Being real in a fake town

Is Jennifer Lawrence fat? Some people in Hollywood seem to think so. She talks about some of the unkind criticism she’s endured in her career in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK. Fortunately she’s reached the point where if anyone tells her she needs to diet she just invites them to go do something anatomically impossible.

I don’t know much about Lawrence. I’ve not seen her act. But what I do hear about her is that she’s candid, off-the-cuff, self-deprecating, and about as natural as you can get in Hollywood. If so, good for her. What I do know is that she is not fat. Nor is Christina Hendricks.

These are beautiful women, and yet we’re told by the “expert people watchers” that they are overweight. Something is wrong with this picture. How can our society handle the cognitive disconnect over holding up only near-emaciated women as the paradigms of beauty while preaching that we should be promoting a healthy body image?

I’m not sure how we’re supposed to break this cycle. Yes, we want to promote healthy living and curb obesity, but at the same time we need to somehow stop condemning every woman who pushes the upper range of healthy weight. Hollywood, for all their devotion to nearly every other cause under the sun, seems to continually ignore the most obvious problem in their midst. They are one of the causes of poor body image, with male and female actors alike going through all sorts of procedures that would be considered barbaric torture if they weren’t voluntary, and all to stay looking young as long as possible.

It’s no wonder that so many young actors and actresses lose their way. How are they supposed to “stay real” when they’re constantly surrounded by the fake and transitory, and people are judged not for who they are but for what they look like? Those who manage to keep their wits about them and not lose sight of who they are deserve to be applauded and supported, not continually badgered.

J-Law, I hope you can continue to keep it real. While I can’t approve of the phrasing, please hang on to that attitude. Those who say you should diet deserve to be sternly lectured. Let ’em have it.

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