Renee Zellweger: ‘We don’t seem to value beauty over contribution for men’


Renee Zellweger doesn’t want to talk about her face anymore. After she sort of made the conversation worse with her HuffPo essay/word salad, she’s been playing it a little bit fast and loose. My opinion – and this is not a feminist critique but a PR-critique – is that Renee mishandled the conversation from the very beginning. If something is none of our business, say that. If you don’t want to talk about getting work done, say that. But exhaustive word salads about how you’ve never had anything done, when we all have eyes? No. Anyway, Renee covers the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter to promote Bridget Jones’s Baby. And she really doesn’t want to talk about her face. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Her main goal: “My main goal is to avoid any negativity that might enter my consciousness. If I’m not aware of it, then it’s not real. It doesn’t exist.”

Her six-year absence: “I wanted to grow. If you don’t explore other things, you wake up 20 years later and you’re still that same person who only learns anything when she goes out to research a character. You need to grow!”

Ageing in Hollywood: “I’ve never seen the maturation of a woman as a negative thing. I’ve never seen a woman stepping into her more powerful self as a negative. But this conversation perpetuates the problem. Why are we talking about how women look? Why do we value beauty over contribution? We don’t seem to value beauty over contribution for men. It’s simply not a conversation.”

She’s so private: “I’m not great at press. It’s the part of my job I’m least comfortable with because I’m a really private person.”

She’s supporting Hillary Clinton: “There’s never been anyone better prepared in our lifetime.”

On Donald Trump: “The language that he uses perpetuates a particular way of communicating that standardizes cruelty and mean-spiritedness as a culture norm.”

Her boyfriend Doyle Bramhall: “We have shared history, the same mutual friends from eons ago, before either of us was doing anything public,” is about all she’ll say about her boyfriend. Pressed further, she smiles icily. “I appreciate you asking,” she says. “But let’s stop.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

The rest of the piece is an exhaustive history of her filmography, with assorted quotes from friends and coworkers about how she’s a great person. I believe Renee is loyal, compassionate, charitable and nice. I also believe that she’s happy to live in her own little world where no one says anything bad, ever, la la la, I can’t hear you. And really, what harm does that do? None whatsoever. She just comes across as a bit daffy, which isn’t the worst thing. As for this: “We don’t seem to value beauty over contribution for men. It’s simply not a conversation.” Actually, it is a conversation, but she didn’t realize it because she had her fingers in her ears, singing “I CAN’T HEAR YOUR NEGATIVITY!” I hate when people are like “no one ever talks about it when men have plastic surgery!” Because we do. We talk about George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke, Tom Cruise, Rupert Everett, Burt Reynolds and more. We analyze their alleged (or not so alleged) “work” all the time.

Photos courtesy of THR, Fame/Flynet and Getty.

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17 Responses to “Renee Zellweger: ‘We don’t seem to value beauty over contribution for men’”

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  1. HH says:

    As a celebrity, I get why avoiding negativity would be beneficial to your sanity. However, that definitely could have been worded better. It sounds very…DUMB. And while we do talk about plastic surgery with men, it’s much more of a conversation with women. That’s because plastic surgery is disproportionately done by women, which is actually my biggest problem with it. For me, it feels like whenever a woman has plastic surgery she’s given into…something (society, the male gaze??). While plastic surgery may be in the cards for Hollywood men, it’s not something most regular men consider. while I would much rather everyone be happy with their looks, I wouldn’t mind plastic surgery on the whole if it’s something that men and women considered. I get that it’s a “my body, my choice” thing, but it’s an issue when women are the ones who are thinking about such choices.

  2. Grace says:

    Oh dear lord, Renee, please stop. She is getting into James Franco ‘I swear on my mother’s grave I didn’t sleep with Lindsay Lohan’ level of tiresome.

  3. Trixie says:

    Can we talk about Bridget Jones’s Baby for a second? Because I don’t understand how it’s funny for a woman to not know who fathered her child and then pretend with both men that they are the father because “jokes” and “hilarious situations”. It’s especially not funny when the woman is in her 40s (or whatever age Bridget Jones is supposed to be). That’s just stupid AF.

    If Renee wants to make a feminist statement about the way people talk about women, then she needs to be doing it with a less stupid/sexist movie.

  4. Robin says:

    Valuing beauty over contribution has been a conversation for YEARS. DECADES. Good grief, she’s ignorant, as her editorial and her comments on Clinton demonstrate.

  5. Jag says:

    I don’t understand why it’s so hard for her to say “Yes, I got my eyes done and I love how they look, so let’s stop talking about it now, shall we?” She could’ve said that from the beginning and it would be over by now.

    • Bridget says:

      Because women are supposed to be perfect and thin and beautiful and not age but it’s not supposed to take any work.

  6. QueenB says:

    but Hollywood is about beauty. none of the big male stars would be stars if most women didnt want to have sex with them. when it comes to character actors, they are almost exclusively ugly dudes. it sucks, but the majority of people are not interested in talent but in the visual aspect. even musicians have to be really good looking. the times someone like Mick Jagger can be the biggest rock star are over.

    • Aussieboy says:

      No sure what ur saying about Jagger (@ Queenb)? But he was absolutely gorgeous as a young man. (Look up pics online). Maybe I read that comment wrong. I can think of some ‘ugly’ female character actors too (M. Streep, Helen mirren etc). Even Charlize Theron (totally gorgeous), made herself ugly for “Monster”.

    • Dannii says:

      I dont see women lining up to screw the likes of jonah hill or seth rogan, so nope, you’re wrong, Men can get away with not being attractive to women, its a clear double standard.

  7. Jayna says:

    I like Renee and am glad to see her back.

  8. Zuzus Girl says:

    Woman, Just own it! Hooded eyes run in my family. Several of them (my kin) have had surgery and are so much happier for it. They do look a little different but they can see. We can also SEE, you had surgery Renee!

    No one would care if she wasn’t trying to hide it. On another note, please kill the Bridget Jones series dead. Everyone, esp. my boo Colin, looks miserable. He surely doesn’t need that mess. A forty something not knowing who the daddy is? Cringeworthy.

    • Ally8 says:

      Robert Redford largely killed his handsomeness and onscreen appeal when he apparently had the same procedure. It was likely for health reasons, but it sure changed his appearance dramatically and made him look rather weird for about 20 years. It’s been commented on pretty extensively.

      That said, I do agree with her about the double standard. Famous men apparently don’t “put on leggy displays” when they wear shorts, for instance. I greatly enjoy this Twitter account in illustrating that kind of thing:

  9. Bridget says:

    Renee has always been uncomfortable in the public eye, so I’m giving her a pass. I’ll nitpick someone else.

  10. kanyekardashian says:

    I like the way Cher handled questions about her plastic surgery. “If I wanted to put three tits on my head, it’s my business.” Renee could take a lesson from Cher.

  11. DesertReal says:

    One thing that will forever blow my mind- is how major media outlets seemed to completely ignore how John Kerry when he morphed into Rupert Everett & Frankensteins love child.
    Had that been another female politician, it would’ve Renee all over again.
    So she is right in a way, but the point the point that she’s trying to make is eclipsed by how willfully obtuse she’s being.

  12. iheartgossip says:

    She needs to find the STOP button and push it.