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Images from AFP and Runaway Home Productions

Did the Oscar winner really go under the knife? Three doctors voice their opinion.

Dr Woffles Wu, Woffles Wu Aesthetic Surgery & Laser Centre

“I don’t think she’s had very much plastic surgery done, if any at all.”

It looks more like she lost a lot of weight and maybe she’s on one of those Hollywood-fad diets. Her skin is thinner and the fatty padding has been reduced. It doesn’t look like a facelift. There are more lines on her face but she’s still pretty. It’s just a more mature, older look.Her neck is scrawnier, as is her whole body, so it’s probably a lifestyle change. Normally, the face of someone who undergoes plastic surgery changes but the body doesn’t. At the most, she’s maybe had some trimming of skin and fat from the upper eyelids. Having said that, I don’t know if this is the best look for her. She looks 10 to 15 years older than she should.

She used to be a plumpish good-looking person before, but now she just looks very, very thin.

Any normal person can have this dramatic physical change with weight loss. A loss of 2kg can make you look five years older and 5kg can drastically alter your appearance. A good example would be actor Matthew McConaughey.

For someone who is about 35 years old and 65kg to 70kg, a 2kg weight loss will mean more lines on the face and a sagging jawline. It’s a paradox but as you lose weight, you become physically fitter and healthier, but you end up looking facially older as your face gets leaner.

Dr Woffles Wu is a prominent plastic surgeon with his own practice in Camden Medical Centre.

 Dr Elias Tam, EHA Clinic

“There’s no aesthetic work that I can spot, no skin-lifting that I can see.”

The change is so dramatic I’m not sure if she can pass through customs if her passport has an old photo. Usually surgery makes people look younger, but her skin looks aged, eyes are sunken and she looks tired.She must have lost a lot of weight or she could be suffering from a serious illness. I’ve seen some cancer patients have such dramatic change in appearance.

A 5kg to 10kg weight loss can lead to such a big change in looks. And you can see that her arms, neck and body are much skinnier. Her skin texture is loose and wrinkled and there’s no sign of scars or distortion normally associated with surgery.

She looks easily above 50, much older than she is. If it’s surgery, it must have been terrible surgery.

Dr Elias Tam is a general practitioner with a special interest in aesthetic medicine.

Dr Tan Ying Chien, The Sloane Clinic

“She’s definitely got eyelid surgery done, with skin and fat removed from the upper eyelid. Her eyes look bigger now.”

There’s also some form of facelift, like a forehead lift as the forehead looks shinier and tighter. The top of the forehead is rounder too. This could be the result of fat injection. Perhaps there was a cheek lift and maybe fat injection as her cheeks look fuller, but I can’t really tell from these photos alone. However, she’s lost weight so I can’t really say if the other differences are due to weight changes or surgery.

But there’s no way that all these changes could have come from weight loss alone.

She looks stiff, unnatural, and when she smiles, her eyes don’t smile. She looks frozen too, and that could be the combination of the lift and botox. She’s lost her signature look, that bit of chubbiness and the sleepy eyes. Her eyes are now uncovered.

Personally, I feel she looks OK for a 45-year-old. But I prefer the old Renee Zellweger. In fact, I was just watching Bridget Jones’ Diary 2 on HBO yesterday!

Dr Tan Ying Chien is a plastic surgeon with The Sloane Clinic, a chain of aesthetic and plastic surgery clinics.

Other celebrity news sites such as The Hollywood Life and have also interviewed experts on the subject, with opinions varying on whether Zellweger has had plastic surgery, and if so, which procedures.

Meanwhile, some have come to the defence of the actress, with the Washington Post calling out the hypocritical obsession over one woman’s possible plastic surgery when “Americans had more than 11 million cosmetic procedures in 2013”.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on October 22, 2014. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.

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