I’m a young woman who always enjoys French fries and sometimes speaks carelessly. Given that description, I should be making GIFs of Jennifer Lawrence’s every step, breath, and facial expression. Unfortunately, though, I am neither a Photoshop whiz nor an obsessive fan, so that won't be happening anytime soon.
I should quickly clarify that I’m not “just a hater,” the laziest dismissal of an opinion the Internet has to offer. I'm not jealous of Lawrence’s meteoric rise, either---I’m just trying to understand the gnawing need to build altars and monuments in her honor. Why do we need to worship someone for behaving normally? Why does a love of fast food warrant a spot on Mount Rushmore?
Perhaps I’d be more firmly Team Lawrence if the Internet weren’t so desperate to convince me that she’s my new best friend. I get it: she’s “just so real.” But how are we defining “real” here? And if her normalcy is what sets her apart, why are we putting her on a pedestal?
My friends and I grab a slice of pizza on a regular basis, America. Where are our BuzzFeed articles?
For the record, I agree that Lawrence is talented---if not the Second Coming of Streep. I can see why her tales of burgers and bowel movements are celebrated so enthusiastically, and I buy that she’s filter-less and socially awkward. I also acknowledge her importance to millions of costumed Katnisses trick-or-treating on Halloween and seeking a model of accepted quirkiness.
But I’m dissatisfied with a world in which the conventionally attractive Jennifer Lawrence is their only option; and while I believe that she’s a charming goofball when the cameras are off, common sense tells me that her PR team has helped construct her public persona.
Her shtick, however, has grown increasingly tiresome. For instance, in January, Lawrence told W Magazine that she tripped while accepting her Oscar because she was consumed with thoughts of cake. This anecdote is supposed to be endearing, but it's actually a stretch that only a contortionist could perform. Viewers seemed charmed enough by her fall---a year later, the explanation is unnecessary, and frankly, it appears as though she's pandering to her audience.
Our adoration of her dietary idiosyncrasies signal a desperation for something more. We're too easily won over by the mention of bread in interviews, too desirous of the reassurance that the girl on the red carpet could be us---but we keep forgetting that she's not. The brand of normalcy that Lawrence embodies is a glorified one. We may see her as the girl next door, but if she actually looked like one---if she actually were one---would we care as much?