This is very festive. We’ll get to the subscriber cover in a minute; let’s do this one first. I quite enjoy this cover, because the pose feels familiar — like you’re curling up with a celeb you’ve known for years — and it also means you can see just enough of the dress to get the vibe without actually having to care whether you like it. And, let’s be real, I also appreciate that you can see a regular corded phone in the background. KIDS, PHONES HAD CURLY CORDS! Some of them even had rotary dials! History, you know.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Renee. When I watch her interviewed, she exudes a kooky aura, but also an introspective and thoughtful one. (As with most things, the two are not mutually exclusive, but are often treated as such.) She was just on Stephen Colbert, I think it was, and told a very long story about how she waited in line for hours to get Jimmy Carter to sign a book because she’s always had a huge crush on him, and the audience giggled at this, and she grinned and then launched into a bunch of very eloquent, informed reasons why she admires him. It didn’t at all come across like the usual “Here’s the easy pitch, now hit your home run and get your laugh” planned give-and-take of most nighttime chat show interviews. I’m sure it WAS a story she knew she was going to tell, but the way she told it and the depth she went into was unexpected and felt very personal, and the audience didn’t seem to know what to do with it but Colbert seemed to love it because I think he prefers to dig a little deeper. Anyway, my point is, I could see how this would make her a tough interview because she isn’t someone who goes for broad laughs or obvious pull quotes or whatever else, but I enjoy hearing or reading her ruminations; she seems like a nice person. I liked this, edited a bit for length:

LB: Do you ever think about how time has passed? It’s such a strange thing being a grown-up.

RZ: It doesn’t consume me because it’s inevitable. It’s a privilege. And, I don’t know, I’d rather celebrate each phase of my life and be present in it than mourn something that’s passed. I don’t want to miss this moment to be something that I used to be. That’s for someone else now. And good luck to them, because you have to survive a lot to move forward to your next state. I’m not saying I’m canceling my gym membership anytime soon, because I’m not. [laughs] I’d rather be a healthy, productive woman in each stage of my life than apologetic. I also don’t want to perpetuate the notion that somehow moving forward in your life is wrong. 

[…] LB: But wouldn’t it be great to get to the point where [the need to value older women] just not even a conversation?

RZ: Well, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. [laughs]

LB: When it’s “This girl is 15, and this lady is 65,” and they’re both just… alive.

RZ: It’s not aging. It’s growing! It’s acquisition of the most valuable things: experience and knowledge and grace and insight.

The full interview is here, and I enjoyed spending the time with her. Maybe it’s because I just did see her on TV, but I could hear it in her soft Southern lilt and it was very calming. Oh, and the photo spread pays homage to a lot of her famous roles, if you’re curious.

Yesterday, InStyle released its subscriber cover, which features Jameela Jamil and comedian Celeste Barber re-enacting a famous Rolling Stone cover of John and Yoko:

This is really curious to me. Honest question: How often does your basic monthly magazine use a subscriber cover with a totally different subject than the newsstand issue? (Obviously, this excludes mags whose month is specifically devoted to an array of people — like the Elle Women in Hollywood honorees, Glamour’s Women of the Year, etc.) Does InStyle typically do this? I was under the impression that magazines usually just made subscriber covers out of alternate, more editorial photos from the cover shoot. So unless I’m missing something, it feels toothless to engineer this whole special separate set-up with Jameela and Celeste, and then hide it in the mailed issues. Why couldn’t this have been a proper cover? SURELY Renee will get nominated for a Golden Globe for Judy, at the very least, and would still be a timely subject for the January 2020 issue. Or, kick off 2020 with these two. If InStyle wants to do bolder, ballsier work, then I think it should stand by that and run with this rather than relegate it. Be interesting enough to put this on newsstands, where it could really pack a wallop.

The story is here. I have mixed feelings about parts of it, but I do always appreciate frankness, and I had never heard Jameela discuss herself thusly:

Most of my health problems came from what I did to myself while trying to be thin. I have a kidney that is always in trouble, and that’s literally because of all the detox and diet products I took. I have bone-density problems because I didn’t eat enough when I was in my teens and 20s. My heart is thinner than it should be because when you don’t eat enough, your body stretches muscle before it stretches fat, and your heart is a muscle. So, I feel like it’s my responsibility to educate people. That’s why I rally so aggressively — I’m living in the body I hurt because society told me that my size was the most important thing in the world, and it wasn’t.

[Photos: InStyle]