Renée Zellweger's looks are once again being called into question. However, this time, the questions are coming from a professional film critic.
After a multi-year hiatus from Hollywood, the Oscar winner returned to the spotlight, only to become the trending subject of a national conversation after she resurfaced on a red carpet in fall of 2014. The Internet clamored over thestar's looks and spent days theorizing about whether or not she had undergone plastic surgery. The actress' answer? Her appearance was the result of a peaceful, normal life.
"I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows," she told Peopleat the time. "People don't know me in my 40s...Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?!"
Two years later, on the heels of a new trailer release for the third installment of the Bridget Jones franchise, the actress' appearance has reignited a new question aimed at women's looks and whether physical changes hinder the ability to properly perform an existing role.
"Watching the trailer, I didn't stare at the actress and think: She doesn't look like Renée Zellweger. I thought: She doesn't look like Bridget Jones!" Owen Gleiberman, chief film critic of Variety, wrote. "Celebrities, like anyone else, have the right to look however they want, but the characters they play become part of us. I suddenly felt like something had been taken away."
"Renee Zelwegger no longer looks like herself" is code for "The way this woman has aged does not please me", and those saying it can JOG ON.
As could have been anticipated, the Internet once again ignited over the the new comments, slamming back at Gleiberman for calling attention to an actress' looks. Many perceived the column as sexist and unequally critical of aging among women.
"Just out [of] curiosity, have you ever written a full column on men's looks? Your piece on Renee is two degrees past bizarre," one Twitter user chimed in.
"Can everyone please stop talking about Renee Zellweger's face? Thanks," another user wrote.
This is the exact kind of attention Zellweger fled from when she was at the peak of her profession. "I found anonymity, so I could have exchanges with people on a human level and be seen and heard, not be defined by this image that precedes me when I walk into a room," she told British Vogue. "You cannot be a good storyteller if you don't have life experiences, and you can't relate to people."
Here's hoping more people will be able to relate to her and enjoy her work regardless of how she looks.