By now, you have probably heard that two very famous women’s faces look different than those two very famous faces looked 10 years ago. Both Uma Thurman and Renee Zellweger have made headlines for their changing appearances over the past year or so, with Renee’s initially coming into focus in early 2014 and then exploding in the media after ELLE‘s Women In Hollywood Awards–a situation she acknowledged and addressed tactfully.
Now, Uma’s been under fire after showing up to the New York premiere of The Slap looking, well, different. Personally, I think she’s just not wearing any eye makeup, lightened her brows, and is now in her mid-forties, but that’s not really the point of this post. The point is this: people are losing their shit over these women’s faces, and while celebrity appearances are obviously open to public discussion to a certain extent, there are ways to talk about them without being an absolute bag of douche.
Do: Acknowledge that they look different.
Let’s get this out of the way: Uma looks different.
So does Renee.
The thing about people getting older, changing skincare routines, exercising differently, and, yes, having plastic surgery or clinical treatments is that it does (obviously) change what your face looks like. Whether your skin stays preternaturally smooth or happens to sag quite a bit as birthdays go by, your face will look different. And that is okay!
Readers have questioned why we discussed Renee, Uma, and even Nicole Kidman‘s faces in the first place, and the answer is this: it’s news. People are talking about it, so we talk about it, too. There’s a difference between writing about the news and assuming that we all know what’s going on in stars’ private lives. And on that note…
Don’t: Presume to know their choices, no matter what “experts” say.
Maybe you read a report from a plastic surgeon. Maybe you read a Daily Mail article quoting a whole slew of doctors who happen to be in communication with the Daily Mail for some inexplicable reason. Maybe you once saw Renee Zellweger at your best friend’s gym and now you feel like you totally know she had plastic surgery. Here’s the thing: none of us actually know. Again, observing changes is fine–it’s when you cross into presumptive territory that the conversation often turns fictionalized and inappropriate.
Do: Respect their decisions.
If, for some reason, Uma Thurman were to do an interview with The Daily Show tomorrow night (why The Daily Show, I don’t know, I just feel like Jon Stewart and Uma would be so cool together), entirely to talk about these plastic surgery rumors, and actually say outright that she’s had some work done…well, what then? Should we get our pitchforks and call her a fake with a lying liar face? Shall we get downright vintage about it and call her a ”
“phony”? Well, no, because that’s ridiculous.
If you happen to be the owner of Uma Thurman’s face, you have every right to feel affronted by Uma Thurman’s decisions. If you are not, then I’ve got great news for you: this doesn’t affect you! You’re freeeee!
Don’t: Expect an explanation.
While we are all entitled to our own opinions, it’s more than a little ridiculous to get angry, disappointed, or sad about a star’s changing appearance. If these women were putting themselves in danger, then sure! That makes sense to be concerned about. But just remember this: they don’t owe us anything. We can talk all we want about them–that’s both a reason for and a side effect of their fame–but that doesn’t mean we somehow deserve a press conference to address our curiosity.
Do: Remember that they’re actual human beings and don’t deserve to be bullied.
Part of being a celebrity is having your work torn apart, your style choices scrutinized, and your words dissected. Being under a microscope is one of the side effects of being incredibly famous and, oftentimes, very wealthy. That said, there is no excuse for belittling or mocking a person’s physical appearance. We have no idea whether these women have simply naturally aged or if they have utilized some form of anti-aging treatment; regardless, it’s not okay to tweet shit like this:
— Álvaro Ruiz (@alvaroruizlargo) February 10, 2015
Uma Thurman died and they replaced her with her ugly sister.
— Green Dino (@the_green_dino) February 10, 2015
— Dan Dante (@dantelechat) February 10, 2015
This, on the other hand, is hilarious and spot-on:
Cannot believe Uma Thurman had the nerve to live past the age of 40.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) February 10, 2015
If you’re going to talk about the situation on Twitter, perhaps make a clever joke of it, not an, “OMG SHE’S HEINOUS WTF WTF WTF GIVE ME BACK MY THURMOMETER THE WAY SHE WAS” remark.
Don’t: Run around yelling, “But she looked soooo good before!”
Because honestly, so what? Not that it matters, but they still look ridiculously pretty, and even if they didn’t, it doesn’t directly affect any of our lives.
Do: Go about your day like nothing ever happened to you personally, because it didn’t.
While I was writing this post, I noticed there are some Twitter users who seriously can’t stop tweeting about Uma Thurman’s face. Guys, chill out. If you have this much time to waste at your job or at home, I sort of envy you, but at the same time, perhaps you need to take up a hobby that doesn’t involve calling a stranger’s face ugly.
Good talk, guys!
Photos: Getty Images