Upon watching the trailer for Bridget Jones’ Baby, Gleiberman claims that Zellweger "doesn’t look like Bridget Jones" anymore, and ponders how the actress' alleged plastic surgery has affected her movie roles. "For in addition to being a great actress, Zellweger, as much or more than any star of her era, has been a poster girl for the notion that each and every one of us is beautiful in just the way God made us," he writes. "The syndrome we’re talking about is far more insidious, because when you see someone who no longer looks like who they are, it’s not necessarily the result of bad cosmetic surgery. It’s the result of a decision, an ideology, a rejection of the self.
He concludes, "I hope [Bridget Jones' Baby] turns out to be a movie about a gloriously ordinary person rather than someone who looks like she no longer wants to be who she is."
McGowan calls Gleiberman's last line "quite the mind f**k."
"Guess what? It is time to stop f**king with women's minds," she continues. "My interests are bigger than pondering a stranger’s face. My interest is destroying the status quo. My interest as a card-carrying member of society is to STOP the brainwashing Hollywood and the media have for too long gotten away with."
McGowan adamantly defends Zellweger in her piece. "How dare you bully a woman who has done nothing but try to entertain people like you. Her crime, according to you, is growing older in a way you don’t approve of," she writes. "Who are you to approve of anything? What you are doing is vile, damaging, stupid and cruel. It also reeks of status quo white-male privilege."
The Charmed star also goes into the alleged abuse she endured as a Hollywood actress. "I speak as someone who was abused by Hollywood and by people like you in the media, but I’m a different breed, one they didn't count on. I refuse and reject this bullshit on behalf of those who feel they can't speak," she continues. "I am someone who was forced by a studio to go on Howard Stern where he asked me to show him my labia while my grinning male and female publicists stood to the side and did nothing to protect me. I am someone who has withstood death threats from fanboys, had fat sites devoted to me. I've withstood harassment on a level you can’t comprehend, Owen."
McGowan then blasts Gleiberman's op-ed by replacing Zellweger's name with male A-list actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. "Look at what you're doing and where you bear responsibility and culpability," McGowan laments. "Who are you all protecting and why? Who are you helping and why?"
Long before plastic surgery rumors started spreading about Zellweger in 2014, ET spoke with her in 2002 about whether she'd consider going under the knife. "It doesn't interest me," she said. "I'm not interested in what that brings in terms of creative opportunities. Creatively I don't want to worry about if my nose is runny or if it's red or if it's shiny. If I'm in a crying [scene], if there is a moment where I'm expressing something that is really emotional and I'm crying, I don't care. Because you know what happens when people cry? Their noses get red and shiny and they run and that's beautiful. Don't change it! Don't get rid of that because that's not pretty."