Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nobody Gets to Have an Opinion

Who is entitled to criticize Renee Zellweger for how she looks? There's absolutely nothing wrong with her appearance. Everything else is just hatin' and that's that.

That sort of thing is well outside of the scope of what I normally write about and comment on so I know that I don't have the right to issue an opinion. She can certainly be criticized by people who know fashion and makeup, hair and styling, and I think that this is where the distinction is for celebrity commentary. It's not a world I understand, so the people who do that, and don't do it for nastiness or whatever else can weigh in on seeing Zellweger in public and let you know what they think.

You can see, in this piece from The Daily Beast, a ready admission that imperfection is appreciated but rarely rewarded with actual acceptance in our culture. Yes, Zellweger put on weight to play a character. No, that didn't mean that there weren't media interests who were dignified about that fact.

I see a woman who has been absolutely done wrong by the culture and has modified herself surgically to the point where she doesn't look anything like how she used to look. Everything natural has been stripped away and what's left is very similar to what Nicole Kidman has and that is a taut face that doesn't move anymore. And that's the sad thing here--some invisible pull from the culture at large and some worthless standard of beauty has been applied to someone who, like all the rest of us, has aged and changed and should have moved on.

Something about the movie business has gone wrong for all the terrible reasons we're familiar with--there's no chance that Zellweger could work without doing something to modify her appearance and that's the reason behind the changes. I still don't think there should be a linkage to appearance and talent--if you don't put her in a movie solely because of how she looks, you're missing the best reason to have her there in the first place and that reason is obvious--she's capable of acting at a high level and holding a film together. She has a proven track record of success. She just doesn't look the same way anymore. But, who does? Grow up.

But, as I said, no man should ever criticize a woman for how she looks.

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