Tag Archives: jennifer lawrence

Decoding the real ‘Cool Girl’

When I was preparing for my semester exams last month I came across a point that said ‘Media studies helps us question, criticize and analyze subjects instead of taking them at face value’. This is definitely what we have been taught (but most students don’t really care enough to apply it in real life) to do about all the things that interest the world. We have studied soviet-era journalism, nazi propoganda and even present-day publicity- the most important thing that I learned was that 90% of what you see is fabricated. Just like in The Hunger Games when the team behind each tribute design how every one of them will be showcased, based on the kind of emotions they want to evoke in the audience, that is exactly what PR agencies do in reality as well. According to me, the biggest PR miracle of our generation is convincing the ordinary audience that Jennifer Lawrence is ‘just like us’.

I believe you!

I have been suspicious of this beautiful, funny, smart, talented and ‘down-to-earth’ girl from the very beginning. I never jumped onto the ‘Jennifer Lawrence is my bff’ bandwagon, I happen to be a rather cautious person naturally. First we will discuss her as a person, then talk about the way the public has perceived her (spoiler: it’s shady). Lawrence earned her first Oscar nomination for ‘Winter’s Bone’, she was equally talented at that time. But the first time when people noticed her ‘quirky’ personality was when she starred as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Lawrence’s nonchalance, borderline unprofessionalism and utter disrespect for personal hygiene was quickly accepted by people.

You’re not funny, you’re dumb.

Every other actress in Hollywood works out every day of the week, maintains a healthy lifestyle and follows a strict diet. That is the only way you can have an ‘attractive’ body. Jennifer definitely has an attractive body but she always pretends like all she eats is cheese-burgers. She has claimed previously that she would punch anyone who enjoys exercising. But if she eats junk food all day and never hits the gym, how does she have a body perfect enough to put on the cover of Vogue? You see, she doesn’t! She goes to the gym and eats healthy just like every other actress but pretends to not be so uptight to seem like every other girl. That’s the trick!

You’re allowed to say that only because you’re hot.

She recently stated in an interview for US Weekly, “I would just rather have somebody that has the same taste in reality TV, I do love my Real Housewives. New York Housewives — and Beverly Hills, New Jersey, and Atlanta Housewives. I mean, I love them all, but Miami — oh, my God! Miami is really special.” With a heavy schedule there is no way she gets time to watch all the above shows, but she claims to anyway- because every other woman in America does. About her personal life she added, “[I want someone who] isn’t afraid to fart in front of me [rather] than to have big, passionate love.I’d rather have just a peaceful time. [Those relationships] are deeper because you can be your true self with somebody, and somebody can be their true self with you.” So you are only being yourself if you stuff a hot-dog in your mouth while reciting ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Apparently if a lady enjoys eating gluten-free food and does that in front of her husband, she is not being herself?

*white girl voice* OMG she’s just like us!

Does ‘being yourself’ mean being the worst, most annoying, degrading version of yourself? If you want to be a better person for someone, if you want to improve yourself, does that not count as ‘being yourself’? Does wearing sweatpants and discussing butt plugs contribute as honesty? Does talking about intestinal problems on national television make you cool? The truthful and dejecting answer is yes- you see it isn’t very complicated. Lawrence’s PR guys have made her a dream girl- they have built the exact opposite of the ‘innocent, decent, girly girl’ trope that the media used to prefer.

So down to earth

Lawrence pretends to be like any ordinary girl but she isn’t- her personality is simply a performance. Now you may argue that she doesn’t seem fake but she has an Academy Award at home for ‘Best Actress’ so duh! Men want her, women want to be her- but she’s not really her. She is playing this person who everyone wants and no one can see it. She is ‘flawless’ because she is like most of today’s lazy women, so if you are not like the majority then you are ‘flawed’. This ‘evading the mainstream’ practice has become so mainstream, not doing it makes you ‘uncool’.

And work out in the gym for 5 hours, but you won’t mention that!

This ‘cool girl’ has become the old ‘girly girl’- it is equally suffocating, demanding, challenging and demeaning to women who have different tastes. Since Lawrence heads this army of fake cool girls, anyone who likes doing yoga will be attacked. But at the same time, if you accept your body even if it is not up to the mark, you are criticized for being arrogant. Or if you choose to crib about your body being undesirable, the same people criticize you for being insecure. Also if you ditch exercise altogether, they will call  you fat. This ‘cool girl’ trope is demanding all the women to fit in a mould built with utmost strictness. This ‘cool girl’ persona is forcing women to behave in a certain way so they can convince the world that they are a ‘cool girl’. The problem is not Jennifer Lawrence, the problem is our gullibility.

That’s something all of us can relate to isn’t it?

We women (even those who call ourselves “feminists”) have extremely misogynistic standards- we love it when a 5’7 inches blonde blue-eyed beauty says that she loves McDonalds. Why wouldn’t she say it? She’s fucking gorgeous! But if someone oversized like Melissa McCarthney says something similar, we would only criticize them for being unattractive. You see, you are only a cool girl if you eat junk AND maintain a size zero. Whenever women hail Lawrence as a hero, it baffles me because

a) she is abso-fucking-lutely gorgeous, so even she ate the entire Trojan army alive she will still look gorgeous

b) women who want to be ‘cool’ like her are NOT, so they will have to spend equal amount of time in Subway to eat carbs (so they can brag about ‘not giving a shit’) and in the gym to actually lose the calories (because secretly they do give a shit)

Soooo relatable!

You see here is the problem- another unrealistic standard that women have to reach to be accepted. That itself is misogyny- the belief that a woman has to be a certain way to qualify as a woman is gross. If we like Emma Watson, we want to be classy. If we like Kate Moss, we want to be skinny. If we like Christina Hendricks, we want to be curvy. Why can’t we ever be just us? Just because Gwyneth Paltrow eats kale, doesn’t mean we all have to start writing books about the importance of kale. Just because Kim Kardashian wears a particular brand, doesn’t mean we have to sport the same logo. Just because men find ‘cool girls’ attractive, doesn’t mean we have to be one!

Everyone loves her because she is weird AND hot. If she was just weird, no one would care!

We don’t have to live our lives trying to live up to the standards that other people built for us. We are all mature, capable, intelligent human beings who can decide their own good. We are all able of taking responsibility, making decisions and pulling strings of our lives. So why should we let a celebrity tell us, who we can or cannot be? Why do we give a piece of paper (fashion magazines) the power to make us feel insecure about our bodies? Have we really become so obssesed with being someone else that we have completely forgotten the unique, beautiful, complicated and flawed creature we truly are?

P.S: This is not hate propoganda, this is ‘open-your-bloody-eyes-and-see-the-nasty-truth’ propoganda.

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Gone with the Trend

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.

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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.