It was inevitable.
Ever since Jennifer Lawrence’s adorable, flustered Oscar acceptance speech earlier this year, she’s been universally loved, which you can’t say about many people in the entertainment industry (especially these days). The Kentucky native’s honesty and lack of inhibitions made her feel like a BFF to everyone, and the more interviews she did, the more she charmed us. She was just so cool, so quick, so real, so not a diva, so everything. It made us wonder where she’s been all our lives and why there aren’t more of her.
But, as The Wire noted this week, a backlash of sorts had to happen. That’s the way it goes. The entire country couldn’t go on singing her praises forever, and she upset the right when she told Barbara Walters that it should be against the law to call someone fat on air:
“Why is humiliating people funny? I get it. I do it too. We all do it. But the media needs to take responsibility for the effect that it has on the younger generation. And the word fat — I just think it should be illegal to call someone fat on TV.”
This comment set off somewhat of a conservative firestorm and debate, with Republican figures claiming J-Law is out to restrict free speech and that folks who don’t want to be labeled fat should simply avoid looking tubby to begin with. One writer said Lawrence is a product of the times and that her desire to outlaw the word “fat” is “wrong.” Conservatives applauded her for saying “screw PETA” back in the day, but now that’s irrelevant. I don’t think J-Law truly wants to strip TV personalities of their free speech, she’s merely saying it’s hurtful to senselessly humiliate people on television and that we should be better than that by now. And we should.
Though I agree it would be extreme to ban the word “fat,” Lawrence made a valid argument when she said it can be damaging to the young and vulnerable, and that goes for A-listers and regular girls alike. Seeing rail thin women on TV can make anyone feel bad, but people like Jennifer Lawrence are constantly under public watch and being scrutinized for their looks. It can really get to a person, and Lawrence was wise to point that out.
Regardless of whose side you’re on (although chances are, you’re in J-Law’s camp), the “Jennifer Lawrence backlash” doesn’t have to be the worst thing ever. In fact, I like her more now that she’s said something to enrage a group of people, not because I’m all for picking fights, but because she stood up for what she believed in, and that doesn’t always go over so well with the rest of the world.
This isn’t the first time a person has criticized J-Law, either. In November, Fashion Police host Joan Rivers smeared the 23-year-old for calling out the program, which was built on insulting the way celebrities dress.
“Shows like the Fashion Police and things like that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on things [that don't matter],” Lawrence said. “They put values in all the things that are wrong and [show] that it’s ok to just point at people and call them ugly and call them fat and they call it fun.”
Rivers, who is known for partaking in public feuds, responded via Twitter, “It’s funny how Jennifer Lawrence loved @E_FashionPolice during Awards Season when we were complimenting her every single week. But now that she has a movie to promote, suddenly we’re picking on all those poor, helpless actors.”
It wasn’t that odd to see those two fight, as Rivers finds herself in these situations a lot, but the latest backlash came as a shock to some since Lawrence is a ridiculously awesome young lady and great role model for little girls. So love her or hate her, but the fact that she ended the year with some enemies proves she’s doing something right, as always.
What do you think of the J-Law “backlash”? Share in the comments section.
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