Jennifer Lawrence Is Not Too “Big-Boned” To Play Katniss Everdeen
1:00 pm, March 26th | by Laura Donovan
In the past few years, “curvy” actresses — or rather those who don’t fit the standard size two Hollywood mold — have started to be appreciated by the media, but not without their bodies being picked apart. The latest celebrity to endure evaluations for her figure is “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence, who some say is a tad too “big” to portray impoverished teenager Katniss Everdeen.
“Hunger Games,” which follows Katniss on her quest to win an annual barbaric battle that requires 24 children to fight to the death until only one remains, has several poor characters who struggle to find food, and apparently Lawrence’s shape discredits her portrayal of the guarded 16-year-old. New York Times writer Manohla Dargis says of the Kentucky native:
“A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.”
Another critic asserts Lawrence and co-star Josh Hutcherson, who plays her sort-of love interest Peeta Mellark, aren’t a cute enough couple because the female is larger than the male, and we all know women prefer taller boyfriends with no exceptions:
“Lawrence seems too big for Hutcherson. She’s a fairly tall, big-boned lady (I’ve been in a hotel room with her) who’s maybe 5′ 8″, and he seems to be something like 5’7′. Male romantic figures have to be at least be as tall as their female partners, and we all know most girls like guys to be at least a little bit taller, so Lawrence and Hutcherson don’t seem like a good fit. It almost looks like she has to bend over a bit to give him a hug. (Hemsworth, a six-footer or thereabouts, has no problem on this score.)”
We’re unsure how to respond to this back-handed compliment from The Hollywood Reporter‘s Todd McCarthy, who pointed out that Lawrence’s “lingering baby fat shows here,” adding “she resembles a Cleopatra there — and she can convey a lot by doing little. An ideal screen actress.”
Besides the uncomfortable remarks on Lawrence’s frame, the strongest criticism stems from the fact that she is supposed to portray a famished teen who can barely scrounge up enough scraps to feed her little sister and despondent widowed mother. On the other hand, she hunts illegally, is a great shot, and feasts mainly off bread, so her “big-boned” figure isn’t entirely unrealistic for the part. Nevertheless, her figure doesn’t deserve ample discussion, especially in a story as complex as “The Hunger Games,” which sends a clear message about how far we can fall if societal regression becomes unmanageable. There’s also the silly debate over whether Katniss is a more superior heroine than Bella Swan of “Twilight,” but we’re not going to get into the ridiculousness of that comparison here. What’s important is that Lawrence seemed to expect this kind of reaction to her looks prior to the film’s release, and she said herself she’s “okay with looking chubby on camera”:
“I’m miserable when I’m dieting and I like the way I look. “
We do, too. Now help us track down a loaf of sourdough bread, please. You’ll find one before we do.