In a Jennifer Aniston-style essay for The Huffington Post, Renee Zellweger highlighted the dangers of so-called "snark entertainment" in gossip magazines and the way it can seep into mainstream media. The Oscar-winning actress argues that though an infamous October 2014 tabloid report claiming she'd undergone eye surgery in pursuit of a more youthful appearance "didn’t matter," the way it sparked a wider debate in more traditionally reputable areas of the media did. "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," Zellweger writes. "In my opinion, that tabloid speculations become the subject of mainstream news reporting does matter." Almost as an aside, Zellweger points out that the "eye surgery" story was false, but she's more concerned with attacking the "double standard" which still allows women, however successful and respected, to be judged according to perceived flaws in their appearance. "The resulting message is problematic for younger generations and impressionable minds, and undoubtably triggers myriad subsequent issues regarding conformity, prejudice, equality, self-acceptance, bullying, and health," Zellweger argues.
Zellweger ends her essay with an entirely sensible call to arms: we should talk more about our collective "appetite for witnessing people diminished and humiliated with attacks on appearance and character" and the way it "impacts younger generations and struggles for equality." "Maybe we could talk more about our many true societal challenges and how we can do better," the Bridget Jones actor urges in her final line. You can read Zellweger's essay in full at The Huffington Post.