Renee Zellweger recently appeared in public for the first time in months.
Renee was, by all accounts, virtually unrecognizable. Many blame it on the decision to get excessive plastic surgery.
The 45-year-old actress's drastic makeover has stirred up quite a bit of controversy.
Some blame the need for Renee Zellweger to change her appearance on Hollywood's age bias against actresses.
Katrin Higher at The Frisky was particularly adamant that the backlash over Renee Zellweger boiled down to sexism.
"The heart of the problem [with Renee Zellweger is] of course is that the patriarchy ensures that we keep striving for beauty ideals at all costs (BUT DON'T MAKE IT OBVIOUS M'KAY?) because it continually points out and proves that when you stop fighting for those ideals, you will suffer consequences.
It is a fact that when women age, they do lose jobs, and not just in the entertainment industry. The stakes are not small; this is an issue that is pervasive, deeply entrenched and wildly costly to our own personal peace as women. Between Botox and eating disorders, our culture has driven us virtually insane."
However, this point of view seems to ignore that a good portion of the response has nothing to do with Renee Zellweger's age or gender.
— Vox (@voxdotcom) October 26, 2014
Renee had a very unique look prior to the surgery; that Zellweger no longer does is the chief concern among a number of onlookers.
Tampering with uniqueness can cause a sharp decline in popularity, as other actresses have learned.
Keri Russell was extremely popular thanks to her hit show Felicity. When Russell made the decision to cut her trademark curly hair, the show's ratings tanked. Russell's fame also took a nosedive.
Actress Jennifer Grey was a young woman at the very peak of her career in 1989. She decided that she hated her distinct nose to the point of having it fixed.
She believed that the change would make her more attractive, which would lead to better roles. Instead, she became so unrecognizable that no one would hire her. The surgery ruined her career. In retrospect, Grey regrets her move to change her face:
"I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous. It was the nose job from hell. I'll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes because of a nose job."
The decision by Renee Zellweger to make alterations to her physical appearance immediately prompted Jennifer Grey comparisons.
Meta Wagner of The Boston Globe thinks that Renee will not be able to "live down" her decision to make such an extreme change to her face.
"Zellweger is 'trending' right now, but it's for her wider eyes and sharpened cheekbones, not her movie roles. Ryan will never live down the lip plumping — never. And Gray once acknowledged in an interview that her nose job was the worst mistake she'd ever made, saying it stalled her movie career because no one recognized her anymore."
Renee Zellweger and her new look may have sparked negative feedback not simply because of sexism or aging, but rather because she tampered with her uniqueness.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) October 22, 2014
Uniqueness is very important for celebrities, as it is what defines their brand. If Renee ruined her uniqueness, some feel she may have also ruined her brand. This is where concerns about the end of Zellweger's career stem from.
It's possible this is an overreaction, and that Renee Zellweger will be just fine, but only time -- and new movie roles -- will tell for certain whether these concerns are overblown.
Do you think Renee Zellweger ruined her career by having plastic surgery? Do you blame the negative response on sexism or a simple dissatisfaction with her new look?
[Image Credit: WHATTHEBUCKSHOW]