Jennifer Lawrence, Self-Love, and Philly Cheesesteaks

I’d like to start this article with a simple Google search.

Does this bother anyone else? No, not yet? Well, if you search the names of other actresses and musicians (i.e. Emma Stone, Beyoncé, Selena Gomez), a list of their works or accomplishments pop up as search suggestions. Not their weight, their dress size, or health regimen. 

It’s due to normalization (the categorization of people into “normal” and “abnormal”) that Jennifer Lawrence is constantly placed under Hollywood’s scrutinizing microscope. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar U.K. that was trending this past week, Lawrence discussed the harsh criticism she received regarding her weight. In the article, Lawrence revealed that such cruelty is commonplace for many aspiring starlets trying to make it in Hollywood.

"I was young. It was just the kind of sh*t that actresses have to go through. Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn't lose a certain amount of weight,” she explained.           

Not only are the claims about her weight outrageous and false, but alarming as well. As I reread her quote a few times, I realized something. Is it just the Hollywood elite that endures this treatment? Nope. I’d dare to say that a surprising number of young girls today are faced with the same biting comments. The pressure to conform to societal standard instills the fear that one is devalued and unworthy of good fortune if they do not fit the narrow mold of what others deem beautiful. Weight or appearances should never be a determinant of self-worth, regardless of what one’s critics may say.

 

I applaud Lawrence for boldly standing up to not only the entertainment industry, but also those in society who facilitate this vicious mindset. Her raw honesty and realistic approach to positive self-image is a much-needed reprieve from the body bombardment found in mainstream media that feeds us headlines to make us feel as if our bodies are broken machinery in need of mending. I also greatly admire and revel in the fact that she has no reservations whatsoever in calling out interviewers on their absurd and irrelevant questions.           

All of these attributes make Jennifer Lawrence the shining role model for self-love and acceptance that young girls today so desperately need. Instead of using shame or guilt as a motivator (as initially suggested – she was once told to use half-naked photos of herself as diet inspiration, a.k.a. personal “thinspo” hell), Lawrence continues to break down boundaries and reiterate through her actions that healthy is the true “normal”.  

"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'...I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong—not thin and underfed,” she told Elle in a 2012 interview.

I don’t know about you my fellow collegiettes, but I know we can expect more than just Oscars in Jennifer Lawrence’s future. By not taking any sh*t and refusing to change herself to satisfy others, our beloved JLaw is spearheading the movement to a bigger and bolder body positive community (one philly cheesesteak at a time). As if you needed another reason to love her, watch the video below!

 Must Watch: Things That Taste as Good as Skinny Feels – 1:09

 

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