Renee Zellweger addresses all the "humiliating" plastic surgery rumours as she confronts tabloids.

If there is anything you can learn from the tabloids of the last ten years, it is that there are few things that just happen to be public property: A woman’s burgeoning tummy (or lack thereof), a woman’s weight gain (or lack thereof) and Renée Zellweger’s face.

Tabloids took it upon themselves to examine her wrinkles, bone structure, eyes, lips, nose and everything in between, hiding under the guise of public interest and a well-intentioned (ha) gossip. It was the quintessential faux-sympathy filled bitch-fest. I mean, surely it’s their responsibility to tell her her face has changed. Doesn’t she know her face has changed? Surely she knows? Do we tell her we know? Should we tell her it looks different? We must inform her we think she’s gone too far. Something must be wrong? Is she okay? She mustn’t be okay. It’s Hollywood. It must be Hollywood, she’s caught up in it all. Or divorce? Was it her divorce? Maybe she doesn’t like ageing? No, definitely the ageing thing.

And all that time, under all that scrutiny, Renée Zellweger kept gracefully mum.

Until now.

In a powerful op-ed Jen Aniston style for the Huffington Post, Zellweger lined up all her ducks in a row and took perfect aim at a tabloid culture who “make fun of others for sport,” spreading mis-truths and dangerous double-standards.

Alluding to her own time in the spotlight where her face and her eyes were part of everyday public discourse, Zellweger slammed tabloid journalism as something that “profits from the chaos and scandal it conjures and injects into people’s lives and their subsequent humiliation” and where “the truth is reduced to representing just one side of the fictional argument.”

Interestingly, Zellweger acknowledges why she’s finally decided to start hitting back and start talking about it after years of silence. It’s silence, she says, that makes you vulnerable to more humiliation in the days of online news.

“Choosing the dignity of silence rather than engaging with the commerce of cruel fiction, leaves one vulnerable not only to the usual ridicule, but to having the narrative of one’s life hijacked by those who profiteer from invented scandal.


Mia and Kate de Brito discuss the feminist implications of a society that is entirely preoccupied with women’s looks. Post continues after video.

“I’m writing because to be fair to myself, I must make some claim on the truths of my life, and because witnessing the transmutation of tabloid fodder from speculation to truth is deeply troubling,” she wrote.

Touching on the idea that “a woman’s worth has historically been measured by her appearance,” Zellweger laments how influential tabloids have become in creating norms for the younger generations.

“Humiliating tabloid stories, mean-spirited judgments and false information is not harmless.

“It saturates our culture, perpetuates unkind and unwise double standards, lowers the level of social and political discourse, standardises cruelty as a cultural norm, and inundates people with information that does not matter,” she said.

Her solution? A simple one, but one she believes is crucial for younger generations and our sanity.

“Maybe we could talk more about why we seem to collectively share an appetite for witnessing people diminished and humiliated with attacks on appearance and character and how it impacts younger generations.”

Oh, and about that surgery?

“Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I did not make a decision to alter my face and have surgery on my eyes.”