Is Jennifer Lawrence the most polarizing celebrity out there right now? It certainly looks that way, particularly in the wake of her Oscar win last Sunday. While she’s endearingly down to earth and unquestionably talented, it seems that some people do have a problem with her. Her down to earth candor is considered refreshing to some, but certainly not to all. In fact, Jennifer has said some undeniably rude things, but does she really deserve all the hate she’s been getting for them?
See, I don’t think so. I do agree, sometimes J-Law says things that are incredibly disrespectful. I’m not saying they aren’t. I’m just saying…can’t we try to understand why she said them?
Okay, so she called acting “stupid” in Vanity Fair. Offensive? Yeah, sure. If you don’t take context into account. The full quote from Vanity Fair is as follows: “Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid…Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.’” Does it make more sense now? Jennifer Lawrence was not insulting her own profession in a general sense, so much as saying that, hey, other people do more important things! What’s so wrong with that?
And her comment on how she doesn’t want to lose weight to play certain characters because she wanted to look like a “real woman with curves and boobs and a butt” or whatever. You know what she means. She doesn’t want girls who look like her to think that looking like a starving person (a la Katniss) is something to strive for (sound like a familiar sentiment, Anne Hathaway fans?). Yes, the way she phrased it could be considered alienating for women who are naturally very slight of frame. But the bottom line is that she just wasn’t thinking. We’ve all said things without thinking. Granted, you probably don’t accidentally insult thousands of people very often, but that’s what happens when you’re famous. Everyone sees it. I don’t excuse the offensive aspect here by saying that she didn’t mean it – I think the fact that Jennifer didn’t seem to think she may have offended anyone is more symptomatic of something else. We’ll get to that.
There’s also her facepalm-worthy moment on Leno with Jesse Eisenberg. Jennifer came on after him and proceeded to offend the living daylights out of Jesse and probably every other person watching it happen. Jesse Eisenberg suffers from a very difficult and lifelong case of OCD. Instead of being sympathetic in any way about this, Jennifer decided to say that she herself wanted “quirks” like his. Oy vey. Yes, that was offensive. That’s an indisputable fact. And there’s also J-Law talking about how in her younger years she was “so dykey”. No, you’re right, there’s nothing cute about perpetuating a stereotype, especially in a potentially negative light. And yeah, using the stereotype to make a joke is pretty disrespectful. But again, this is part of the bigger picture.
What is the bigger picture, you ask? Well, ladies and gentlemen, this may come as a shock to you…but Jennifer Lawrence is kind of ignorant. I know, I know, ignorance is still not an excuse to be offensive, but hear me out. The girl has described herself as “vastly uneducated”. She’s a girl from Kentucky who finished high school in two years and went off to pursue her acting career. This is not someone with extensive experience interacting with tons of different kinds of people. I don’t know exactly what public high school is like in Kentucky, but I don’t think it would be off-base to assume that using words like “dykey” as a joke is potentially pretty much par for the course. The fact is the girl is ignorant. She’s uneducated and she’s famous and she’s talkative and so everyone knows it. What do you do with a person who is ignorant? You don’t get angry with them for the things they say, because they actually don’t know any better; you enlighten them. Just because she’s famous doesn’t mean Jennifer Lawrence couldn’t also use some enlightenment.
How do you feel about Jennifer Lawrence? Are you Team J-Law?