If Jennifer Lawrence weighed three metric tons and the casting director of X-Men decided to paint her blue and call her Mystique that should not be a problem. The fact is that Jennifer Lawrence does not appear to be and probably isn’t overweight. I was pretty pissed to see the comments on the pictures of her as Mystique were all degrading and demeaning about her body. They called her fat (in a negative way, obviously using fat as an insult is just as obnoxious as using “gay” or “girl” as an insult, we all have lipids on our bodies, ain’t nothing wrong with that.) and unattractive. The commenters demanded that she be thinner, thinner, thinner!
The average size of an American woman is 12. I don’t think Jennifer Lawrence is a size 12, so I am not going to pretend her body type is that of the “every woman” but she isn’t rail thin like Hollywood standards often demand their women to be. In my opinion, Jennifer Lawrence has always had an aspirational, fit, healthy-looking body, that was different than the rest of the tinseltown starlets and I always thought that was cool. She never looked like she was depriving herself in an alarming way but she does have the kind of body that many ladies would like to have.
I am not into body shaming at all. I am not into the “real women have curves” stance or the “skinny women are beautiful” hype. Everybody’s shape and weight are different due to genetics and number of reasons that are no one’s fucking business. We all have different “ideal bodies” and it’s OK to pursue them as long we don’t get lost in that pursuit and as long as that pursuit is our own and not conflated with the harmful and demeaning tactics of advertisements, Hollywood and the media who continue to make women ashamed of their bodies in order to sell them new products.
It’s disgusting that we have become so conditioned to judge the appearance of any female-bodied person simply because they are female. We are so brainwashed to believe that a real woman should look a certain way that we judge ourselves more harshly than we deserve. The women of Hollywood have it worst because people see it as “their job” to be beautiful, not to act, not to sing, certainly not to make personal choices or have private lives. When someone enters the realm of fame they are immediately at the service of the public 24/7.
Women get it worst. It’s no wonder why male actors have long, interesting careers for much of their lives while leading ladies are always, always in their early twenties no matter how old the leading man is. Old women are ugly. Bigger women are ugly. Muscular women are ugly. Butch women are ugly. Insert anyone who doesn’t look like all the thin, fair-skinned beauties on screen. And that’s the thing that I hate about it too. Fuck Hollywood for forcing women to throw shade on gorgeous women because they have become so frustrated with their bullshit standards that in moments of weakness they resort to the, “fuck skinny bitches” diatribe of shame.
It’s not that I want thin, young, white women to be eliminated from my screens. I would just like some chubby, Asian, butch, strong-armed, unibrow-having, hairy-legged . . . you get the point . . . on their too. I’d like for us to stop bashing each other because it’s easier than trying to fix the real problem: that our culture has failed to liberate and protect the identities of its women in many ways and that we celebrate our discerning and cynical attitudes toward them. We want them to fail and to be beautiful and we want beautiful to mean thin, more than we want women to be happy.
If Jennifer Lawrence is fat and that is supposed to be a bad thing you need to get your eyes checked, but you need to get your head checked if you think people who do not meet your ideals of perfection should be excluded from the conversation of beauty.