We can always rely on Jennifer Lawrence to tell it like it is. And she didn’t let us down this week at Comic-Con, where she joined the rest of the Hunger Games cast for a panel discussion that quickly turned into a conversation on Hollywood’s expectations of women. For starters, Lawrence pointed out, size standards are different for actresses at different levels of their career.
“I had a conversation with somebody about the struggles with weight in the industry—I know that’s something I talk nonstop about,” Lawrence said, according to Time. “And they were saying, ‘All of the main movie stars aren’t very underweight.’ I said, ‘Yeah, because once you get to a certain place, people will hire you. They just want you to be in the movie, so they don’t care.’”
That piece of insight is a reminder of why it’s so important that our super-famous stars don’t feed into the pressure to conform to singular beauty standards. They have the power to rep diversity on the big screen and shut down the long-held idea that women need to be a certain size to be stars. Still, Lawrence points out that getting to that place of power—and body acceptance—is way more challenging for lesser known performers.
“It’s more about the struggle for actors and actresses who have not made it to a certain place, and there’s a lot of pressure,” she added.
She knows this firsthand. In Harper’s Bazaar UK in 2013, Lawrence revealed that she used to be under a LOT of pressure to lose weight.
“Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn’t lose a certain amount of weight,” she explained. “They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked, and told me to use them as motivation for my diet.”
And of course, we all remember that uncomfortable New York Times review of the first Hunger Games movie in which the critic reviewing suggested that Lawrence was too heavy to play Katniss.
Those days are gone for J-Law (praise be!) but, as she points out, actresses that haven’t made it to that “certain place” still feel the pressure to be as skinny as possible and that sucks. It’s great that the pressure’s off when it comes to the A+++ list, now we need to make body acceptance a part of ALL the lists.
(Image via Lionsgate)