“As you mature, you become the best version of yourself”: Renee Zellweger’s empowering message to women everywhere

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Kayleigh Dray
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Just weeks ago, Renee Zellweger penned a blistering op-ed and directly addressed the constant and toxic stream of tabloid speculation about her appearance.

“It’s no secret a woman’s worth has historically been measured by her appearance,” she said, adding that “we can do better” for ourselves, if only we could ignore the immaterial stories, judgements, and misconceptions made about women in the public eye.

Now, in yet another demonstration of female empowerment, the Bridget Jones' Diary actress has tackled the subject of ageing – and admitted that the concept has never held any fears for her.

The 47-year-old told the Mail Online: “I think a woman only gets more interesting as she gets older.

"Youth and superficial beauty have their place and that is, understandably, celebrated to a degree. But that’s so fleeting and it’s only for a moment in your life.”

"As you mature, you’re not just getting older, you’re becoming more of who you are supposed to be, and becoming the best version of yourself, better and more interesting,” the actress added.

“It’s a more powerful beauty and it’s a more valuable beauty. Besides, I don’t want to stay the same - I’m curious about what comes next."

However mature or sophisticated she becomes, Zellweger – who is set to reprise her role as Bridget in Bridget Jones’ Baby (due to hit cinemas this September) – added that there are some elements of her character that she just doesn’t seem to grow out of.

“I’m always like Bridget, always,” she said. “There’s always something strange that happens that nobody knows about. The dress doesn’t fit right. Or the zipper broke and it’s been sewn up at the last moment.

“Or my shoe falls apart and I have to go on stage to present an Oscar, even though it’s taped together. I feel awkward all the time — I guess I just have to get used to it.”

Her comments on ageing come just weeks after Courteney Cox spoke out about the enormous pressures that women– and, in particular, celebrity women – are placed under to stay looking youthful for as long as possible.

“Being a woman in this industry is difficult, and getting older is not the easiest thing. But I have learned lessons,” she said, during an appearance on Running Wild With Bear Grylls.

The Friends star admitted that she had felt forced to undergo cosmetic procedures as a result, adding: “Sometimes you find yourself trying and then you look at a picture of yourself and you go ‘oh god, I look horrible.’

“I have done things that I regret and luckily there are things that dissolve and go away. So that's good because it's not always been my best look.”

The 52-year-old finished: “Now I have a new motto; let it be.”

With so many women in the public eye choosing to speak up on the sexist double standards of the public spotlight and tabloid scrutiny, we can only hope that the narrative will be changed soon.

You can watch Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’ Baby when it arrives in cinemas on 16 September 2017.


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.