Jennifer Lawrence has a cult, and I used to be in it.
She was just cool. She loved food—so did I! She embarrassed herself—so did I! She tripped going up stairs—so did I! (Not at the Oscars, but that’s a minor detail.)
I wasn’t the only one in the cult. Lawrence would burp, and America would swoon.
Lawrence’s charm came from her realness and her refusal to subvert to Hollywood norms. In a world of ice queens like Angelina Jolies and Gwyneth Paltrows, she felt like the one star you could actually be friends with. Picture getting a manicure with Angelina. Both you and the nail artist would be cowering in fear. Picture getting a manicure with JLaw—you can already feel the belly-laughs, right?
Unfortunately, these days Jennifer doesn’t feel like someone you want to hang out with, she feels like someone you’d want to duck around the corner to avoid.
Where once her persona was fresh, now it seems manufactured. If typical celebrities are guilty of showing off unattainable, unrealistic lifestyles and looks, JLaw has become the opposite type of pretender: the fake klutz, the fake girl’s girl, the fake dork.
Case in point: when she tripped at the Oscars in 2013, it definitely didn’t feel planned. I have a hard time believing she, or her publicist, could have predicted that falling would actually make her a bazillion times more endearing to the public. However, randomly and adorably tripping again the very next year? Yeah, not buying it. It’s like when studios release mediocre sequels to extremely popular movies, and your love for the first is irrevocably tarnished. Lawrence’s second trip is equivalent to The Hangover 2 or Jaws: The Revenge: first you cringe, then you wish you could go back and un-see it.
Her anti-diet speeches have started to feel just as staged. At first, they were unexpected and real and inspirational, and I wanted to stand up and clap every time I read things like that Lawrence would never lose weight for a role. Now my eyes automatically roll whenever she inserts yet another line about wanting a hamburger or being starving during an interview. I can almost feel it coming; there’s a pause in the conversation, and she immediately interjects something like, “Oh my god, give me foooooood.” In 2012, after winning MTV’s Best Female Performance for her portrayal of Katniss in Hunger Games, Lawrence held up her award and complained “I can’t eat this.” A year later, she revealed she was more focused on cake than accepting her Oscar the night she won. Is it just me, or does only Meryl Streep has the career longevity and acting chops to be that blasé about this kind of stuff? We get it: you like to eat. So do we. So does everyone. I’d like to hear about something else now please.
Lawrence has started to feel like a caricature of herself, an already big personality blown up even more. I’m ready to return to reality.
Image via We Heart It