Hollywood, just stop.
Jennifer Lawrence (the gorgeous and talented star of the Hunger Games series, and Oscar-winning actress for Silver Linings Playbook) just called out Hollywood for their absolute bullsh*t expectations for women's bodies, and it was awesome.
She told Harper's Bazaar, “I think we’ve gotten so used to underweight, that when you are a normal weight, it’s like: ‘Oh, my God, she’s curvy.’ Which is crazy. The bare minimum would be to up the ante. At least so I don’t feel like the fattest one.”
Wait a minute ... J-Law feels like the "fattest one"?
That's f*cked up.
First, I want to say that (obviously) fat isn't bad. Fat is beautiful, because women's bodies are beautiful in all of our glorious diversity.
But let's be very clear:
Nowhere on any planet, or in any reality, and certainly not here in this f*cking world, should Jennifer Lawrence be considered fat. Or made to feel fat. Or even be labeled as "curvy" (which is obviously a euphemism for "not skinny").
We know that we have completely lost our sense of reality when we take a woman with a body like that and make her feel big or tell her that she needs to lose weight.
And this isn't just some little nitpick. This is a real-world issue. Women and girls are held to dangerous standards of beauty and thinness. We look at celebrities and start to have expectations for bodies that most people simply cannot ever achieve without doing harm to our bodies and emotional well-being. And sometimes, not even then. After all, these images are also photoshopped, and the actresses are heavily made-up, styled and lit for maximum "perfection".
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, "In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life."
20 million women.
I know the effect this standard has on women and girls, because I tried for most of my life to meet it. Not just thinness. No, in Los Angeles, being slender isn't enough. In this town, you are expected to be skinny. No matter your age or body type, skinny is considered the only real marketable look. And it made me sick.
Fortunately for me, I've left that past behind (though I will admit that sometimes I'm still plagued by self-doubt, like so many other women). But I'm worried about our girls. Because this is not okay.
J-Law is right, we need a new "normal". And while her body is gorgeous, Jennifer Lawrence cannot be considered the "new normal".
Instead, let's all hope for (and work toward) a normal that includes a diversity of body types. And skin tones. And hair textures. And abilities. And everything else.
Because what we're giving our young women right now is not good enough. In fact, it's downright dangerous.