Jennifer Lawrence isn’t my favorite celebrity in Hollywood–that whole apathy about the squirrel-skinning kind of made her unlikable to me–but she’s not my least favorite, either. I think she’s a decent actress and she seems just fine, for the most part. She’s also faced some incredibly stupid criticism.
She’s been called “too womanly” to play Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games, which is a critique I barely even understand. How can one be “too womanly” as a woman to play a woman? I get that in the book, she’s supposed to be 16, but plenty of women are already quite womanly by that time (remember that whole “puberty” business?), so it seems to be just a bizarre way of implying she’s too fat to play said character.
However, in Elle‘s December issue, she says a few things that also kind of irk me. According to Huffington Post, Lawrence reportedly stated:
“I eat like a caveman, I’ll be the only actress who doesn’t have anorexia rumors,” Lawrence told Elle. “In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress, I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach… I’m never going to starve myself for a part… I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner,” she explained to the magazine. “That’s something I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong- not thin and underfed.”
Okay, while I get that she’s doing the whole self-deprecation thing in order to reject insults from critics, I think she’s going about it in a somewhat insulting manner herself. First of all, calling yourself “obese” when you’re pretty obviously not, even if it’s prefaced by “in Hollywood,” has the potential to make any girl or woman reading that article who’s not in this kind of shape say, “Hey, that means I’m obese for Hollywood, too, if not morbidly so.”
Second, stating that every other actress has anorexia rumors and you’re the only one who never will is also rather insulting to all those other women. For a great many women, being tall and thin is simply how their bodies have developed, and being labeled “anorexic” is a really unfortunate thing that many of them have to deal with, which can be really hurtful whether or not you have an eating disorder.
Third, how do cavemen eat? Lots of hunting and gathering? Food only cooked over a fire? Explain to me this diet, Lawrence!
Believe me: I do think it’s great that she says she was trying to look “fit and strong.” Being in shape and having a good deal of strength is great for your body; however, making women feel like they would never be accepted in Hollywood because they, too, would be considered obese–as well as all the dozens of other celebrities who aren’t standard size–isn’t a great way to try and change that ideal. There is obviously much, much more wrong with those who insult her body and attempt to shame her for having a less waifish figure, but the answer is not to pseudo-shame herself.
Photo Credits: Mr. Blue/WENN.com and WellCommons.