Joan Rivers‘ latest quest for relevance pains me to my core. She’s a hilarious stand-up and her appearance on Louie was brilliant, and I want to remember her that way. But I can’t because her E! Fashion Police run as head of a clique of semi-qualified red-carpet gadflies has been marked not by humor but by fat-shaming, body-snarking, dumb insults like “butterface,” and just general unfunny awfulness. As if that weren’t sad enough, Rivers has taken to trying to start Twitter feuds with other, more famous people like Anna Wintour, but her current favorite target is the uber-popular Jennifer Lawrence.
It all started when Jennifer Lawrence made a comment in an interview in which she criticized E!’s Fashion Police for the body-snarking that is its stock in trade.
“Shows like the Fashion Police and things like that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on things [that don't matter] … They put values in all the things that are wrong and [show] that it’s ok to just point at people and call them ugly and call them fat and they call it fun.”
Jennifer Lawrence was right, but Joan Rivers will not stand for any criticism of her beloved TV show, and has now taken to yelling at Jennifer Lawrence on Twitter the way my sister’s very small lapdog spends all day looking out the window of her apartment and barking angrily at much bigger dogs down on the street. And now she’s complaining about J-Law to the New York Post:
“I love that she’s telling everyone how wrong it is to worry about retouching and body image, and meanwhile, she has been touched up more than a choir boy at the Vatican. Look at her posters. She doesn’t have a nose, she has two holes. She just has to learn, don’t talk if you’re doing it.”
Of course Jennifer Lawrence, being a movie star, gets the heck Photoshopped out of her on a regular basis. It is pretty much impossible for a woman to be on magazine covers and movie posters and in Dior ads these days without basically being painted over. Lawrence is not Photoshopping herself, though, and she has definitely pointed it out when it happens. Saying, “Of course it’s Photoshop, real people don’t look like that!” of her own Dior ads is one of her more charming and memorable moments as America’s Pretend Best Friend, so Rivers’ assertion that being on magazines somehow undermines Lawrence’s ability to talk about Photoshop does not ring true.
But Rivers is not letting go of this sad, pathetic blood feud. She even told the Post that her New Year’s resolution is to figure out how to make sure Lawrence “grows up,” because criticizing Joan Rivers’ TV show is a sign of immaturity or something.
“My New Year’s resolution is [ensuring] Jennifer Lawrence grows up and realizes how lucky she is and calms down,” Rivers said.
But Jennifer Lawrence, like Anna Wintour, has been too busy to respond to Rivers’ jabs. Maybe instead of trying to start shit with famous people, this year Rivers’ New Year’s resolution should be to write some new jokes that don’t rely on “fat” as the punchline.