Renée Zellweger Finally Addresses Plastic Surgery Rumors in Heartfelt Essay

When Rene Zellweger reemerged in 2014 after a self-imposed hiatus, fans couldn’t help but notice her changing looks, which immediately sparked rumors the actress had surgically altered her face.

In the years that followed, Zellweger chose to remain silent when the topic of plastic surgery arose, but now she’s addressing the rumors head-on in the hopes that her honesty can bring about some change.

Over the weekend, Zellweger penned a heartfelt essay for Huffington Post titled “We Can Do Better.” In it, Zellweger denies ever getting plastic surgery to alter her face before insisting whether or not she got surgery is beside the point.

“Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I did not make a decision to alter my face and have surgery on my eyes,” she wrote. “This fact is of no true import to anyone at all, but that the possibility alone was discussed among respected journalists and became a public conversation is a disconcerting illustration of news/entertainment confusion and society’s fixation on physicality.”

“Too skinny, too fat, showing age, better as a brunette, cellulite thighs, facelift scandal, going bald, fat belly or bump? Ugly shoes, ugly feet, ugly smile, ugly hands, ugly dress, ugly laugh; headline material which emphasizes the implied variables meant to determine a person’s worth, and serve as parameters around a very narrow suggested margin within which every one of us must exist in order to be considered socially acceptable and professionally valuable, and to avoid painful ridicule,” she continued. “The resulting message is problematic for younger generations and impressionable minds, and undoubtedly triggers myriad subsequent issues regarding conformity, prejudice, equality, self-acceptance, bullying. and health.”

Why speak out after all of these years? Zellweger explained she’s alarmed by the fact that “tabloid speculation” so easily penetrates mainstream media.

“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. The ‘eye surgery’ tabloid story itself did not matter, but it became the catalyst for my inclusion in subsequent legitimate news stories about self-acceptance and women succumbing to social pressure to look and age a certain way. In my opinion, that tabloid speculations become the subject of mainstream news reporting does matter.”

While Zellweger has been disheartened by the current state of the mainstream media, she’s got a simple solution.

“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 and struggles for equality, and about how legitimate news media have become vulnerable to news/entertainment ambiguity, which dangerously paves the way for worse fictions to flood the public consciousness to much greater consequence. Maybe we could talk more about our many true societal challenges and how we can do better.”

Head over to Huffington Post to read the entire essay.