By Alev Aktar October 22, 2014 | 7:45pm
“Who’s that girl?”
That’s the question many were asking when a woman with Renée Zellweger’s toned body and sleek dress sense — but not her familiar face — posed on the red carpet with the actress’ boyfriend of two years. Turns out it was Zellweger on Doyle Bramhall’s arm — only instead of her trademark deep-set eyes and smirky grin, the 45-year-old actress had wide saucers and an eerily smooth complexion.
Zellweger is the latest example of a disturbing trend: women — and occasionally men — in the public eye who, in the process of “refreshing” or “maintaining” their appearance, go a few millimeters too far and erase or minimize the very features that made them famous in the first place. The result? A generic, fabricated Hollywood look that has sadly become all too common.
“Surgeons are always well-intentioned, but sometimes they’re a little bit too formulaic in the procedures they use,” said Dr. David Hidalgo, a New York-based plastic surgeon. “It’s not so much that it’s overdone, it’s just not individualized. For surgeons, it’s almost [more] important to decide what not to do than what to do. And that comes with experience.”
In an exclusive statement sent to People magazine, Zellweger dismissed suggestions she’d had work done as “silly” and attributed her highly alert appearance to being in love and enjoying a healthier lifestyle. “I’m glad folks think I look different!” she wrote. “I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”
There is an art to looking “well-rested,” and top surgeons proceed with caution. Dr. Timothy Marten, a San Francisco-based plastic surgeon, notes that “certain areas of the face — in particular the eyes and lips — are known as loci of identity.” In other words, mess too heavily with these parts, and you just might wind up unrecognizable.
According to Marten, traditional eyelid surgery involves removing tissue that “can change the look of the eyes.” With lips, “there’s a tendency with famous faces to overfill the upper lip, and it looks unnatural” — when it should be the other way around.
Here’s a look at Zellweger and other stars remarkably transformed over the years.
“She’s a beautiful and talented woman who may or may not have had a facelift,” says Dr. Timothy Marten. “She had a very full upper and lower eyelid and part of the reason she looks different is her eyelids no longer have that full, girlish look we all loved about her. It’s also possible something was done to her lips.” Her face has perhaps lost some of its softness, he noted. “She may have either lost weight or had facial liposuction or radio frequency or ultrasound,” he says, referring to skin-shrinking techniques that can result in the loss of facial fat.
The youngest person ever to win a competitive Academy Award is now 50 and likely fighting the hands of time with injections, not surgery. “It’s all about fat transfer or filler,” says New York-based Dr. David Rosenberg, adding that the substances dissolve so the pillowy effect will wear off.
The singer-songwriter and actor is a wide-eyed and bushy-tailed 76. “It looks like he had his eyes done and possibly a brow lift,” says Dr. David Hidalgo. “It has totally changed his appearance. It doesn’t look like he’s had a facelift because of his neck.” Does he look better? “It’s safe to say that he looks cleaner but he looks different.”
We’re hopelessly devoted to the “Grease” star and singer, even if she’s done the lift and fill. “To have a neck like that in your sixties, you’ve had a facelift,” noted Dr. David Rosenberg, adding that she’s probably had some filler or fat transfer and put on a few pounds. “She’s looking beautiful. She looks better than when she was 30 years old.”
Her first major role was as a goth teen in “Beetlejuice,” and while she could no longer pass as a high school student, grad school would not be a stretch. Dr. Rosenberg does not believe the gorgeous 42-year-old actress has had a facelift or her eyes done. “She looks thinner and it doesn’t look surgical. It looks like she has maybe some fillers in her cheeks. You can see the pads under her eyes.”