Renée Zellweger, Before and After

Your jaw will drop, because the Jerry Maguire star is basically unrecognizable.
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Michelle Villett
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Your jaw will drop, because the Jerry Maguire star is basically unrecognizable.
Renee Zellweger before and after

I cannot get over this week's celebrity before and after. It was 17 (17!!) years ago that 44-year-old Renée Zellweger had us at "hello" in Jerry Maguire. Now, if she said "hello," I'd wonder, "Who is this woman talking to me?" Whatever changes she's made to her appearance lately—and we'll get into detail on those in a minute—they've made her barely recognizable as the A-list star she once was. Anyone else feeling shades of Jennifer Grey here? Although Renée remains an incredibly beautiful woman, a makeover this drastic has got to be a career-limiting move. She and Jen should chat.

Let's look at the befores and the afters, and then we'll discuss!

The before

Kicking things off is a 34-year-old Renée at the 2004 Golden Globes, where she was accepting the Best Supporting Actress award for Cold Mountain:

Renee Zellweger, Golden Globes, 2004

Classic Renée when her career was at its peak and she was a total America's sweetheart type. Was she also filming the second Bridget Jones around this time? I'm inclined to think so, because she gained some weight for those movies and it looks like her face is a little fuller here. She wears it really well, in my opinion. Naturally, she's got that Nordic look of heavy-lidded eyes, full apple cheeks and bee-stung lips. So pretty and not your average cookie-cutter blonde.

In 2005, she randomly became a brunette, apparently because she liked the anonymity it afforded her:

Renee Zellweger, People's Choice Awards, 2005

Bad decision, Renée. Bad. It's too one-dimensional of a dark colour and looks totally fried and dry, especially with those messy baby hairs. I think blonde is much kinder to her skin tone as well. The blonde sort of softens everything whereas the brown makes every flaw stand out. As for her face, I'm looking at the arch of her eyebrows and wondering if the Botox has begun. Do you think?

The following year, 2006, she was blonde again (albeit in need a root touch-up) and apparently with a rosacea problem:

Renee Zellweger, Miss Potter event, 2006

Gosh, it looks like she's having a real bad flare-up here. I totally sympathize because I get major blotchiness and redness as well. I think she also has some filler in her upper lip at this point.

By 2008, things had calmed down some with regards to both the redness and the injections (at least I think):

Renee Zellweger, Leatherheads premiere, 2008

There's something Nicole Kidman-like about that angle, isn't there?

By 2009 (when she hit the big 4-0), it's pretty clear Renée is using Botox:

Renee Zellweger, Golden Globes, 2009

Amirite? Nobody's forehead is that naturally smooth, is it—especially at age 40? The way it's reflecting light reminds me of a plastic doll. Even still, I'm more concerned about the bird's nest that's happening on top of her head. What the hell...?!

Our last "before" shot is from 2010:

Renee Zellweger, CNN Heroes tribute, 2010

Here, I think the Bo is not just in the forehead but around the eyes, too, since her expression is a little stiff. But then again, she's always been an awkward red carpet poser, so....

The after

Are you ready for this? Here's Renée in 2012. Would you ever have recognized her in a million years?

Renee Zellweger, Fashion Group International Night of Stars, 2012

Doesn't even look like the same person. Plus, it looks like a much older person. But Renée is only 43 here. So what did she do? Word on the street is a chin implant, at the very least. According to Dr. Brian Glatt:

"It does not appear as if she has had rhinoplasty. While weight loss can certainly eliminate the appearance of a double chin, in Renée’s case, the chin is actually elongated, which is not something that can be attributed to weight loss. Although I have not treated Ms. Zellweger, it is pretty safe to say based on this photo that she has had a chin implant. The result is attractive without giving the jawline a look that is too masculine. The added length to her face seems to make the rest of her features “pop,” giving her face a look that is overall quite striking. Renée  has always had small eyes. By losing volume in her cheeks through weight loss, it makes her eyes more outstanding. Nothing in the shape or angle of her eyes has changed and nor has her brow position.  Aside from the likely chin implant and the continued use of Botox (since the “before” pictures of Renee show her forehead wrinkle-free), the rest of the facial changes appear to be weight-loss related."

I dunno, I'm no plastic surgeon, but I don't agree that's the whole story. I mean, just look at our last shot, from a Giorgio Armani event last month:

Renee Zellweger, Giorgio Armani One Night Only NYC event, 2013

A very beautiful woman, but who IS this woman? She is so obviously different in the eye area and not just the chin—no way that's "normal aging." Dr. Benjamin Stong agrees with me: "The most noticeable change is with her eyes. Botox can be used to alter the appearance of one’s eyes and eyebrows significantly." Who even knew Botox could do that?! Also, did you notice the skin changes in the last two pics? There's no more redness, no more blotchiness, no more dry or uneven textures. I'm sure she got lasered because this is the complexion of my dreams.

The bottom line

R.I.P., Renée's old face. I'll miss you! I think it's safe to say that this has been our most dramatic before and after transformation yet. I can't help but wonder... why? I totally get the need for the skin resurfacing, because rosacea is a bitch, and even a few injections here and there to slow the hands of time. But a chin implant? When there was nothing "wrong" with your chin in the first place? To my knowledge, chin implants have never done women any favours. (Aside from the fact that it makes her a different person, Renée's isn't the worst I've seen—but overall, I find them very masculinizing.) And I will never, ever, understand these weird Botox party tricks, where you use it to lift and change the shape of someone's eyes, eyelids and brows. Fine, Renée doesn't look like a freak, but she also doesn't look like Renée. So I find that a little creepy. Am I alone here?

Have your say

Do you think Renée looked better before or after?
What procedures do you think she's had done?
How do you feel about people who change their appearance so drastically?