Reese Witherspoon for ELLE

Posted on January 06, 2012

Looks like Reese felt it was time for an image shakeup.

Reese Witherspoon for ELLE magazineReese Witherspoon featured in the February 2012 issue of ELLE magazine photographed by Carter Smith and styled by Mario Grauso.

That doesn’t even look like her. At first glance, it looks like an Olsen twin. She even sounds a little harder-edged:

On aging in Hollywood: “Nothin’s going north. It’s all going south, might as well put it on film now. But not without a lot of padding and a push-up bra.”

On earning a reported $15 to $20 million per film: “Every time they call and talk to me about money, I get embarrassed about it. A couple of women finally made me feel better: ‘To get what you’re making, do you know how much money people are making off of you?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, oh, okay.’”

On living a less-than-perfect life: “I want to not perpetuate any more of this kind of garbage that’s out there in the media about women falling in love blindly. No one’s life is perfect, and I’m sick of whatever tabloid stuff or this or that story tries to portray. My life is just as realistic as everybody else’s. Whoever thinks someone has a perfect life, I’m so eager to dispel that.”

Is it us or does she sound a smidge defensive?

Reese Witherspoon for ELLE magazineReese Witherspoon wears a white viscose jersey dress with black trim from Emporio Armani.

Reese Witherspoon for ELLE magazineWitherspoon wears a silk chiffon dress from Dior, with diamond earrings, bracelets, and ring from Harry Winston.

Reese Witherspoon for ELLE magazineEmbroidered jersey bodysuit, Bottega Veneta, $3,800.

Reese Witherspoon for ELLE magazineYellow gold necklace with antique bronze coin, Bulgari, $4,400. Sequined satin dress, Gucci, price on request.

Reese Witherspoon for ELLE magazineEmbroidered canvas and cotton dress, Miu Miu, $2,350. Yellow gold bangles, some with diamonds, all, Roberto Coin, prices on request.


We’ll tell you what: these are the best pics of her we’ve seen in a while. We don’t know if the heavy eye makeup is something she should be doing more often, but something here is working for her. It’s just nice to see her break away from the Avon Lady persona.

[Photo Credit: Carter Smith for]

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  • ecallaw

    It almost looks like they copied her face from the first picture and put it in the second picture.  Weird.

    • Anonymous

      haha i was about to be like “THEY TOTALLY DID” except her hair looks verrrrrrrrrrry slightly different on the right side around her boob in each picture. i guess she’s just super good at making the same face.

    • foodycat

      That’s exactly what I was going to say! It’s like those catalogue photos where they just photoshop the different colours in. I like the beachy close-up with the Bulgari necklace though, even if I suspect they were thinking of Kate Hudson when they took it.

      • Anonymous

        I like that one too

    • Connie B. Verzak

      I was just thinking the same thing, along with “Holy hell they photoshopped the bejesus out of her waist!”

    • Alison McAfee

      I think they photoshopped her face behind the hair. it’s definitely the exact same face. magazines are creepy.

      • Dawn Grimes Stough

        the pic of her in the black dress looks worthy of a submission to…  so out of proportion :/

        • Lauren Maier

          Thank you for that link, now I’m not getting ANY work done this weekend!  

      • Anonymous

        She’s creepy about her facial poses — for years she did this thing where she bit her tongue when smiling/posing for the camera so it looked like he had a bigger lower lip and probably did something she liked with the jawline. But it was so bizarre and clearly deliberate. I really think she’s found some new trick she likes to do with her face for photos.

    • Anonymous

      That was exactly my thought! Thank goodness they changed the face for the other shots. Beyond that–yes, this was the best I’ve seen her in some time.

    • Anonymous

       Beat me to it! OR they have one of those Flash computer games where you can make your own doll, using a photograph of your face

    • Anonymous

      I immediately was sucked in by the creepiness of this, too.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, she changed her image from Reese Witherspoon to Mary Kate Olsen.

  • Sam Corbett

    I’ve always been jealous of her skin. I know she’s only 35 (and likely photoshopped here), so it’s not THAT surprising, but she always looks smooth as a baby’s bottom.

  • Stacy Parker Cole

    The first two look exactly alike face wise, even though it’s still a good pic.  Love the one on the beach and the “windblown” one.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always been pretty neutral about Witherspoon, and I do find her style to be a little staid, but this is a great editorial. In terms of her career and public perception, it is doing all the things she needs it to do: showing her looking sexy but not hoochy, soft but not too girly, intriguing but still approachable. All without pushing it over the top and making her look ridiculous. Well done editorial staff, agent, and PR machine. (Didn’t mean that to sound so cynical.)

  • Jaime

    …when I saw the original picture on another site, I thought it was Diane Kruger.

    • Anonymous

      And I thought it was Elin Nordegren, Tiger’s ex-wife!

  • Anonymous

    Usually I’m not a big fan of her “nice girl” look, so I’m loving this makeover.  She looks great!

  • Anonymous

    Seems like a bitchy entitled hausfrau to me….except in the awesome “Freeway”.  That’s the Reese I love.

    • Anonymous

      I will always have a soft spot for her because of “Freeway”

      • Anonymous

        Yep, Freeway and Election.  Once she started doing the tart-but-lovable shtick she became a less interesting actress.  I keep hoping, though, that she’ll do a real role again someday.  She can play intelligent, which ought to be worth something.  

        Oh, and the loose hair’s a massive improvement–balances out her slightly sharp features.

  • Anonymous

    Her famous chin was been radically photoshopped into a point in that fourth photo!  Incredible.  Why these actresses feel the need to be constantly talking about their bodies is beyond me.  I get Hollywood’s obsession would become their own since they are Hollywood but if they want to change the channel on this kind of thinking, why not just stop talking about it in every magazine spread?  Seriously — she’s young and beautiful … Why on earth all this cliched, done to death jazz about nothing moving north and the need for foundation garments at every pass?  Enough already — say something interesting, girl.

    • sepi

      News for you: that’s a chin implant. Like Amanda Seyfried’s and that Hough girl’s. Looks like you could pry off a bottle cap with it.

      • Anonymous

        Amanda Seyfried? Really? I think of her face as being so soft.

      • Andrea Rossillon

        I don’t think it is an implant–she’s always had a prominent chin. You can see it in her early photos. The reason it’s so prominent now is that she’s older and leaner than she was as a soft 16-year-old girl. I found a picture of me the other day from high school–it’s been 20 years, and I weigh the same, but my face in high school was a lot rounder and my chin much less prominent than it is now. And I didn’t start with a pointy chin like hers to begin with.

        • Anonymous

          Yep, Reese has always had a major chin.  It’s strong enough that it’s influenced the types of roles she got.

    • Anonymous

      The are repetitive about their body -and hypocritical, if you let them give you that waist- but I think those are the things the interviewers are sent to ask.  

      • Anonymous

        I agree.  They aren’t just randomly talking into a recorder.  They are being asked specific questions by a beauty/fashion magazine. 

    • rtsinc

      Transformation of Reese Witherspoon:,,20290122_1049208,00.html 

  • Martha Deutsch

    is it me or is something up with her right eye? bad surgery? bad photoshopping?

  • G

    “That doesn’t even look like her….something here is working for her.”
    What’s working for her is that it doesn’t even look like her.  I would love a post on the photoshopped, without names.  We could all guess who they are.

  • Anonymous

    Have to agree, she looks great. I love that Miu Miu dress. Have heard she is super smart. 

  • Anonymous

    She looks awesome – funny, she struck me more as looking like Carrie Underwood!

  • Anonymous

    Carrie Underwood maybe.

    • Charlotte Horseman

      Yes, that is what I was seeing too.  She looks great – but not like herself.

    • Anonymous

      Cheryl Crow.

  • Anonymous

    Wow–I wouldn’t have even recognized her. I like the looks–sexy without being trampy. LOVE that Bulgari coin necklace. 

  • Anonymous

    it’s cuz she’s supposed to be some hot girl in that new flick where two dudes fight over her. which is ridiculous. so she’s trying to get people to believe that now. i find it odd.

    • Anonymous

      I just posted the same thing!  So strange.  

  • Anna Maria Diamanti

    Love it. She needs an image makeover anyway. And I want that Armani dress.

  • MilaXX

    She’s definitely shedding the Avon lady/girl next door image. I think I like it. My fav had to be the sort of California girl with the subtle smokey eye look. Can’t wait to see what this translates to in terms of movie roles/choices.

  • Anonymous

    her ginormously out of proportion head/face is scaring the beejezuz out of me in those first few pics!!

    • emily mcginnis

      exactly! the only natural-looking pictures are the ones that appear to be outdoors. those two studio shots are ridiculous! 

  • Anonymous

    Agreed they are among the best pics of her. Love the makeup, but I’m not digging the long hair. And the jewelry is perfect! Note to celebrities: when it comes to jewelry, think “Dripping.With”. It’s what separates you from the Great Unwashed. Otherwise you’re just another pretty girl in a pretty dress.

  • Anonymous

    The cover is indeed scary/ridic 

  • Emily Giovanni

    I love her sassy look in the first two pics, but the close-up one looks like a 14-year-old girl and not like Reese at all. That is kind of creeping me out. And the beach and car shots look like she just finished receiving a great pleasure and is in the initial recovery stage. I am not a huge fan of those.

  • Anonymous

    I do like this.  She is always that sweet girl girl next door type of character, even in real life.  This is very vixen, but in a low key way.  It is a good change for her. 

  • Kiltdntiltd

    Okay, so darken her hair and in some of those shots she becomes a dead ringer for JLo.  Weirdly stupid.  And she sounds asinine. 

    • Anonymous

      Asinine.  Word.

  • VicksieDo

    Love her hair in these.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know why but her persona is just so non-sexy that even with her looking like this I still just get a perfectionist mommy vibe. 

    • Anonymous

      It’s the “well-off matron who’s had a scare over her man straying into younger & sexier pastures” look, custom created from remnants of her younger wardrobe and a shopping trip with a hipper friend in trendier stores than she usually shops. Debuting for their week away from the kids. ETA: feels anal because it’s totally planned down to the eyeliner.

      Man, I need to get a life.

  • Anonymous

    The cover is hid but the beach shots look great. Love the swimsuit. I am always sucker for the boy short cut, although I know lots of people think it’s matronly. 

    Weird but the black eyeliner works for me in the natural daylight shots but not under the harsh studio lights.

  • Laura O’Gorman

    Did she have her ribcage removed? She is scary skinny in the black dress.

  • Anonymous

    You think she looks good? Sorry but I disagree. I think if you put her, Julianne Hough and Ashley Olsen in a lineup, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.

  • Mariah J

    She’s giving off an Olsen/Carrie Underwood vibe…I like it.

  • Anonymous

    I seem to remember that back in the day (pre-Legally Blonde/Walk the Line, think “Fear” time) she had a much edgier look. Looks like she’s going back to 15 years ago, but I’m OK with her mixing it up a bit.

  • Judy_J

    I’m not a fan of the unwashed, “just got out of bed” hair.  And does she have any other expressions?  She’s wearing the exact same expression in the top two photos.

  • Anonymous

    She looks great, and I esp. like the Bottega Veneta bodysuit for a mere $3,800.  

    But her jaw/chin … and Rob Lowe’s jaw –might they be moving toward sentience together? 

  • Anonymous

    Lay off the Photoshop!!!  The cover face has been cut and pasted onto the other pictures! I want to see what she looks like, not a cyber-alien.

  • Anonymous

    She looks better because they are disguising her big chin and underbite.

  • Anonymous

    I find her so unlikeable.  Why now – after decades of success – is she adding Sexy Minx to her bag of tricks?  It’s so desperate and unappealing and false, especially when there’s such a Photoshop-driven disconnect between the images and how she looks.

    She plays the game of seeming to be whatever her current role encompasses with an off-putting eagerness.  So in this new film she plays a sexy woman, the object of lust for two secret-agent studs?  No.  No way, no day.

  • Anonymous

    The hair is so very Brittney Spears!

  • Anonymous

    I want a better look at that Bottega Veneta body suit, time for some Internet research.

    She looks way better dressed like this, younger and more appealing. You come away thinking she’s more pretty than perky, & usually it’s the other way around. Even if half of it’s photo-shoot  photo-shop magic, it’s still better.

    Honestly, she just doesn’t sound all that bright with that comment about her earnings. If she feels guilty about being rich and well-paid, that’s what charity (or philanthropy, as it’s known if you’re really well-to-do) is for. If it really never occurred to her that she’s well-paid because it’s profitable for others, she’s an airhead.

    • Anonymous

      I’m right there with ya on Bottega Veneta bodysuit. My internet trigger finger was already itching to look it up … not like I’m gonna buy the damn thing. (I have seriously dreamed of buying a Bottega Veneta bag for 30 years, dating back to high school and the old “When your own initials are enough” ads.) OK, I went for it – here’s the bodysuit: Eww. Far better on Reese lying down … where you can’t see the whole thing at once. 

      p.s. Olsen twin all the way!

  • Anonymous

    On first glance, ‘Olson Twin’ popped into my head too.

  • Emily

    I totally thought Olsen twin too.  But aside from that similarity – she looks great.

  • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    Ok, I was glad to read the comments and see I’m not the only one getting the Olsen vibe here.  Meh.  I’m underwhelmed.

  • Anonymous

    The first two photos look like she took a serious leaf outta Kate Winslet’s book of becoming a womanbot. The other photos look like she requested the Kristen Stewart treatment.

    Honey, you are way prettier than Kristen Stewart. Don’t sell yourself short for some creepy magazine that copy/pastes your face.

  • Anonymous

    Is she going thru or about to go thru a break-up? I’ve never seen her all sexy on the sand before.

  • Anonymous

    That white dress is fabtastic!

  • Ros Clarke

    I thought Kate Hudson, not Olsen twin.

  • Amy Putnam Ellinger

    Never thought I’d say it, but she looks…..cougar-sexy!  yes, I know 35 is a bit young for cougar, but the potential is totally there!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it was an Avon Lady persona, so much as an Elle Woods persona.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t say “defensive,” more like “mature.”

  • Sara__B

    Reese looks lovely, but not very much like Reese. Especially in the studio shots I have to struggle to tell whether it’s Reese or some other blond celebrity. If she and her handlers are trying to change her persona, it shouldn’t be such a close match to another celebrity.

  • natalia h

    Well, then stop making stupid movies that perpetuate that notion.

    I find her so boring.

  • bloodshothalfblind

    she looks good, but the cover is a little too stevie nicks.

  • Ass Kicking Adviser

    I think she looks great. She’s made the 30-something change. Shedding the America’s sweetheart image and feeling powerful and a little cynical and a helluva lot smarter. I recognize this syndrome because it’s not just movie stars who go through this in their late-thirties.

  • Anonymous

    PS or PS (plastic surgery or photoshop?)

    possibly PS x PS?

    either way, she is bordering on unrecognizable here.

  • Ass Kicking Adviser

    I think she looks great. When did any Olsen twin ever look this chic. She’s made the 30-something change. Shedding the America’s sweetheart image and feeling powerful and a little cynical and a helluva lot smarter. I recognize this syndrome because it’s not just movie stars who go through this in their late-thirties.

  • Anonymous

    I saw an Olsen twin on the cover too and even a bit of Jenny McCarthy. Weird. But, she looks pretty good in the rest of the shots.

    Her little blurb about her movie earnings made me chuckle. Poor dears, all the phony sound bites they’ve got to (or their publicists have to) come up with and spew forth.

  • AnonMom

    Am I the only one that thinks she looks like she’s masterbating in the last photo???

  • marilyn

    She looks kind of desperate here.  She is too well-nourished looking to be an Olsen.  They look like malnourished bag ladies.  Their idea of chic is extremely expensive, but bag lady-looking.  Reece does not have that look.  Unfortunately, I think she is getting desperate to hang onto her youth, so the pictures are more ‘hot’ than she is.  

  • Wendy Foster

    Her life is JUST like everyone else’s….eveyone else who makes multi-millions, has staff who clean their house, walk their dogs, run their errands, train them at the gym, cook their food, etc. etc.  Yep, who doesn’t live like that? 

  • Anonymous

    Meh. She looks like a country singer with a HUGE head.

  • Axel T. Prude Super Tan

    channeling CARRIE UNDERWOOD

  • Margaretta

    BLAND.  I’ve seen edgier editorials in Teen magazine. This is all still very girl-next-door.

  • Anonymous

    What, everyone looks like an Olsen to you? No. I see more Carrie U. or Chelsea H. Either way, not much Reese.

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  • Anonymous

    Gorgeous pics!!  She looks great with a little longer and shaggier hair but her face (spec. her jawline) is still very much her own.  And i might start sounding a little defensive too if asked such inane and persoanl questions all the time.

  • Anonymous

    in the first two shots she has absolutely the same expression

    • Anonymous

      she looks like a model in a look book, staring straight ahead with no expression.

  • UltimaEsperenza

    Too photoshopped.

  • Phyllis Craine

    Gotta give her credit for making smocking look sexy (convertible photo)

  • Anonymous

    Looks like they photoshopped her waist too high on the cover pic. Looks disproportional.

  • Anonymous

    looks sort of like me my first year in college.  damn, that photo shop is good!

  • Anonymous

    Wow flag on the field, –offensive use of photoshop– Who did you say this was?