It’s as if another person is looking into the camera

COMMENT: Cameras have become part and parcel of everyday life

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The papers and social media have been full of Renee Zellweger’s new face.

For those of you who missed it, actress Renee appeared at an event looking rather unlike herself. In fact, she looked so unlike herself she was/is virtually unrecognisable.

This has obviously raised many questions, not least of which is can she ever play Bridget Jones again, seeing as she now looks nothing like Bridget.

Seriously, the difference is astounding.

We’ve all seen photographs that make people look different, But this picture of Renee, it’s as if another person entirely was looking into the camera.

I don’t know if it was just that shot, a trick of the light and the angle, or something more sinister.

Renee herself claims that the change in her appearance is due to being happy. Hmm. Personally, being happy makes me smile, not look like someone else.

It may cause me to have a maniacal grin on my face, crinkle up the corners of my eyes and turn up my mouth.

But none of this would leave me unrecognisable.

We’ve all experienced it, haven’t we, seeing someone from our school days and recognising them even after 30 years have passed?

I think that there must be some inbuilt facial recognition software in all of us, which can only lead me to suspect that Renee may have changed her face cosmetically in some way.

Plenty of other celebrities have done it. I’m not sure if it’s pressure to remain looking young brought about by the film studios, or by peers, or by people’s own desperation at who is looking back at them in the mirror.

Yes, there are older women out there who look great – Helen Mirren is one example, Susan Sarandon another.

But why do we all assume that we want to look like them at any costs? There are surely other female role models whom we admire, but it doesn’t mean that all women will then rush off to get a law degree, become an international peace keeper or whatever.

So why do we assume that all women are unhappy with their faces and bodies and want to look like plastic versions of themselves?