What is your opinion on Mirror Now

Last week, after a “radically different looking” Renée Zellweger attended an awards ceremony, many speculated that she had had plastic surgery, though Ms. Zellweger denied it.

What are your thoughts about cosmetic surgery in general and about the flood of news stories and reactions to Ms. Zellweger? Why do you think people seemed to care so much about how her face looks?

In the Room for Debate forum, several writers take on “Renée Zellweger and the Question of Aging .”

Troy Alexander writes:

Appearance is the gateway to one’s personal brand — it is the first thing someone sees, and right or wrong, one of the first things we judge (and are judged on). Just as we grow and change in our romantic partnerships, our family and our career, so too should we evolve within that personal style as we age. Whether Renée Zellweger has had plastic surgery is none of our business; it’s her brand and she can do with it what she wants.

But there is a bigger issue here. As a society we need to value women as they age, and not push them to feel that they have to go under the knife to look younger. And at the same time, we have to stop criticizing those same women for doing just what we have pressured them to do. It is up to each of us to embrace the changes that come with time or do something about them. That is where the magic lies — in being O.K. with who we choose to be.

Cindy Joseph writes:

Plastic surgery is simply a symptom. Ageism in our country, specifically against women, has gone too far.

…Women are judged on their looks and then told their “looks” fade over time, which leads them to believe they will be less valued as they age. No wonder women spend billions of dollars every year on Botox, wrinkle creams and cosmetic surgery to stave off the signs of life as time moves on.

Students: Read the entire Room for Debate forum, then tell us…

–Did you follow the news about Renée Zellweger? What did you make of it? Do you care if she had plastic surgery or not?

–What is your opinion on cosmetic surgery in general? When, if ever, do you think it is O.K. to have it? Or, do you agree with Troy Alexander that your face is your “personal brand” to do with whatever you like?

–Do you agree with Cindy Joseph that plastic surgery is simply a “symptom” of sexism and ageism in the United States, and that women are judged far too much on their looks? How else do you see this?

–Do you think you might have cosmetic surgery at some point in your life? Why or why not?

–What arguments can you make for cosmetic surgery? What arguments can you make against it?

Students 13 and older are invited to comment below. Please use only your first name. For privacy policy reasons, we will not publish student comments that include a last name.

Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.