Jewel: ‘I was called a chubby Rene Zellweger when I came in the scene in the 90s’

Jewel has been an outspoken mental health advocate for years. In 2004 she started the Inspiring Children Foundation, which brings mental health care to children. The last time we covered her she was advocating for reducing the stigma around mental health care. Jewel was feeling herself recently and posted about it on Instagram (I do this often). She wrote that she’s 47 now and has worked hard to love herself as she is despite being called the “chubby Renee Zellweger” earlier in her career. Jewel also clarified that it was not her birthday. Here is the caption on that post, which is above:

I wasn’t sure what getting older would feel like . I was never afraid of it luckily
I’ve loved every year .

But in my business and the world, really , Is not kind to aging women.

I made a promise to myself when I was pretty young to ‘do no harm’ to myself. To try to be kind to myself in a business notoriously shitty about women’s bodies. I was called a chubby Rene Zellweger when I came in the scene in the 90’s. But I wouldn’t let myself be bulimic or anorexic because I felt that was letting bullies win. I had to learn to be healthy my own way and find my way to self love. And that takes time. I never fixed my teeth or my nose because I felt like I wanted to know how to love myself no matter what. And to be thankful for the looks I do have, and not take them for granted just because I wasn’t classically perfect.

So when it came to aging, I knew where I stood on it: take care of myself. Eat well. Drink water. Rest. And bring it on! My skin is changing. Gravity definitely takes its toll 😅. But I’m surprised by how good I feel. How vital. How happy. How healthy. And yeah, I feel sexy. 💃🏽

So to any young women reading this: be kind to yourself. Enjoy the hell out of your life. Sleep with who you want, because you want to. Not because you need to feel validated. Eat what you want because you want to- not because your afraid of how it will look on you. Your worth lies in your wisdom and your joy. Don’t be bullied out of enjoying your own life! Feel the sensuous joy of being alive. And absorb every single bit of pleasure out of this life- your worth it!

[From Instagram]

I didn’t follow Jewel at the height of her career but I loved her music. I always called her the 90s folk music heroine because her music brought folk music back to mainstream pop. The more I learn about Jewel, the more impressed I am by her. Jewel took her experiences as a pubic figure and created space for others less fortunate than she is.

It really irks me that people feel they can comment on women’s bodies. I went back to look at Jewel from the 90s and I am appalled that they called her a chubby Renee Zellweger. She was far from chubby. Jewel looks amazing in the photo that she posted and, like Meghan Markle, the woman should live in red. It would have been understandable if Jewel wanted to straighten her teeth or do a bit of work but honestly she doesn’t need it. Jewel looks amazing because she is a good person, loves herself and minds her own business.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos via Instagram and credit Getty

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8 Responses to “Jewel: ‘I was called a chubby Rene Zellweger when I came in the scene in the 90s’”

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  1. Anony83 says:

    Oh man, middle school me just smiled. I loved Jewel.

  2. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    Heh, I thought the thumbnail you chose was of Renee Zellweger as well, heh. Not a chubby RZ, mind, just that this is the first time I noticed they do look somewhat alike.

    Anyhow, in what world is she chubby?

  3. Jezz says:

    Well, I wish I was as “chubby” as she was! She was and is absolutely beautiful.

  4. The Truth Piper says:

    I like Jewel. She seems authentic.

    It’s nice to hear a 47 year old woman speak about the benefits of good nutrition, hydration, sleep, living a joyful, meaningful life and the acceptance of the inevitability of aging.

    Jewel’s name certainly suits her. Best wishes to Jewel.

  5. aggie says:

    I really don’t remember that. What I do recall is that her, RZ, and Joey Lauren Adams were coming up at the same time, and much was made of their resemblance.

  6. Sarahndipity says:

    I think she was called “chubby” because it was the 90s and heroin chic was the look. Even RZ went from being normal skinny framed to gaunt looking, and tbh still prefers that entirely too skinny look. I have always thought Jewel was beautiful (more so than RZ), but looking back at that picture she was so adorable with her loosely pulled up 90s hair, choker, and strappy dress. Oh how I miss those days.

  7. tealily says:

    I feel like I “get” her a little better now that I realize that she comes from the family on Alaska: The Last Frontier (which I didn’t learn until fairly recently). What a way to live! Good on her for getting as far as she has in this business, because it couldn’t have been easy for her. I remember the stories about her living in her car when she was first coming up.

  8. BHCate says:

    Last time I saw, she was dating Charlie Whithurst who was a pro-football player. I went to high school with him, and I know for a fact that he danced to a Jewel song at homecoming one year in the early 00′s. I wonder if that ever comes up in conversation for them.