The MTV Awards are on tonight, so while I’m totally exited for Jared Leto’s perfect ombre and a sneak peak of the new X-Men movie (CANNOT WAIT, YOU GUYS), I have an issue with the awards categories.
So, while MTV is being cutesy and creative with their “Best #WTF Moment” and “Best Scared as S**t Performances” categories, they completely failed with their “Best Hero” slot. MTV’s “Best Heroes” category does not include women; namely, this category does not include Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire. Which is in almost every category this year (“Movie of the Year, “Best Female Performance,” “Best Male Performance,” “Best Fight,” “Best On-Screen Transformation,” “Favorite Character,” and “Best Villain”).
Here’s who is considered a hero, though: Channing Tatum in White House Down (that was a thing?), Chris Hemsworth in Thor, Henry Cavill in Man of Steel, Martin Freeman in The Hobbit, and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3.
I’m not seeing Jennifer Lawrence, who is the hero of Catching Fire on that list. Not cool.
So, in honor of Katniss, here are 6 reasons why Jennifer Lawrence should have been nominated for the “Best Hero” award:
1. Let’s face it: J.Law embodies Katniss
Every tiny bit of Jennifer Lawrence goes into playing the role of The Girl on Fire. She plays a tough, compassionate, and selfless heroine who is able to start a revolution with merely an offering of berries. The way she says, “[Panem] must be very fragile, if a handful of berries can bring it down” to President Snow in Catching Fire, gave me very real chills.
2. Jennifer Lawrence refused to lose weight for the role
People initially protested her casting, arguing that Katniss was supposed to be “waifish,” not curvy. Of course, not many noticed that Josh Hutcherson was not the tall Peeta described in the book, and the actor who played Clove wasn’t big and buff. In response to all this, Jennifer Lawrence refused to budge with her weight and embraced her figure for the role. By doing this, Jennifer illustrated that a hero can have hips and still kick ass.
3. Suzanne Collins believes her to be the perfect Katniss
Collins stated that Jennifer Lawrence had “every essential quality necessary to play Katniss,” and “never thought we’d find somebody this amazing for the role,” and praised Jennifer for being “powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, unforgiving and brave.”
4. Katniss’ complicated relationship with Peeta is performed really well
Even though I don’t think The Hunger Games trilogy needed a love triangle to be successful, the way Katniss handles it is believable and heart-wrenching. In the book, I honestly didn’t care whether she would end up with Peeta or Gale. In the movie, however, I’m floored by Jennifer’s performance as Peeta’s pseudo fiancée and Gale’s genuine love interest.
5. J.Law trained in archery for the role
Since Katniss’ identity revolves around her bow and arrow, Jennifer actually had to prep for the role with Olympic archer, Khatuna Lorig. Having the right form and proper foundations is not easy; that is all skill, right there.
6. Jen plays a strong character that young women can identify with
I love Katniss so, so much. She is an imperfect hero, but she is an amazing one. So many superhero movies peg heroes as these flawless and belligerently brave people, and while this is entertaining and awesome, I don’t see myself in any one of them. I didn’t see myself in Batman’s Catwoman, The Avenger’s Black Widow, or Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft. These women are super strong, but they don’t seem authentic to me. They don’t reflect the average woman with hips and thighs who may secretly have doubts and not fully have her sh*t together. Jennifer plays a hero who doesn’t fully believe in herself until she believes in herself and the cause. She puts her family and friends first, and then sees that in order to keep them safe, she needs to take on a role that is bigger than herself. And she understands she may fail. She gets that she needs to sacrifice parts of herself she doesn’t want to. She gets she’s not perfect. Katniss is not naïve. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance encompasses all of these important notions, and that is incredibly valuable.
Look, Thor is awesome. And so is Iron Man. But to ignore Katniss Everdeen is such a slap in the face to all the ladies out there who just started lining themselves up with strong female characters in action movies, because we just don’t have enough of those. By not including Jennifer Lawrence in the “Best Hero” category, MTV is just straight up being sexist and certainly not demonstrating gender equality. MTV is saying Katniss Everdeen, a woman, was not “hero” enough, when we know she is all hero and more.