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What Renee Zellweger’s 'New' Face Says About Body Image

From the Show: HER
Summary: Not only was Renee's "new" face a plastic surgery shaming, it was also a commentary on how women are supposed to age.
Air Date: 11/20/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Adrienne Ressler, LMSW, CEDS
Adrienne ResslerAdrienne Ressler, eating disorder and body image specialist, is the Vice President of Professional Development of The Renfrew Center Foundation and immediate past president and Fellow of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.

Ms. Ressler has extensive training in Gestalt therapy, psychodrama, bio-energetic analysis and the Alexander Technique. She has contributed chapters that focus on body/mind integration in Effective Clinical Practice in the Treatment of Eating Disorders and Treatment of Eating Disorders: Bridging the Research/Practice Gap and has written an entry for the first Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance.

Ms. Ressler has appeared on the Today Show and Good Morning America. She attended the University of Michigan and served as faculty in the School of Education.
What Renee Zellweger’s 'New' Face Says About Body Image
You may remember back a few months ago to when Renee Zellwegger -- who hadn't been seen on or off screen for quite some time -- displayed a very different look at Elle Magazine's 21st annual Women In Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles.

For days, weeks, and months following the event, she was highly criticized for not admitting to having plastic surgery.

You may also remember that Renee's response wasn't as alarming as you might have thought it would be. She simply said, "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."

However, the discussion was far from over. With everyone so quick to give their "expert" opinion and ask many questions, it also raises another important question: does all the hype around the endless possibilities of Renee's face signal bigger concerns surrounding body image?

Women are constantly being told to embrace how they look, their feminine physique, and to let beauty inside them shine. As a woman, you might also be told to stop being overly critical of yourself and others. But, it's a slap in the face when you try to embrace your looks (including the aging process), and society is so quick to judge and stay solely focused on your external appearance.

What is body image exactly?

Body image is the idea or picture you have of your own body. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, body image encompasses what you believe about your own appearance, how you feel about your body (weight, height, shape, weight), and how you feel in your own skin.

If you have negative body image, you have a distorted image of yourself. You perceive your body to be something it's really not. You also feel uncomfortable in your body, self-conscious, or that your body shape or size is a sign of personal failure.

Adrienne Ressler, LMSW, CEDS, discusses why there was so much hype around Renee Zellweger's "new" face, as well as why body image is a major concern within our society.
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