It has been a long while since the world has seen Renee Zellweger on the red carpet. When she made an appearance Monday night for the 2014 Elle Women in Hollywood Awards, the world was left wondering if this new Zellweger they were seeing was the same Zellweger who starred in Jerry Maguire and Chicago. The dramatic difference in the star’s appearance set the Internet ablaze with comments, but fans of the actress should simply calm down. Whatever she may or may not have done, her ‘new’ face has nothing to do with what made her famous in the first place – her acting skills.
Although it has been rumored that she has had plastic surgery in the past, on Monday her nearly unrecognizable face led many plastic surgeons to opine that Zellweger, 45, has had numerous cosmetic procedures. Dr. Todd Schlifstein of Fountain Medical Group spoke to FOX411. Although she is not a patient of Schlifstein’s, the doctor believes that she underwent surgery on her eyelids and had Botox injections and fillers implanted in her lips and cheeks. He also surmised that that the actress had a face lift.
Dr. John Scheibelhoffer is also a plastic surgeon. Zellweger is not his patient, but he sees a dramatic difference in the shape of the star’s eyes. “Her eye shape has changed from almond to oval,” he said.
Twitter was on fire as fans tweeted about Zellweger’s new face. Some were confused and did not understand why the lovely actress had undergone procedures in the first place. Other users backed the change, saying that they liked her new appearance. A third group tweeted from a social perspective, accusing the tweeters of sexism for analyzing the appearance of the star to such a high degree.
Zellweger has had to endure a good deal of scrutiny based on her appearance throughout her career. She gained weight to star in the “Bridget Jones Diary” films, and then lost the pounds amid speculation that she was anorexic, a claim she refuted as “unfair and disappointing.” Her eyes have been ridiculed as too small and “squinty” since she first burst onto the Hollywood scene, and no impression of the actress has been done without the impersonator squinting his eyes and pursing his lips.
Although Zellweger has not starred in a film for four years, she is still considered among Hollywood’s elite. She won an Oscar for best supporting actress for the 2003 film, Cold Mountain. Controversy revolves around the reporting of her change in appearance, with some media outlets pushing aside the actress’s accomplishments to focus solely on the plastic surgery she may or may not have had. Perhaps it is just this kind of scrutiny that leads an award-winning actress to stay away from the red carpet. The intense criticism and speculation directed toward the star over the course of her career might also drive her to make dramatic changes in her appearance, or – just maybe – Zellweger has always disliked the shape of her eyes and made a personal choice to do something that would make her feel better about her appearance.
Whatever sparked the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery is known only by Zellweger , but the bravery she showed in facing the cameras on Monday at the Los Angeles Four Seasons Hotel was apparent to all. She most likely finds all of the attention on her face to be silly, especially when considering that what got Zellweger to the the Oscar podium is still intact; no surgeon could ever touch the acting chops she holds. Those skills will be on display when the film, Same Kind Of Different As Me, in which she is set to star, is released.
Opinion by Jennifer Pfalz