Is Jennifer Lawrence’s Body Acceptance Campaign Justified?

Jennifer Lawrence’s body may not be the model for people seeking body approval

By Khushi Patel | Staff Writer

A picture of the supposedly chubby Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Marie Claire magazine.
A picture of the supposedly chubby Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Marie Claire magazine.

One of pop culture’s most admirable actresses, Jennifer Lawrence is an avid supporter of body acceptance. “J-Law” has given numerous interviews in which she publicly denounces those who tell her to diet or lose weight. As awesome as she is, a key point people fail to notice is that Jennifer Lawrence is not in fact fat.

Perhaps by Hollywood’s standards, Jennifer Lawrence may seem unfit, but this is not because she herself is unhealthy, but more to the fact that Hollywood’s perception of a “healthy body” is severely skewed. The fact that a healthy, fit young woman is being targeted for being at most a size or two above the Hollywood norm reinforces the fact that only one body type is acceptable. For someone who is actually overweight, hearing comments in which Jennifer Lawrence endorses her own body type as a physically fit individual proves to larger women that unless you’re as skinny as Lawrence, your image is unacceptable.

“I would rather look chubby on screen, but like a person in real life,” said Lawrence in an interview with Marie Claire magazine. Too a chubby person, these words are to live by, but to someone who is naturally thin, it is discouraging. The implication here is that too people who are naturally skinny or thin do not look like real people. Although much less common, women who are too skinny can have problems accepting their body types as well. A person can be too “scrawny” or have knees that are too “knobby.” The assertion that Jennifer Lawrence’s body type is what “normal people” look like is discouraging to not only overweight, but also slender women as well.

Jennifer Lawrence herself is not too blame; modern media is beginning to emphasize the “everybody’s perfect” regime which can has its advantages and disadvantages. With campaigns such as Dove’s Real Beauty or Victoria Secret’s Love Your Body campaigns, media is over emphasizing the need to accept your body the way it is now. Although derived from positive intentions, the campaigns themselves send a whole different message- one that says: “Yes, you are fat, but love yourself any ways.” These campaign featuring petite women and large women together in a scene of camaraderie clearly show which body type is preferred. It’s just another accessible platform to compare body types.