Renée Zellweger defended natural aging in a new interview with The Sunday Times this week. The 53-year-old two-time Academy Award–winner shared that she had had a revelation after turning 50 a few years ago.

‘Like, good luck all you suckers out there because you’ve got to survive a lot to get to my age, and I’ve earned my power and voice.’ But the conversation turned to the actress’ appearance, particularly circa the mid-2010s, when she was rumored to have had cosmetic surgery that change the appearance of her famously squinty eyes.

In her interview, she criticized ‘anti-aging’ cosmetic products for messages to consumers ‘telling us we don’t need to look our real age.’ Zellweger may have shocked some readers when she admitted that she couldn’t wait to turn 50, which she saw as an improvement over her 20s.

‘Turning 50 felt like a whole new beginning without the nonsense, the point where you can stop listening to all those voices in your head and all those expectations and projections people have of you and become more authentically yourself,’ she admitted.

In a Huffington Post op-ed from 2016, she appeared to deny having had surgery to change the appearance of her eyes, though the wording was vague enough to leave some wiggle room. But now Zellweger is fed up with cosmetic products that are advertised in a manner to convince people that they need to look younger than their true age.

‘To be vibrant and beautiful you must embrace your age, otherwise you are living apologetically and to me that’s not beautiful at all,’ she added.

Whether or not The Jerry Maguire star made changes to her appearance years ago, she has returned to her more recognizable look since then and had renewed critical and commercial success after winning her second Academy Award for her Judy Garland biopic Judy.

‘All those ads telling us we don’t need to look our real age if we just buy all their creams and their fixes and all that garbage they want to sell us?’ she mused to The Sunday Times. ‘I’m like, what, you’re saying I’m not valuable any more because I’m 53? Is that what you’re saying? There is a big difference between being your absolute best, most vibrant self and wanting to be what you’re not. 

Elsewhere in her interview, Zellweger opened up about a six-year stint starting in 2010 when she stepped away from Hollywood.

‘I guess I reached a point where I had to play a different game,’ she explained. ‘I don’t know if it was because it was a heightened experience for me being a woman of that age or because back then cinema was so culturally important, the center, in a way, of everyone’s consciousness. But it felt pretty chaotic.’

‘I don’t think it would be a good thing for me, you know?’ she continued. ‘I have a list of things I like to get done every day. One of them is to text or call my mom. Another is to study language online. If I had this compulsion to check my phone every day, well, that feels scary. I’d rather be out hiking with my dogs, Chester and Ellie.’

The actress, who has lately been dating British TV presenter Ant Anstead, mentioned that she tries steer clear of the public’s interest in their relationship. ‘I don’t pay much attention to any of that,’ she said of her boyfriend’s occasional gushing Instagram photos featuring her. She added that she stays off social media herself.

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