Whatever you have to say about Renee Zellweger and her face, you should know this: She’s happy with herself.

Zellweger responded to the waves of Internet snark that crescendoed when photographs of her walking the red carpet at the Elle Women in Hollywood awards began to circulate, choosing to release an exclusive statement to People magazine published Wednesday morning.

“I’m glad folks think I look different,” Zellweger said. “I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.” She did not directly address whether or not she’s had plastic surgery, as many have conjectured. After all, it’s not really anyone’s business — no one really had anything to say when Zellweger’s weight was yo-yoing as she put on pounds to play Bridget Jones, her most well-known role, then quickly lost them in time to show up to premieres looking like her previously svelte self. Twice.

That feat gets attributed to money and the magic of Hollywood and never to methods that could be construed as damaging or unhealthy.

“My friends say that I look peaceful,” Zellweger continued. “I am healthy. For a long time I wasn’t doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn’t allow for taking care of myself. Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion. I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things.”


Renee Zellweger in 2003. (AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson)

Zellweger said she finally decided to address the rampant criticism because “it seems the folks who come digging around for some nefarious truth which doesn’t exist won’t get off my porch until I answer the door.”

The fracas across social media was reminiscent of the cruel reaction Kim Novak received when she walked on stage at the Oscars with Matthew McConaughey: a whole lot of revulsion and not much in the way of empathy.

Zachary Quinto praised Zellweger’s response to those who recoiled at the sight of her seemingly-altered face.

Lovely. Now we can all go back to doing something life-alteringly important, like questioning why she picked those shoes with that dress.

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