Jennifer Lawrence challenges body image standards

Jonathan Trauner
Staff Writer

Jennifer Lawrence, one of Hollywood’s favorite young celebrities, doesn’t fall prey to many of

Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars (Photo: Google Images)

Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars (Photo: Google Images)

Hollywood’s stereotypes. Jennifer Lawrence instead believes that we all just need to be ourselves. Earlier this year she said, “The challenge in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.”  Lawrence’s courage in standing up for body image equality is something I will always remember in walking the runway of life.
Jennifer Lawrence, who has become well-known for her insistence that a healthy body image is more important than conforming to unrealistic ideal body standards, posed the question, “Why doesn’t the media take responsibility for calling people fat?”  Although few media sources outside perhaps the National Enquirer and other tabloids expressly call an actor or actress “fat,” nearly every media source propagates the extremely thin, underweight body image as being the most attractive type of person.
In Hollywood, many actresses try to look, act, and feel like runway models, the large majority of whom are tall and slender, sometimes dangerously thin. It’s expected for them to maintain an unrealistic image as part of their job and the tabloids are constantly picking apart celebrity bodies on a daily basis. But this is unfair to the actors and actresses who are unable to feel comfortable and confident in their bodies.
Jennifer Lawrence, a hero for so many, including many body image advocates, beautifully put it like this: “You have to look past [what makes you feel insecure] – you look how you look, and [we should all] be comfortable. What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”  The reality is that in Hollywood, sometimes companies refuse to hire stars that are not thin enough because they are preoccupied with making corporate profits. They don’t care about how well big shot artists and actors perform on stage as long as they look the part. Although this isn’t true of every company, the fact that it happens at all reveals a lot about the society we live in and the values that Hollywood propagates.
Hopefully over time and with more stars like Jennifer Lawrence willing to stand up to the stereotypical unrealistically thin Hollywood ideal body, society will see that what matters most is not what we look like on the outside, but the fabrics of courage and character that we sew inside our hearts. We look the way we look – that doesn’t have to determine our worth as individuals.



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