After years of being slammed by tabloids for her appearance, actress Renee Zellweger finally struck back by writing an emotionally charged essay for the Huffington Post. The actress, who's reprising one of her most famous roles in the upcoming Bridget Jones's Baby, pulled no punches with her insights.
Hollywood A-listers—especially the women—are regularly scrutizined in tabloids for their appearance. One of the favorite games of tabloids is to document the often unconfirmed plastic surgeries that stars have supposedly undergone.
In 2014, Zellweger became a prime target of tabloid abuse because her looks had changed. "Speculation swirled that the Oscar winner had undergone plastic surgery to change the look of her face, particularly around her eyes," recalls a New York Daily News article.
Back then, Zellweger told People magazine, "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."
She added, "My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy."
Despite Zelleweger's statements, tabloids didn't let up. From then on, she became part of merciless lists such as "Celebrity plastic surgery gone wrong" or variations of articles like "Renee Zellweger looks so different! Before and after photos show."
Perhaps Zellweger finally reached her breaking point. In her essay, she wrote, "I am lucky. Choosing a creative life and having the opportunity to do satisfying work that is sometimes meaningful is a blessed existence and worth the price paid in the subsequent challenges of public life. Sometimes it means resigning to humiliation, and other times, understanding when silence perpetuates a bigger problem."
She went on to point out, "Not that it's anyone's business, but I did not make a decision to alter my face and have surgery on my eyes."
Zellweger lamented the existence of double standards in society, noting that a woman's worth "has historically been measured by her appearance." She observed that people now seem to "collectively share an appetite for witnessing people diminished and humiliated with attacks on appearance and character." She also revealed she was worried about how the the scenario "impacts younger generations and struggles for equality."
In closing, Zellweger suggested, "Maybe we could talk more about our many true societal challenges and how we can do better."