When it comes voyeurism, this year’s Academy Awards were anything but disappointing. A Sparknotes reel would include a whole lot of singing, Seth McFarlane’s questionable sense of humor, Ben Affleck’s beard (also tears), and oh yeah, Jennifer Lawrence’s memorable fall down the stairs and into our hearts as Hollywood’s second youngest Best Actress.
Sassy and lighthearted, J-Law has the power to make naivety badass and the abrasive enchanting. Whether you know her as Katniss, Ree, or Tiffany of this year’s hit Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence continues to charm audiences with her candor, ultimately proving that Hollywood’s newest “it” girl ... isn’t. She’s funny and rude and we just can’t get enough of her. Why? Because she’s so damn real.
Sure, she has her critics. Says one reporter of Lawrence’s fall: “When she went up to accept her golden dildo trophy, she tripped, fell and nearly busted her face. Some people laughed, some of us screamed, "IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE YOU, HATHAWAY.”
Okay. Let’s just step back and think about this for a second:
1. Her dress. Okay, okay, it was elegant, gorgeous, etc...but recall that it was also HUGE. And coupled with high heels. I’m impressed the woman could walk at all.
2. Hunger. (no pun intended) JLaw tells reporters she was “starving” on the red carpet. Feeling like that is enough to make anyone weak on her feet; give the girl some blood sugar. Which snowballs into:
3. Nerves. Think of the most nervous you’ve ever been. Now put yourself on a stage in front of EVERY SINGLE CELEBRITY YOU SEE ON TV.
4. And finally the most important point: She tripped ON HER WAY UP TO RECEIVE AN OSCAR. I’m sorry, but that’s impressive as hell. Winning best actress at 22 is astounding and beyond awesome.
But the question remains: what makes J-Law so irresistible? What kind of actress can topple over on national TV and play it off as adorable? Why do we just love her?
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture. A brief peruse of any celebrity magazine exemplifies long-held stereotypes expected of female actresses: flawless skin, tiny waist, a heart for world peace, you know the drill.
The sad truth is this is nothing new, thanks to patriarchy, this kind of nonsense is to be, if not tolerated, expected. However: what is more disturbing is the way in which young female stars have internalized these lies, catalyzing a new phenomena I’ll call the “sexualization realization,” that is, a time when which young stars decide they need to kickstart their image into something sexier and quite frankly, stupider.
Consider Dakota Fanning:
Yep, that’s her.
J-Law stands out in this category. Her interview persona and red carpet expressions are a giant “fuck you” to the entertainment industry. Her brains, confidence, and well, normalcy make her shine above other actresses of her generation. Allow me to demonstrate.
Also consider Lindsay Lohan:
Mary Kate and Ashley:
Even Emma Watson abandoned the norm after a hot second of college:
I rest my case.
Still relatively new to Hollywood, Jen is unfiltered and unapologetic. This succeeds in making her not only less “boobs and drugs” than the rest of her peers, but also in giving Jenn a quality rarely found in famous people: relatablilty.
Her statements at the Oscars illustrate:
On her fall: “It’s really embarrassing.”
On her post-win interview:
On flipping off the camera: “I did a shot before.”
On the red carpet: “I’m freaking starving...I’m looking at the golden arches.”
On her request for a Happy Meal: “I’ll eat it in the bathroom.”
And on her post-oscar plans: “I see my couch. I see TV. I see a bottle of wine.”
What? Stars eat McDonalds? Trip on their stilettos? Require liquid courage? We can’t all understand the feeling of winning an Academy Award or wearing Prada, but sitting on our couch watching The Bachelor and drinking wine ... now that we get.
At once the girl on fire and the girl who fell at the Oscars, Jennifer Lawrence offers a refreshingly candid look at Hollywood and stands out as a leading lady we can actually relate to.
Also: Emma Stone, anyone?