Untitled-3

“You are a fucking idiot, Owen Gleiberman. Good hire, Variety magazine!”

Everybody’s fave outspoken actor (and my personal fave Charmed cast member), Rose McGowan has penned a deliciously acerbic retort to a ‘think piece’ by Variety magazine journalist Owen Gleiberman, entitled Renee Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself, Has She Become A Different Actress? (yes, I’m using the words ‘think piece’ very loosely here).

In his rather misogynistic article dedicated to questioning whether or not Zellweger has had cosmetic surgery, Gleiberman calls the Bridget Jones’ Diary actor ‘a gloriously ordinary person rather than someone who looks like she no longer wants to be who she is’, going on to critique her changing appearance, with gems like, ‘The most toxic thing about “having work done” is the feeling it can create that someone doesn’t look dramatically different from the way they looked before so much as they look…less.’ before commenting that, ‘I just hope it turns out [the new Bridget Jones movie] to be a movie that stars Renée Zellweger rather than a victim of “Invasion of the Face Snatchers.”.’

Understandably, McGowan was outraged by the degrading article, and released her own scathing retort on The Hollywood Reporter in defence of Zellweger and other women crucified by the media for their changing appearances, in which she calls out Gleiberman for using the 47 year-old actor ‘as a punching bag in your mistaken attempt to make a mark at your new job.’

‘Her crime, according to you, is growing older in a way you don’t approve of. Who are you to approve of anything?,’ McGowan asks.

‘What you are doing is vile, damaging, stupid and cruel. It also reeks of status quo white-male privilege. So assured are you in your place in the firmament that is Hollywood, you felt it was OK to do this. And your editors at Variety felt this was more than OK to run.’

McGowan also posted a pointed tweet making her stance on Gleiberman’s article abundantly clear, just in case he missed the message, calling the Variety magazine writer ‘a fucking idiot’.

Zellweger has copped an almost non-stop steam of critique and online attacks over her changing appearance after reappearing on the scene from a long hiatus in 2014, and McGowan says she’s suffered a similar level of bullying.

‘As a woman who has been bullied for years by a vicious pack of lower beings, I can relate to this. Many are probably silent because they do not wish for the proverbial pen to be pointed at them; I say point away. Short of killing me, you can’t possibly do more than what was done to me in my tenure as an actress.’

The actor goes on to finish by making a rather brilliant point we could do with hearing more often.

‘Guess what? It is time to stop f—ing with women’s minds. Do you know what my interests are, Owen? My interests are bigger than pondering a stranger’s face. My interest is destroying the status quo. My interest as a card-carrying member of society is to STOP the brainwashing Hollywood and the media have for too long gotten away with.’

I couldn’t agree more, Rose. Well said.

As someone who’s worked the most part of my career in the media around glossy magazines and image focused websites, I know all too well the icky level of attention paid to women’s weight, bust size, skin quality, hair and dress sense. I’ve sat next to many an art director and watched as beautiful women had their so-called ‘flaws’ – natural laugh lines, soft extra folds of skin or shapely hips and thighs – airbrushed away. It was probably the lowest I’ve ever felt in my own self image.

Now I’m in the editor’s chair, I’ve made a point of putting a stop to that. I regularly turn down pitches for weight loss stories and offers to try products aimed at making women feel bad about themselves. We don’t protest against cosmetic surgery – I myself am pro the odd jab of Botox or Restylane to perk myself up – but it’s not something I encourage either. I don’t believe in making women feel like they need to change to be worthy and accepted. I believe every one of us is already worthy, just as we are.

And I especially don’t believe it’s my place to comment if anyone decides to age gracefully or conversely chooses to rebel against the process and partake in plastic surgery. A woman’s body and what she does with it, is her choice, and hers alone. And it most certainly shouldn’t be up for public commentary.

Comment: What’s your take on the media’s ongoing scrutiny of Renee Zellweger’s appearance?