Appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the 52-year-old talked about her role on singing competition show The Voice, but it was her so-called “unrecognizable” appearance that got viewers interested, especially after Stefani posted a short clip of the interview on her Instagram page. She appears to have since deleted the post.
The star wore a black, fringed, cut-out pantsuit and teamed it with a cobalt blue fishnet bolero.
Among the No Doubt singer’s 14.5 million fans were an amount of people who seemingly felt so bothered by her latest look that they resorted to taking time out of their day just to comment on the California native’s face.
“Unrecognizable,” someone simply wrote, while another added: “I am so sorry to say this, but I did not recognize her. Please Gwen, STOP!”
Another user stated: “I didn’t even notice who she was. I was like no that’s not her and I looked up recent videos of her. Yeah… That’s really Gwen. Please stop. No more surgeries.”
This prompted someone else to remark that Stefani resembled Donatella Versace, the Italian fashion designer who is widely known for her love of filler.
Stefani, who has been successful as a solo act and in the band No Doubt, is usually recognizable for her trademark platinum locks and bright red lips.
Criticism of her appearance provoked wider debate into the media’s obsession with female celebrities’ looks as they age, something that Stefani is no stranger to.
In fact, the singer has felt victimized by this ageism in the past, receiving a slew of hate from people who said she was “too old” for certain performances. One performance in particular, NBC’s New Year’s Eve Special in 2020, had people calling her an Ariana Grande wannabe for wearing a high ponytail and sparkly boots.
The star has spoken about her feelings on ageism in the entertainment industry, telling HELLO Magazine in 2021 that making a comeback to music after her hiatus worried her: “At the beginning of this process, I feel like I had to make excuses for why I wanted to make new music. I felt like people were going to judge me and be like, ‘Well, you’re like super old. Why would you even want to?'”
She added: “This is just how my brain works. Anyone would, you know what I mean? Everybody has their own fears or insecurities.”
Though it seems Stefani, who married The Voice co-star, Blake Shelton, last year, hasn’t let those insecurities get the better of her.
She also told the New York Times that ageing was something that inevitably happens to all of us: “It’s a natural thing to think about, your evolution… in nature you see it all the time. We’re just born to die. You can think of it like it’s a tragedy… but you’re finding what is the truth, what is important.”