Every year Hollywood brings us something new- a superhero movie that is just like all the ones made before but with better cgi, some strange fashion trends that no ordinary person would choose to sport and a new young actress that everyone is swooning over. It happened years ago when Anne Hathaway was new to the film industry, with her quirky and awkward behaviour she quickly became a rage. She was on the cover of every fashion magazine, the face of every cosmetics brand and on the lips of every movie-geek. Then her personality and popularity distracted us from her fantastic acting skills and next year they replaced her with someone younger and newer. With Hollywood’s financial interests swinging our choices took sharp turns. Same was the case with Gwyneth Paltrow and countless others. But whose fault is it really?
Kristen Stewart has been a child-actor but she barged into the popular scene with Twilight which immediately catapulted her to fame. She became the idol of ragging teenage girls and the fantasy of 13 year old boys. Men wanted her, women wanted to be her. Innumerable babies were named ‘Isabella’ but only a year later women realized how Stewart’s character makes women look weak and helpless. Her popularity began falling with the arrival of Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘The Hunger Games’ and the scandal with Rupert Sanders, the director of ‘Snow White and the Huntsmen’. Later, she only became relevant for her on-off relationship with Robert Pattinson and the world collectively decided to hate her.
Half a billion people adore Jennifer Lawrence but I was never fond of her. Everyone says her stand against ‘fat shaming’ is legendary but I believe the world is biased. If Jennifer Lawrence says ‘I want to eat’ we all admire her because she is gorgeous, if Melissa McCarthy ever said ‘I want to eat’ we will call her fat and disgusting. With ‘The Hunger Games’ Lawrence’s fiesty and brave Katniss was a stark contrast to Stewart’s Bella. Feminists everywhere rejoiced, Hollywood bosses smiled because this girl was going to make them money. Then Lawrence became globally popular for her ‘quirky’ attitude and ‘courageous’ talk- apparently a beautiful woman talking about peeing and farting can easily impress the world, who knew! Then she won an Oscar and the hysteria skyrocketed. Jennifer Lawrence is ‘Just like us’ if you have silky blonde hair, sky blue eyes and a flawless 5’7 frame but I honestly don’t know any woman like that. But then Lawrence got nominated for another Oscar and then maybe her golden time was up.
After watching ‘The Spectacular Now’ and ‘The Descendents’I was genuinely impressed with Shailene Woodley’s effortless acting. She was one of the rare young actors who actually started off small and I was hoping her popularity and respect would grow as she made careful yet intelligence decisions. But then she signed on ‘Divergent’ and I immediately knew her fate would be just like all those before. Although she has managed to stay out of controversy so far, it won’t be long before the media snatches something up and twists it around to make her look like a monster.
Brace yourself, because next year ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ will release and Dakota Johnson will be on magazines, cosmetics, coffee cups and condom wrappers. All in all, I believe if actress make clever choices and cautiously decide how much popularity will be sufficient for their movies, they could plan a longer career. Also if they let their professional achievements take precedence over their personal scandals, it will be easier for us to take them seriously. Actress should be aiming at not being popular for their looks (in Lawrence’s case ‘falling’) but being respected for their work, it won’t be long before they get more substantial female roles like the ones that Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett play.
Out of the younger lot Emma Watson and Emma Stone look promising (for their age) but others are not memorable. None of the actresses in our generation have the longevity, fascination and respect that classic actresses inspired. Maybe because they were always a mystery, maybe because we didn’t know much about them apart from what we saw on screen. That is why even today we idolize them and not the narcissistic actress of the 21st century.