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Just let Renee be!

Just let Renee be!
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Hope all of you had a fabulous Diwali. If not, there’s always next time! Mine was spent holed up inside my room, reading and stuffing face with obscene amounts of Diwali goodies. After an unimaginably tedious shoot last weekend, my body failed to recover in time for Diwali debauchery. Clearly, I’m not as young as I once was. In fact, none of us are.

 I’m a huge Bridget Jones fan. And, an even bigger fan of Renee Zellweger, who earned herself a legion of fans through her portrayal of the ever-awkward but always sunny Bridget who’s fighting a constant battle with her body image and issues deeply connected with it – love, career, family.

Zellweger didn’t have Julia Roberts’ looks, Catherine Zeta Jones’ chutzpah, Cameron Diaz’s sex appeal, or a superstar husband like Nicole Kidman’s.

All she had were strong acting chops, a mind of her own, and distaste for the Hollywood way of life. I’ve never heard of her weight or, partying habits being discussed.

Hence, I found it extremely worrisome to see the world go into frenzy on seeing her latest pictures. And, why? Because she doesn’t look how she used to five years back. So ironic that the reel Bridget Jones seems to have been turned into some sort of a real Jones!

Renee is no longer the rosy 20-something that the world seems to remember her as. Her skin’s aged considerably, she’s got lines running across the forehead, and her complexion no longer glows in the glorious fall sun.

So, what’s the big deal? She’s 45, for God’s sake! How silly of us is it to expect her to look like she’s 30?!

A lot of us have elder relatives who’re close to Renee’s age. Please go have a closer look at them.
I can bet my bottom dollar that none of them looks as perfect as she does. And, we accept them the way they are, why can’t be extend the same courtesy to Renee?

Is she obligated to look preppy and young all the time just because she happens to be an actor?
I don’t see any of us finding faults with Meryl Streep’s looks. Or, Helen Mirren’s for that matter.
In fact, a barely 30 year-old male friend said to me the other day, ‘Dude! Helen Mirren is the hottest woman ever’.

She’s got more wrinkles than I can count on my fingers!

Why must we then discriminate against Renee? Is it because Mirren was never cute eye-candy and was always ageing as opposed to Zellweger who endeared herself to many a fan with her pinched rosy cheeks?

So, her fault essentially is that from a pretty 25 year-old, she’s now gone to a wrinkled 45 year-old. How dare she?

Why can’t we just let people be? Why can’t we accept people the way they are - good, bad, or ugly!
Enough stomachs have been starved, enough tears have been shed, and enough bodies have been abused, thanks to the body-image nonsense shoved down our throats, for generations, by society.
It’s time we flagged it, and put an end to it. Celebrate your body, whatever the shape.

Be grateful for what you have, because somebody somewhere would kill to be in your shoes. And, if you’re still hung over on the façade, just go take a look at yourself in the mirror. It will crack, I guarantee!’

Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy
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