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A Whiteboard Analysis Of Renee Zellweger’s Plastic Surgery, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:29am

As 99% of you probably know, the actress Renee Zellweger had plastic surgery. The Internet opined. My apologies if you are ready to be done discussing, but the storm of talk has made me feel as I often did in business meetings, compelled 3/4 of the way through to leap from the table and start writing on a white board.

“Let me just see if I can line it out,” I’d say, scribbling. Then add a few rectangles and arrows. Or a bulleted list. Anything to reveal the logical structure of the debate.

Here’s what I think about Renee. What she did is just fine, except. Let’s analyze the motivations, briefly.

  1. People want to be physically attractive. Although in an perfect world we don’t care about surface beguilements, in reality we’re animals hard-wired to the physical. Not ideal, but perhaps we can make our peace with it. In any case, I am not sure we’ve got much choice in the matter. So, those things people do to become attractive, are they OK?
    1. Yes, except when driven by an uncomfortable sense of inadequacy and therefore subject to misery.
    2. Yes, except when the remediation is taken to extremes and backfires, either in your own eyes, or in the eyes of those you wanted to attract.
    3. Yes, except when women care much more than men, because gender expectations should be fair and balanced. We want our intellect, competency and good lucks to matter only as much as it does for men.
  2. People want to look young. This is not so fine. Let’s look at two specific variants.
    1. The need to look young for your job. Not fine. Workplace bias against age is so not-fine that in the US we have laws establishing those over-4o as a protected class. Employers have every right to look for au courant, modern,and strong, but not to assume that any of those attributes in inextricably linked to age.
    2. The desire to look young for beauty. More complicated. Not fine, and yet so hard to deny. The afore-mentioned hard-wiring to the physical is designed to produce more of us. And women, due to engineering that optimizes us to care for babies when we’re young but does little for our lifelong physical attractiveness, spend over half our lives off the production line. Please excuse the machine-centric language. So men may be hard-wired to find beauty in fertility. Hard to get past.
  3. People want to be recognized. They also want to talk about each other.
    1.  Wonderful. Except when we need recognition to fill a hole in our soul, and when we talk about others for the same reason. Need and mean feed off each other.

Back to Renee. I think the problem is that her actions exposed many of  the Not Fines that appear Kind Of Fine when seen separately. Imagine a Venn diagram with circles for Obsession With Surface Beauty, Ageism, Sexism, Celebrity Displays, and Internet-Enabled Public Humiliation – poor Renee’s face smack-dab in the overlapping center.

And when she showed us what she’d done, we all start talking at once. Whether we re-erect the screen, or see clearly and maybe make progress, well, that’s up to us.

Have a good weekend.

93 Responses

  1. I felt so bad for her when I saw all the meanness online. I have always thought she was adorable and didn’t think she needed to do anything at all to stay attractive.

    On a more selfish note, I hate it when women my age or older – women who are in the public eye – get massive work done. There is no way I can keep up with them. I couldn’t afford their surgeons even if I wanted to. (If I had that kind of money, I would pay off my mortgage first.)

    But what they do is make it even harder for the rest of us to age gracefully. If the standard is some actress in her 50s who looks great because of surgery, then I automatically fail in comparison. I understand why they do it – Hollywood is brutal – but I don’t like it.

  2. When I saw her new face, I remembered Jennifer Gray. She was the adorable Baby, in Dirty Dancing. After the success of that film, she had a nose job to remove the small hump in her nose. It was something that she’d been encouraged to do by people in the film industry. There was just one problem. Her nose made her unique in a virtual sea of identical, lovely young actresses. After the surgery, she was more typical and not recognizable. It is our uniqueness that makes us special. I’m all for being the best you an be. But more importantly, be yourself.

  3. The thing is – it’s not, like she mentioned – we’ve gathered on her front porch to take a peek at her; She actually showed up in front of a red carpet wall and stood still for all to see. Did she really expect nothing at all? That’s just so silly, this “Oh, just leave me alone, I’m just a regular gal” thing.

  4. In the past, I had been told that I resembled Renee Z. So, I was personally disappointed that she was not happy with how she looked. And yes, I prefer the before look–and I guess in my case, that is a good thing.

  5. You said it so well, Lisa. I don’t think women (or men) look younger after they have plastic surgery. They look different, which generally translates into “plastic”…hence, the name of the surgery. It’s going to take more people (women) standing up and saying “Hell no! My wrinkles won’t go!,” before things change in that shallow business called Hollywood.

  6. After people started talking about her surgery, I expected to see a hot mess. But actually, she looks fine. She does look quite different, however, and that’s making some people very uncomfortable. She has altered the shape of her eyes and cheekbones.

    I’m not comfortable with the idea that some reasons to have plastic surgery are okay and some aren’t. If an otherwise contented young person is unhappy with the shape of her nose and wants to change it, that’s presumably okay. But if a middle-aged woman is unhappy with the shape of her cheekbones and eyelids for whatever reason and wants to have plastic surgery, we feel justified in judging her? Maybe Zellwegger always disliked those features and wanted to change them and finally got the courage (and money) to do what she wanted. It’s her face. Her choice. Her life.

    I’m not in the public eye so I can’t imagine the pressure women in particular are under to maintain a certain standard of appearance. Aging well is largely a matter of genetics. Apart from refraining from drinking, smoking and sunbathing, there isn’t all that much much people can do to stave off the inevitable.

    If I won the lottery I would take care of the double-chin that everyone in my family is cursed with as we age. And maybe get some liposuction to the belly.

    1. @Wendy Bird, I guess I start with the motivation, vs. the act. I don’t see plastic surgery as a monolith, so I examine which motivations I think are healthy and sustainable in society, and which are likely a cause of or a result of pain.

  7. I have a theory about why there’s been so much remarking on this. I don’t have any problem with people having work done. But it still made me double take because in the main photo that’s been going around, I did not recognize RZ at all. In all of human history it’s only been possible for a healthy human face to change in its fundamentals for the last 50 or so. Fundamentals being the subtleties of proportion, like eye shape and feature width and angles of planes, that we unconsciously use to recognize faces. (When our recognizer is broken, it’s considered a disorder because it’s so disconcerting.) We also recognize natural ways that faces change (wrinkling, eyes drooping) because we see those changes all around us constantly.

    When someone changes over the short term in a way that is obvious and not like natural progressions we are used to, I think we dip our toes in the Uncanny Valley, no matter what we consciously want to let ourselves feel about it. I had the same little cognitive dissonance when one of my friends transitioned M>F, despite consciously wanting to be supportive of her in every way, On the other hand, this morning at the vet’s office I was perusing People and there was a photo of Rene Russo, looking 40 at 60 due to what is obviously some very artful work, but it wasn’t uncanny because she was perfectly recognizable as herself.

    1. @Cynthia, Yes. I think that’s very right. And as Nikki said above, similar to Jennifer Gray. Both those women had distinctive looks, both played starring roles in movies beloved by the female population in large part because the actresses played roles we have most all lived in, at one time or another. It’s as though the surgery changed our own reality.

  8. Most actresses (and many actors too) start having plastic surgery procedures once they’re in their 30’s. Some have just had a few tweaks, and it’s hardly noticeable, but they just look a bit more “rested.” In time, it often leads to more and more surgeries.

    However, when they change a significant feature, it often makes them look like someone else. That’s what Renee Zellweger did…she changed her unique eyes, and now she doesn’t look like herself. Others who have done that are Meg Ryan and Jennifer Grey, both of whom have not worked much after their surgery.

    In fairness to Renee, she has also been taking a lot of heat for her “squinty” eyes in recent years, probably because with age, they had become more squinty. She obviously wanted to continue to get the leading lady roles that often go to younger actresses, so she succumbed to the pressure. I guess once you reach a certain age, and your livelihood is dependent partly on how you look, actresses feel forced to go under the knife.

    Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep are actresses who appear to have allowed themselves to age naturally. While they are no longer the “young” romantic leads in movies, they do get some great roles playing women of their age, and they look like themselves.

    It really bothers me that women in general (and some men too) are often criticized for aging. A few wrinkles, baggy eyes, and perhaps a few extra pounds make us fair game for the naysayers and snipers. No wonder women resort to taking measures that leave them looking like the “Joker.” Joan Rivers got away without a lot of criticism for her rather drastic procedures, because she made it part of her act, and she was never a romantic leading lady.

    I am comfortable at 68 with how I look, and at this point, I have no desire to have surgery to make myself look younger. But I don’t make a living based, in large part, how I look; so I can’t speak for those who do. Sorry for the length of this comment, but there much that could be said about the topic. It puts a bright light on the dilemma of aging, which should not me a dilemma at all.

    1. Lisa,
      I copied my comment on my blog, but gave you credit for the post. I also put a link to your blog. I hope that’s okay. I thought this was an excellent post and well worth reading for anyone.

    2. Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep have definitely had plenty of work done (just very successful subtle work). The idea that they haven’t and have just “aged gracefully” is IMO a bit part of the problem.

    3. @E. Jane, Of course it’s OK – I am happy to have anyone post or repost what goes on here. And I’ve been thinking – I know women who have had eyelid lifts because their doctors told them to. Apparently their vision was compromised by the droop. So I guess there are many reasons that we can’t always know. One question to ask is – do public figures owe us explanations?

      And Victoria, Meryl Streep? Somehow that disappoints me, and I wish it didn’t.

  9. I’ve no idea why but I do find this topic so very compelling. You see it has nothing whatsoever to do with aging gracefully or not aging at all. RZ doesn’t look any younger. She doesn’t look well rested. She does look, well, different. This woman is no longer Renee Zellweger. This woman now looks like everyone else, in fact I think I saw her at a few cocktail parties this week. There is nothing different, unique or even remarkable about her anymore. I think that’s what sad. I am 47. At this point in my life I’d never consider plastic surgery – perhaps a little Botox on my furrow lines… I have a couple of friends who have had plastic surgery. Interestingly enough they are on the West coast – California to be specific. They don’t look any younger than I do… They look tighter, more taught as though something could crack at any minute. I’m curious about the statistics – I wonder whether there is more plastic surgery performed on your coast or on my coast? But this is not really about plastic surgery either. This is about a woman who completely changed her looks so that she is completely unrecognizable and claiming that the reason for this is simply because she changed her lifestyle. And that, I think, is a bunch of !*&$(^@#!!!

    1. @Jessica,
      There have been studies that show that even with plastic surgery, people can correctly guess your age.

      You might look better, but you will not usually look much younger.

    2. @Jessica, Where I live, in Northern California, there are probably more women with long gray hair than plastic surgery. That’s the culture, quite intellectual and leftist. But in LA, I think it’s altogether different. Anan – that’s very interesting. The human brain is far more optimized than our skin, isn’t it?

  10. Excellent analysis, Lisa. The “irks” for me here are threefold:

    1. That the same public that snatches up issues of tabloids critiquing any perceived “imperfections” in female celebrities’ appearances is also ready to dogpile on those who choose to have “work done” in an obvious way. We’ve created this monster and then get upset when it tips over the tea cart.

    2. That we so rarely see an unretouched or “worked on” face on women over 50 in the media that it’s had the effect of normalizing what is abnormal and setting up an impossible standard. It’s great that we’re seeing older models and spokespeople for cosmetics companies, but to think that those razor sharp jawlines in one’s 70’s aren’t a result of some intervention is naive.

    3. I guess because I see this a lot living in LA, but you see a lot of women (and some men) who no longer look like themselves. Some have mentioned Jennifer Gray too, a good example of someone who completely changed her appearance, but here one also sees women who look a bit…freakish. Un-natural in a way that’s jarring. (Aside from dying on the operating table, the fear of ultimately not looking like myself is what will keep me away from the scalpel.)

    All of our dramas working themselves out on poor Renée’s face…

    1. @déjà pseu, Irk#2 – yes:). I remember when I posted my wedding photos, the closeup of my face. Somewhere on the Internet someone wrote that I had allowed my aging to be seen and I couldn’t help thinking, “Wait! I looked great! What are you talking about!” Ha! So it goes to show, even when we regular people are at our best, we’re still not “fixed up” the way the women of the media spotlight are:(

  11. I should also add that part of irk #2 is the almost universal denial on the part of female celebrities that they’ve had anything done. It’s all credited to “yoga” or “green juicing” or “going vegan” or some such nonsense.

    1. I just want to concur with everything Deja Pseu has said – nothing really to add. A very thorough analysis of the issue. I especially like the addition to #2 – such BS.

  12. What gets me is that I’d say pretty much ALL women in Hollywood get more or less work done. It just isn’t natural that you look pretty much the same at 25 and 45. The problem is you’re supposed to look like you’re not trying that hard and it’s just good genes or whatever that make you look so strangely ageless…

    1. @Eleanorjane, So maybe if everyone was just honest, this would be fine. I mean, athletes train unnaturally, people on camera have work done. Maybe that’s just the deal and we’d do well to remove the shame, as well as any expectation that those of us off camera will follow suit.

  13. I think everyone has said everything there could be said. For me bottom line, I always loved the uniqueness of RZ’s look. She had a special look and quality. Now? Just another pretty girl. There are a lot of them out here in Hollywood. She doesn’t have that unique RZ look anymore.

    1. @Sandra Sallin, I wish we could all have told her that we loved her eyes, and then maybe she would have said, “Thanks, but I’m tired of them and need to move on.” They did belong to her, after all. I liked them too, BTW.

  14. I agree with Jessica…the issue is, Renee no longer looks like herself. I mean, to me, completely unrecognizable. I doubt, no matter what she was having done, that that was her intention, but rather that she wanted to look younger, refreshed, rested. After the work was done, and she no longer looked like herself, she may well have been absolutely horrified (or elated, who knows), but at that point, what’s done is done. She can’t go back. That, to me, is what is so frightening about plastic surgery. I am 59, would love to look “better”, but I’ll stay content with myself as I am. Heck, I couldn’t even make myself try Latisse when it was offered to me for free, afraid of the warning that it might alter my eye color!

    1. @MarlaD,
      Agree with you. The issues isn’t poor RZ – we’re piling on her for trying to look younger.

      The issue is that she is completely unrecognizable. I am one of those people who recognize actors in movies even when they try to make them look different, and even when they are decades younger or older. It’s an ability that has something to do with the way my brain is wired. There’s a name for this ability that escapes me, but 60 Minutes once did a story on it.

      That I could not recognize her is saying something. You can’t expect the world to pretend not to notice something so extraordinary.

      Even celebrities with bad plastic surgery are hardly ever unrecognizable.

      I doubt that she planned to look so different; it’s just what happened.

  15. According to my Mid-Atlantic area plastic surgeon, the best surgeons leave the patient looking as if nothing had been done. I’d guess that’s not how it works in Hollywood where shiny things aren’t greeted with suspicion.

    It’s like designer purses — the best ones don’t have a logo all over them, you have to know what to look for to know that somebody dropped a bundle on them, otherwise you just think the lady has a really nice looking bag.

    I’m sympathetic to RZ. I saw a photo of her a year or so ago and I think she looks better now. The Washington Post just had an article about retired NFL players who’re in a fitness program because once they got too old to play they turned into tubs of lard. RZ has all of them beat.

  16. One of the things I care the least about in life is elective plastic surgery. You covered the topic well and all commenters presented really interesting points.

    People in all cultures do all sorts of things to and with their bodies and rarely randomly. As long as I can recognize the person in the mirror looking back at me, I am good. ;)

    I find it sort of fascinating, though, to see the hands I have been dealt genetically…knowing what options are in the gene pool and not always being thrilled with what shows up but living with it just the same. I hated looking at my mother’s friends as they aged after plastic surgery. It was disorienting and I always wished to see the pieces back in place.

  17. I don’t feel women have any more challenges regarding “life long attractiveness” than men. Men age the same as women, this is not a matter of engineering, it’s a matter with social conditioning.

    1. It is in the engineering as men can naturally procreate much later in life and don’t physically mature as fast as women. Lisa is right regarding hardwiring as men are inclined towards a beauty/fertility association.
      So surprised at the heavy coverage the RZ work got even the NYT and WaPo jumped in. Agree the big story is she wasn’t recognizable even though she looked fine. I would never have recognized her. As for the whole sexism angle, Bruce Jenner and Mickey Rourke have certainly gotten loads of bad (if less prominent) press over their work and the commentary has been even more harsh towards them.

  18. Wow. So glad I don’t work in Hollywood. Maybe wrinkles will become more accepted as time goes by. Not to mention uniqueness

  19. OK, wait. Has she told us that she had plastic surgery? Or do we just presume it.

    Note: When first I saw the shocking photograph of her online, I thought RZ had undergone an eyelift. But the more I look at photos when she was very young, the more I see consistencies. She became very puffy for a while, mid-career – perhaps because of stress or lifestyle? Maybe the new photos show her, unaltered. I mean, for all of the hoopla over her “new look” she doesn’t look any younger.

    At any rate, I don’t think it matters as long as she is happy with the way she looks. People are allowed to change themselves by surgery, diet, exercise, mental gymnastics, therapy and any other format they can think of.

    Even if this tanks her career, she has more money (I suspect) than she knows what to do with.

  20. the qualm for me about what she did is that… i don’t quite understand. she actually does not achieve those things you mention–mainly, wanting to be physically more attractive or wanting to appear younger=. I mean, i think she looks great, but just not more attractive (as attractive as before) or younger (she looks the same age if not slightly older–her old looks had a youthful quality).

    1. @joanna, I agree – maybe she felt her looks were too young, in a way, that she looked like an ingenue and was no longer an ingenue age? You guys are giving me so much to think about.

    1. @Rise, My pleasure! The comments here are some of the most thoughtful stuff on the Internet.

      I love Frances McDormand too – and I love her look.

  21. I cannot relate to any of this , as I feel like people who value surgery for appearances sake are not on my plane of existence. No problem.

  22. Shar Pei’s commonly get similar eyelid surgery & nobody gives it a second thought! Seriously, though, I did notice the buzz over her changed appearance & it did make me reflect as I’m in my mid-fifties & have made the conscious choice to not get cosmetic surgery as I continue to age. Then, the school shooting in my community the other day was a good reminder of what’s really important. (I do think it’s important to reflect on society & its expectations, & as usual, Lisa & All, I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughtful comments.)

  23. She has the same insecurities as all of us do … only thing is, she has the money to do something about this money wise. Just more proof that behind all the glitz and glamour, they are human, just like you and me!

  24. RZ has done a great likely unintended service, by presenting such obviously altered looks: she has caused every woman concerned about the changes aging brings to think about whether she would have her face surgically altered to conform to the norms of an industry or society regarding the imperative to forever appear 20-something.

  25. Oddly, the biggest change (IMO) to RZ’s face has been that she’s let her eyebrows go “natural”, as she used to do a very defined and arched brow.
    Eyebrows change a person’s look dramatically. Yes she’s undoubtedly had some plastic surgery etc. (as has most, if not all of actresses, including French actresses) – but if you mentally draw her brows back in, she doesn’t look all that different.

  26. Already got sniped at once online for this line of thought but here goes: RZ can choose to look as she pleases. On a micro level, is is none of my business and it would be churlish of me to comment upon. Macro issue to me is creeping pressure to redefine how we look as we age as if aging is a dread disease rather than the natural progression of things. The end result of all of this– if taken to the logical extreme–is youthful looking but elderly people lined up in nursing homes and funeral parlors. Someone please write the novel about this.

  27. On one hand, I’m all for anyone doing anything they wish to improve his/her self esteem. Most women are not genetically blessed with a beautiful face. I’ve come to realize that all bodily assets, including intelligence, physical beauty and emotional stability, are genetic and anything we choose to do to enhance them is the individual’s prerogative. How do your readers feel about stomach stapling, including such recently popular procedures as a lap band to lose 30 pounds for $5,000, now so popular in Manhattan? That said, as a physician who has seen and heard of a multitude of complications of surgery, I have a phobia of anesthesia. If I’m going to die (or worse, be left brain damaged) by anesthesia, let it at least be due to medically indicated surgery.

    1. @HHH, Yet more great, logical thoughts from the community. Thank you. I agree, it seems not evil to me if people want to become more beautiful and harm no one in the process, including themselves.

  28. Lisa:

    This is below you. Your blog deserves better than this. Who (truly) cares? Seriously dear blogger ~ you have a wonderful blog most of the time. This is not up to your standard.

    1. @Rebecca Hively, I would truly like to know more about why you feel this way. Is the writing worse than usual? Is the logical analysis less disciplined? Or is it just the topic? I made a real point of saying absolutely nothing derogatory about RZ herself. I was motivated only by the desire to parse what I saw as a very imprecise discussion muddied by societal issues I do care about.

  29. Who cares? We care! This is a topic that most of us confront on some level in our lives. While we may not be choosing to have work done to our own faces, we have people in our lives who do choose to do this and talk about it. They expect some reply or discussion from us. OR, we are exposed to others who may be high profile who choose this. It’s a part of our society and a pertinent topic. I don’t consider it to be a fishwife discussion. We can say (and mean it) that every person has a right to choose surgery. We can still discuss why they feel the need to have it or what is the underlying motive/catalyst.

    At some point, we think (whether we could afford the procedures or not) about whether or not we would choose to have surgery and why. I have a friend who pursues cosmetic enhancements. She says that if she was married, she wouldn’t do it, but, because she is single, she needs to look the best that she can. I’m not sure the procedures give her that result, but, if she feels that they do, perhaps that is the important thing. So many levels to this topic!

    1. I sense that many of us want it not to matter, which I totally understand. But it’s underlaid with so many complex issues, very hard to truly not care at all.

  30. Yes, I care too. I’m glad lisa discussed this, I love reading all the comments too. Women’s appearances, what they do to alter/ enhance -its all relevant to me and I suspect vast majority of women. I also think lisa’s post was smart, thoughtful and respect ful.

    1. Thank you very much. And to all who have commented so thoughtfully, even those who think the topic irrelevant – all these opinions are valuable.

  31. What interests me is that people are •talking• about a 40-something actor’s presumed cosmetic surgery. For years, the procedures of actresses her age (and career trajectory) would garner barely a comment: the obviouls work of Deborah Kara Unger, Barbara Hershey, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jacqueline Bisset and hordes of TV actors were not widely spoken of; everyone understood “this is what is done”.

    Now, such an outcry! I’m hoping it’s because women are questioning surgery as an imperative, but poor Zellweger- I doubt she wished to draw such intense scrutiny and debate.

    1. I feel for her too. That’s an interesting point, how much it’s being discussed. As is Photoshopping, for that matter.

  32. Renee, like most women who have plastic surgery, doesn’t look younger imo .. she looks like she had plastic surgery. These womens faces are never the same.
    Jane Fonda originally had the best work ever ! Her face was just a bit smoother , her eyelids were not droopy .. but it seems that once you do it, you are compelled to do it again and again , each time losing more of your own face and ending up with a Plastic Surgery Face.
    Renee Zellweger needed her cute little “rubbery” face .. it was a big part of her charm .. now she looks like someone who was so desperate that she lost her face in search of something that her actual looks never really made a difference. I doubt she will get any more work after this .. I wonder how Men feel about this. We women are always full of opinions lol .. what do men think ?

    1. Very good question. And I can’t tell that Jane’s had work done, nor Helen, nor Meryl for that matter.

  33. I agree with others who have commented her that no one would have batted an eye about Renee Z. having cosmetic surgery if she had still looked like herself afterwards.

    This story reminds me of an experience I had about twenty years ago. My husband and I were out walking our dog on the next block. A neighbor/acquaintance called out to us by name from across the street. She said something like–Susan and J, I don’t want to scare you. I’ve had some surgery and you might not recognize me. We crossed the street to talk to her and I could not have been more shocked. This young woman (in her mid thirties at the time) had traded a distinctive (but attractive) look for a totally bland perfect nose generic model look. I was shaken. My husband and I had to agree not to talk about it as it was disturbing to know someone and then see that they had a totally new face. I would occasionally see this young woman around the city and it always disturbed me. I think this is the same thing that has precipitated the discussion about Renee Z.

    1. @Susan, I think so too, as I have said above. Thank you for adding the personal story. You were shaken. We believe that people are their faces, until we find out otherwise.

    2. @Susan, It is possible that I have seen this woman since, but I am now unable to recognize her. I can’t stress enough how attractive she was prior to surgery–even though she was not model perfect (just like the rest of us). Now, she would just blend into the population and I cannot recognize her without her original face.

  34. The fact that I’m the 40th comment speaks for itself. Yes, we DO care. I hear what Rebecca is saying: it’s petty, it’s beneath us to care about a silly actress and these celebrities are just narcissistic fools, but we care because we are curious in that they live out some of our fantasies. It’s amusing and a relief to see that we were too smart to do the same. Let’s just say one had all the money one could ever dream of having. How, then, might you change your life, your appearance. I certainly can afford plastic surgery, yet I’m scared of it: scared of looking like a Barbie Doll, scared of the surgical complications, scared of post-op infections, scared of everything. I know of woman who died of a post-op MERSA infection after a tummy tuck. Granted she was in her 80’s and most of us reading this blog are not, but Joan Rivers died from anesthesia under what were considered very safe conditions. A statuesque friend (think Ralph Lauren model) recently had a face lift for her daughter’s wedding and she was the same woman, a beautiful woman, but with another woman’s face at the wedding. I’ve always been told that a great plastic surgeon will not do that to you, but she is a wealthy physician.

    1. @HHH, I can’t even think about having one of the fillers – I can’t bear the idea of something alien under my skin, much less being full on cut open. The medical impact and the sheer invasion of it is too difficult for me to do for beauty alone.

  35. Late to the party, but I wanted to comment.

    Lisa – I thought your post was excellent, as always.

    First, someone posted that Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep have both had work, although it is subtle. I disagree – I know Diane has said she hasn’t had any work done yet, but doesn’t rule it out in the future. I believe her, and I don’t think Meryl has had work done either.

    My main issue is with Renee, besides the fact that she doesn’t look like Renee anymore. She said “I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.” …She never said anything about her surgery. Either admit it, or say nothing – don’t try to say the reason you look different is because you are happier now! Nope…we are not that gullible!

    1. I wonder whether people will ever get comfortable with admitting to plastic surgery. Remember when women wouldn’t tell anyone if they dyed their hair?

  36. I have been a fan of RZ for years…and agree with many of the comments. I didn’t recognize her in the photos.

    As a fan of both old and foreign films, I notice that most of the actresses had (or have) distinctive looks, and actually look much older, by today’s standards, than they were at the time.

    I think this means that many of our actresses (and actors) have had surgery and other enhancements done at some point, even though the lack of wrinkles, sagging, and sun damage is attributed to good genes, etc. It is just sad.

    …and, this blog is a thoughtful day brightener. Thank you!

    1. You are very welcome. I love watching British TV in large part because they allow people to have “imperfect” faces.

  37. Hello Lisa!

    This might sound ackward, but I really think RZ mainly got her eyes lifted.
    I looked at the before/after picture and shoved a piece of paper down, so that here eyes were covered. The nose, the cheeks, the mouthm the jaw, the chin – looks pretty much the same as before.
    Eyes do make a huge difference, that’s for sure.
    I can see how hooded eyes can become a huge handycap, make you feel tired, make you look tired.

    Maybe you like to do the paper-check and see for yourself!

    Long story short: I think people are judging too harshly when they say she totally changed her appearance.
    Call me naive ;-)


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