harpooned and lampooned for over a decade. No wonder she was stressed!
Internationally acclaimed movies such as Me, Myself and Irene (2000), Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), Chicago (2002), and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), amongst others, in which she was one of the main characters and her fame soared, later gave way to box office flops, such as Appaloosa (2005), Leatherheads (2008), and My One and Only (2009). It’s no wonder that Zellweger felt that she had to take a sabbatical break from the cinematic world, in order to get it back together. Her last movie, My Own Love Song appeared in 2010. It was not very well received and since then, Zellweger’s friends describe how she retired into a life of healthy eating and yoga.
Be it as it may, some find it alarming that her appearance has changed so much – as though she personally owed it to her fans to always remain the same. The media seems to have lost sight of the fact that an actor’s career and fortune is not only tied to his or her appearance, but mostly to the talent and dedication, not to mention passion s/he has for acting.
The ability to change personality and character, to transform into another being entirely, in order to bring a role to life, is far more important than the actual physical transformation of a person’s cheek bones or nose thickness. And if Hollywood bases its choice of spotlight actors on appearance only, then there is something seriously wrong!
Are there only good looking people in real life? The answer is no of course, and therefore a movie which really seeks to depict life, should not limit itself to casting only actors who fit to a certain prescribed criteria regarding appearance. After all, what may be ‘good looking’ for my neighbour, might be ugly for me and vice versa. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in my opinion, if Renée Zellweger is healthy and happy, who is anyone to point, criticise and judge her change of appearance? What does it really matter whether it was plastic surgery, botox, health-issues or whatever?
It is true that as they say, ‘Any publicity is good publicity’, but sometimes, the way certain journalists write just fosters not only an overly-superficial way of looking at things, in general, but also puts others in a bad light. Not all directors or producers choose their artists based only on the usual ‘type’ of blonde bimbo or macho hunk, as certain people of the media seem to believe and seriously, an individual’s appearance is only their own concern.
So, good for you, Renée! I am looking forward to watch your next movies The Whole Truth, as well as Same Kind Of Different As Me. And if the rumours that another actress will be taking your place as Bridget Jones for another of the eponymous movies, are true, it will be an opportunity for you to try new things.
And good luck to her. It will be very hard to fill your shoes!!