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Hollywood Has Destroyed Another Natural Beauty: Renee Zellweger

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It looks like Hollywood's pressure to conform to unnatural beauty standards have ruined the features of yet another gorgeous leading lady. Now we don't expect Renee Zellwegger at 45 to look the same as she did nearly two decades ago in her breakout role in "Jerry Maguire," but this week she showed up at ELLE's 21st Annual Women In Hollywood looking completely unrecognizable.

Zellwegger joins the ranks of Jennifer Grey and Lara Flynn Boyle, actresses who went under the knife and came out with a new face. Melanie Griffith and Meg Ryan have also been plumped and tightened past the point of recognition or the ability to make natural facial expressions.

It seems crazy that some of the most gorgeous people would want to mess with their trademark looks after they've made it big but such is life in Hollywood—particularly for romantic leads who have a short shelf life. For comparison: it's been four years since Zellwegger made a film, but her 52-year-old "Jerry Maguire" co-star Tom Cruise is still kicking. John Cusack nailed it when he recently described Hollywood's youth obsession, "I have actress friends who are being put out to pasture at 29. They just want to open up another can of hot 22. It’s becoming almost like kiddie porn. It’s fucking weird."

And it never ends. At the Oscars this spring, Kim Novak was roundly mocked for showing up at 81 with a face that had clearly been transformed by cosmetic surgery. Amanda Hess at Slate wrote then that it's hypocritical to call out actresses for being obsessed with their looks as they age:

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When Novak entered the industry in the 1950s, studio executives made her cap her teeth, bleach her hair, shrink her body with a strict diet and exercise regime, and perpetually paint her face with the help of a personal makeup artist. I wonder where she got the idea that she mattered for her looks?

It seems cruel to mock an actress when it's absolutely the industry standard to do everything to fight the natural process of aging—when the trick is supposed to be not letting it show.

Related:
Renee Zellweger Says She Looks So Different Because She's Happy And Healthy