So, Dorothy Boyd went and got a new face.
I'm sure you've heard by now. And as we enter Day 2 of Facegate, the tone has changed from "WOW, that's HER?" to two camps: the "LEAVE RENEE ALONE!!!" camp and the "LOL OMG WTF HAPPENED" camp.
I don't like these choices.
Look, here's the thing. I can sit here and and pretend I'm some evolved person that is angry at the Hollywood beauty standards and preach about the sexism and ageism that seems to affect women, especially movie stars, so much more than men. I can straighten my spine and lift my chin and say the reaction is LUDICROUS and my god, as women, we need to SUPPORT HER and rebel against it all and so on and so forth amen.
Or I can be a normal, not-so evolved human and share my authentic reaction of "I'm confused," because that's what my reaction was. Confusion. Not judgment. Not mocking. Just a big HUH?
I'm not going to apologize for that, either. I AM sorry that people are being cruel, and I get that news items like this are low-hanging fruit for jokes and memes. I am also sorry that Renee Zellweger used to be mocked for her appearance a decade ago as well, because JESUS, she is (notice I said IS) gorgeous and beautiful and seemingly sweet and unique-looking and maybe it's because I, too, have hooded eyes that can disappear when I smile, but I liked her face very much. So maybe she can't win, and that sucks.
But a normal, human reaction to a pretty substantial difference is ok with me. But some folks are taking EVERYONE to the woodshed over this, and I don't think that's fair.
If I came into work tomorrow with a wig on, I'm sure people would notice. And question it. Maybe make fun of me behind my back. Isn't that to be expected? Hell, if I get my hair trimmed and nobody notices, I get butt hurt. So we are supposed to just NOT NOTICE that suddenly Renee looks patently NOT THE SAME as she did a few years ago? No.
And this isn't about aging, either. At least not for me. If she had "let herself go" (meaning what, I don't know. Showed up in yoga pants and a dirty t-shirt?), it would be a blip. But this isn't about a few wrinkles or sags.
Maybe I feel too connected to her. In my head for years, I think I kind of envisioned Renee Zellweger as a potential friend. You know how some stars are just totally BFF material? I mean, in my made-up world where I'm friends with celebs, there are some folks I'd never pretend to connect with. I can't picture me and Kim K. hitting up a wine bar together, you know? But me and Renee and maybe Reese and, oh, I dunno, Oprah? I could see us chilling over some pinot greeg and discussing a book on a Sunday afternoon.
I promise I'm not delusional.
It might not even be Renee as much as Bridget Jones, to tell the truth. When "Bridget Jones' Diary" came out, it hit home with me. I was chubby, looking for love in all the wrong places, drinking too much, smoking too much and generally putting my foot in my mouth at all times. I cried when she walked in on Daniel and that horrible American woman ("I thought you said she was thin." UGGGGHHH I HATE YOU) and when Mark Darcy came back for her. I cheered when she found him, in her underwear, buying her the diary. I related to every dumb choice she made. Bridget Jones was my hope that someone out there would like me for me, just as I am.
Our make-believe friendship continued when she very oddly married Kenny Chesney, who is from my hometown. Everyone here has a "Kenny story," but since his mom worked where I used to get my hair cut AND my uncle-by-marriage graduated with him and was friends with him, I felt like I had a better connection than most. I realize how insane that is, don't worry.
So maybe I'm too invested.
Either way, I'm not going to feel bad for noticing, and sharing my surprise, at her new look. I'm a human. I think overall, I'm a good one. I will go to the mat with friends and strangers about sexism, racism, equal rights, injustices and discrimination. I will ALSO give a strong side-eye to people wearing jeans with bedazzled asses, because I'm admittedly not THAT good.
So as the world reacts to Facegate, I say be nice, but don't freak out. If you noticed the changes and were puzzled or even shocked, congratulations, you are human. If you saw the photos and said horrible things, go sit in the corner. And if you are so evolved that you saw the photos, saw the changes and immediately chewed out anyone who had ANY reaction, well, I guess you are better than me. The sexism and beauty standard issues are real, and I hate them. And if Renee changed her face because of them, I'm sad for her. But as a celebrity, people are going to notice if your entire appearance changes (even as a non-celebrity, but I doubt it would make People magazine if Susan in HR got a nose job), and I don't think that's wrong per se. I don't want to be shamed for saying out loud "Wow, this is really different." There are enough misogynistic and sexist trolls out there as it is. Don't waste your energy on me.