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Renee Zellweger fires back at Hollywood body-shaming in new essay

Renee Zellweger has heard what her critics have said, and she has something to say herself.

The "Bridget Jones Diary" star published an essay on the Huffington Post on Friday titled "We Can Do Better" that looks to tackle the pervasive trends of "tabloid journalism" and body-shaming in Hollywood.

In July, Variety critic Owen Gleiberman opined that Zellweger "no longer looks like herself" thanks to alleged plastic surgery. While Gleiberman was roundly criticized for his remarks, the Oscar-winning actress herself stayed silent -- until now.

"I am not writing today because I have been publicly bullied or because the value of my work has been questioned by a critic whose ideal physical representation of a fictional character originated 16 years ago, over which he feels ownership, I no longer meet," Zellweger wrote, directly addressing the Variety piece.

"I'm writing because to be fair to myself, I must make some claim on the truths of my life, and because witnessing the transmutation of tabloid fodder from speculation to truth is deeply troubling. The 'eye surgery' tabloid story itself did not matter, but it became the catalyst for my inclusion in subsequent legitimate news stories about self-acceptance and women succumbing to social pressure to look and age a certain way."

I can't imagine there's dignity in explaining yourself to those who trade in contrived scandal, or in seeking the approval of those who make fun of others for sport," she wrote. "It's silly entertainment, it's of no import, and I don't see the point in commenting."

Zellweger went on to hope that the entertainment industry as a whole can improve, particularly in how it treats women.

"Ubiquitous online and news source repetition of humiliating tabloid stories, mean-spirited judgments and false information is not harmless," she wrote.

"It increasingly takes airtime away from the countless significant unprecedented current events affecting our world. It saturates our culture, perpetuates unkind and unwise double standards, lowers the level of social and political discourse, standardizes cruelty as a cultural norm, and inundates people with information that does not matter."

Zellweger's entire essay can be read here.

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