Renee Zellweger’s plastic surgery

A lot of people have asked me about Renee Zellweger and her recent unrecognizable “transformation”.  Did she have plastic surgery?  Yes.  She’s obviously had an upper blepharoplasty.  It seems she hasn’t exactly admitted it, but this quote of hers from People is more relevant than whether she chooses to admit her surgery or not: “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”


Zellweger’s upper eyelids were a prominent and unique feature of her look even as a young ingénue in Jerry Macguire.  Even then I figured that at some point in her life those eyelids might become a liability and prompt her to seek some surgical relief.  Full upper eyelids are actually youthful upper eyelids (look at most young models in fashion and fitness magazines – they have full, not hollow, upper eyelids).  Loose upper eyelid skin, however, is typically an age-revealing problem that in addition to contributing to an “aged” appearance, can also be a problem with mascara staining or comments like “you look tired”.  Brow position and shape also relates closely to upper eyelid appearance and aging, but again, a youthful brow position isn’t always high.  The woman with an overly-lifted brow in the middle of her forehead has not been rejuvenated by her plastic surgeon.


Even when young, Zellweger had low-set brows, full upper eyelids, and excess skin that sat on top of her eyelashes.  But this was her unmistakable “look”, and there was nothing “unattractive” about it.  However, it wasn’t necessarily going to age well.  Having an upper blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) to relieve the heaviness was understandable.  However, the risk was loosing her uniqueness and making her look like someone else, similar to the effect that Jennifer Grey’s rhinoplasty had years ago.  Some said that Grey’s rhinoplasty made her look like everyone else and had a negative effect on her career.  Maybe, maybe not.


I don’t know who did Zellweger’s surgery, but I would say that it was done well.  I think she looks great.  So from a technical standpoint, she had a well-done procedure.  Could it have been done in a way to still keep her facial uniqueness?  Perhaps by removing less skin and fat, maybe.  It appears she did not have a browlift, or if she did, I see little effect from it.  Some plastic surgeons might criticize her surgeon for not lifting her brow, but I commend him or her – I think that would have made her look even more different, and changed what is a nice, natural looking result to an overdone, unnatural result.


Douglas J. Mackenzie, M.D.

Santa Barbara, California

Douglas J. Mackenzie, MD

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