I keep hearing these phrases, over and over again, like they’re coming from that person in kindergarten who thought it was so funny to poke people with pencils and see the lead underneath their skin.

“Oooh, looks like she got some work done.”

“Why did she do that to her face? She looked good before.”

“There’s no way that’s her real butt. It’s gross.”

Well, just like 5-year-old me, I’m tired of people stabbing others.

Make fun of my taste all you want, but I am very excited for the new Bridget Jones movie. For awkward, chubby, single girls everywhere, Bridget is the hot mess that resonates with our souls. Not to mention, Renee Zellweger has this precious British accent, but she’s from Katy, Texas. So many people have said, “I had no idea she wasn’t from England!” to which I respond, “I know, right?”

Her comedic delivery is delightful, and her capability to literally make me cringe with secondhand embarrassment is actually one of my favorite parts about this character.

I also love Colin Firth as a strapping love interest who is always incredibly, hopelessly awkward as well. We can’t forget Hugh Grant, but he’s a pretty horrible human being in both films, and we all cheered when Bridget realized she deserved so much better. I feel #blessed that Patrick Dempsey’s character Jack will be essentially replacing Daniel in this rivalry.

But for every excited exclamation and trailer re-watch in public, I get some comment about Renee Zellweger’s face.

And I can’t help but want to yell, “Why do you care?”

“It’s not the same Bridget Jones,” they whine.

“It’s not 2004 anymore,” I reply.

Can’t we all just find some chill?

Did you know a paparazzo followed Renee Zellweger to her car door and asked her “about her face?” To which she, understandably, politely asked to be excused, saying that she had “better things to do.”

Did you know that Patrick Dempsey, who, from all evidence that I painstakingly have gathered over the years, is a top-notch human being, made recent comments defending her appearance?

I’m applauding for him, but he shouldn’t have even had to step in.

According to a Daily Mail article (which is a sketchy source, but oh well, this quote is a nice sentiment), Dempsey said his co-star Zellweger “should not have to face such scrutiny” and adds women have it so much harder.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Zellweger said a conversation solely about women’s appearance “perpetuates the problem.”

“Why do we value beauty over contribution?” Zellweger asked in the interview. “We don’t seem to value beauty over contribution for men. It’s simply not a conversation.”

I think it would be pretty neat if we focused on the fact that Zellweger took a six-year break to better herself, and during that time, she took screenwriting classes, pitched a pilot to Lifetime, which was accepted, and hung out at her cool and casual 40-acre farm in Connecticut.

I love Patrick Dempsey (as much as you can without actually knowing a person) but he’s looking wrinkly too. And his beautiful dark locks are graying. But no one’s attacking him.

Since I was a little girl,  I was told  plastic surgery was bad. To some degree, this lesson had positive effects, because I learned to love my body for the way it was and to embrace differences, even flaws, because they made me, well, me.

But as I got older, I realized plastic surgery should not be intrinsically linked to a lack of self-confidence. Botox, tucks or breast augmentations can simply be the extra push to feel even more you.

I mean, aren’t makeup and push up bras essentially the same thing? How many of you women have worn Spanx? Thank God above for Spanx, that’s all I gotta say.

I’m not suggesting if you noticed Zellweger’s face looks different, you should just ignore it. I’m suggesting we notice it and move on. Maybe she got a facelift. Maybe her eyes look smaller just because she just has wrinkles, like pretty much every other 47-year-old woman I know.

Let’s destigmatize plastic surgery. This Jezebel article lists the excuses we have for judging plastic surgery:

“It’s shallow. It’s dangerous. It’s a choice, therefore it’s fair game. It’s caving to the patriarchy. It’s lying, it’s cheating, it’s vanity unchecked—our beautiful people are supposed to be flawless naturally and without effort.”

As a society, we have this paradoxical view on beauty: It’s supposed to be natural, but don’t you dare go out in public without makeup on. And if you do go out in public without makeup on, you’re shaming people who enjoy makeup. Don’t you dare be fat, but don’t be too skinny and obsessed with your weight. Don’t you dare dress that way, but don’t be a prude. These concepts are heightened for celebrities who are under constant scrutiny.

We also hold this idea, stated by the same Jezebel article: “Beauty is supposed to be magical and aspirational. Blood and swelling and piles of money spoil the fantasy.”

Let beauty live in all of its forms. Let’s bring it out of fantasies and unrealistic expectations. I’m here for your confidence in who you are. Don’t feel pressure one way or the other.

Have plastic surgery. Don’t. Wear pushup bras. Don’t wear a bra at all. Wear makeup. Wear no makeup. And everything in between.

I know the question you truly, deeply care about is that -‘s in “Bridget Jones’s Baby.” I know you actually care more about grammar.

(It’s correct).

Also, don’t you wish you could be laughing and holding a teddy bear in between Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey? I think we all know who is winning in this situation.

For now, I’m not letting the haters get in the way of the advertisement for what could be the greatest third installment of a romcom series of our generation.

photo from ew.com

 

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