Life is unfair; it's so hard for older actresses in Hollywood to find good roles in the Transformers movies.
Actress Renee Zellweger turned a lot of heads recently when she appeared at a public event still looking much more attractive than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. But what got people talking is how much her physical appearance has changed. Zellweger no longer looks like Bridget Jones. And her English accent has completely disappeared.
There are essays all over the Internet chastising the cruel comments that people are making about Renee Zellweger's drastically transformed appearance. I have not personally seen or heard these cruel comments. Actually, most of the words I've read are not judgmental, but are merely making note of how much Zellweger's face has changed. Renee Zellweger is a public figure. We've seen her in movies. She looks totally different now. Of course one is going to notice. To say that someone looks different is not mean-spirited or hurtful. It's like the time Bill O'Reilly entered the No Spin Zone wearing dreadlocks. Like I'm not going to point it out?
But I don't care that Renee Zellweger changed her look. This is America. You have the freedom to do anything you want... unless it involves your uterus, your health, your chemical balance, your property, your life, or bringing toothpaste on an airplane. Rather, I'm more interested in why Zellweger opted for such a drastic change.
Of course, the only people who truly know why Renee Zellweger changed her appearance are Zellweger herself, those close to her, and TMZ. But the perception is that she is attempting to look more attractive in order to stay relevant in Hollywood. As we all know, there are three kinds of people to whom show business is not kind: mimes, Pauly Shore, and aging women.
Nevertheless, I'm offended at being lumped in with Hollywood. In her essay The Way We're Talking About Renee Zellweger's Face Needs Some Major Work, Lauren Duca writes, "We push female celebrities to get work done and then criticize then for doing so." Who is we? Me and the producers of Entourage? Leonardo DiCaprio and I? I'm not part of Hollywood; most people aren't. And I've got a message for all you actresses out there. We are not pushing you to look younger. Hollywood is. And Hollywood is a moron.
I have no idea what Hollywood is telling actresses. But it's bad advice. Yes, there are a lot of gorgeous 20-year-old actresses with a job. But Jennifer Lawrence's career is the exception. Most of the young women who look like models are playing the dull girlfriends who disappear halfway through the movie. The women with the better, juicy roles tend to look like themselves and look their own age: Melissa McCarthy, Laura Linney, Marisa Tomei, Lena Dunham, Meryl Streep, Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials.
Interestingly, when Renee Zellweger won an Academy Award, for Cold Mountain, she played an intentionally frumpy-looking farmhand from the 1860s. They had to make her less attractive for the role. And she was already 35 years old, which in Hollywood years made her 72.
Yes, audiences like to look at attractive women. But outside of Hollywood, we think that women in their thirties and their forties and, yes, even their fifties and sixties are pretty hot. I would still totally sleep with Florence Henderson... and I would very politely ask, beforehand, if she would let me call her "Mrs. Brady" while we were in bed.
We're all insecure about our appearance. And we all want to look our best. (For me, that means keeping the mullet, the twirly mustache, and the forehead tattoo.) But there's a difference between looking young and looking good. You don't have to look young to look good. Someone should tell this faceless mass of crap called "Hollywood" this fact. But in the meantime, regular people -- the ones who actually pay to watch movies and TV shows, or at least watch them for free online -- have a different perception of what it means to be physically attractive. We're surprisingly not that hard to please.
Of course, realistically, it is harder to stay attractive as you get older. Sofia Vergara and Halle Berry are of a species a few notches above normal human being. But for most people, exercise and moisturizers and even Botox can only do so much... though, and I'm just offering this as a helpful hint and you can take it or leave it, I've found that Botox is fantastic for getting chewing gum out of rugs. Nature is not accommodating. Along with alcohol, the sun, and dancing cheek-to-cheek with Keith Richards, the worst things for your skin are time and gravity.
Actually, not only do most people have nothing to do with the Hollywood scene, most of the actual movies and TV shows that get made are also of a separate entity from Hollywood. I'm pretty sure that the Hollywood in "Hollywood is pressuring women into..." refers to a useless group of seventy or eighty horrible publicists, leachy agents, shallow hangers-on, and, oh, the people who run the CW. But most of our entertainment consists not of youthful beauty, but of zombies and wacky families and mindless violence and sassy little kids. And there is still a place for older people. I mean, they're not going to stop making Marvel superhero movies for quite awhile, and we haven't even been introduced to most of the Avengers' mothers yet. The Hulk's mom has to be, what, like 60?
Hollywood is not an actual place anymore, or even an accurate way to describe the show business industry. Rather, it's an angry, absurd, misguided voice of hypocritical insanity. And it's not real life. In Hollywood, they might be trying to remake The Great Gatsby starring Suri Cruise. But in real life, even the real life of the films we stream, some of the characters have to be and look forty-five. They made a movie a few years ago where everyone was in their twenties. It was called In Time and it starred Justin Timberlake. According to the Internet Movie Database, it grossed less than it cost to make. Plus, it sucked.
My advice to actresses is this...
If it makes you feel good to alter your appearance, then do it. Life is short. Do whatever it takes to feel good about yourself... I mean, unless it involves murder or kidnapping. But if you're changing the way you look because you feel pressured by Hollywood, then get the hell out of Hollywood. Hollywood is leading you and your career astray. Move to New York City. They make movies there, too.