Renee Zellweger Is Glad You Noticed Her Transformation

If she looks different, maybe it's because she is different, says the actress.

Earlier this week, Renee Zellweger made an appearance at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards -- an appearance you've probably heard about, since the internet has been abuzz ever since about how different the actress looks after a few years out of the spotlight.

Many headlines referred to Zellweger as "unrecognizable," which seems mainly to mean that she doesn't look much like the cheeky, squinty cutie-pie who won an Oscar back in 2003. Which should be kind of a no-duh statement (like, go on and raise your hand if you've looked exactly the same for the past ten years) but after two days of frenzied chatter, rather than leaving the world to its snarky speculation, the actress has finally chimed in. Speaking to People, she's happily confirmed that yes, she looks different, and she's so glad you noticed.

"I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows," Zellweger said.

Zellweger has been living much more quietly of late -- her last movie was in 2010 -- and was open about the fact that any changes you see are healthy ones, ones which she made after spending years running on empty.

"Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion," she said. "I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things."

Also, she didn't hesitate to point out that the people who see her new look as dramatic are people who stopped paying attention after she stopped being a regular red-carpet figure.

"People don't know me in my 40s," she said. "Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?! Ha. But I am different. I'm happy."

Interestingly, there's an answer to that question. Who doesn't look different as they get older? Celebrities, and especially lady celebrities. And all together, Renee's statements suggest that her transformation might just be so surprising because she's doing the one thing we almost never see in Hollywood anymore: allowing herself to age naturally.