My recent addiction to Tumblr has not only led me to observe confessions involving food and porn, but also the ubiquitous presence of actress Jennifer Lawrence in the gifs (and hearts) of so many creepers, including me. Her lustrous blonde hair and striking blue eyes mesmerize as she mouths seemingly out-of-place, subtitled quotes such as, “I’m the weird girl that everyone ignores,” and, “I’m like a Chihuahua, I’m shaking and peeing.” Well, the quotes are pretty mesmerizing too.
You probably recognize Lawrence as kickass Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” or from every red carpet and must- list. Among her recent windfall of acting offers, she seems to have landed the new role in the media as America’s sweetheart. You probably know this archetype from the oft-reblogged appraisals of teenagers who go, “OMG, I love her!” This is a universal kind of love reserved only for the most famous ladies with whom everyone wants to be their best and/or girlfriend.
Of course, most admirers don’t know these ladies personally. This recycled image is often a projection of characteristics that the sweetheart-of-the-moment might not actually possess. It’s a culmination of the ideal female gender role of being charming and good-looking yet approachable and like a virgin — which we’ve previously tacked onto stars like Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Lindsay Lohan. However, there can only be one sweetheart at a time, and the title is usually lost when some kind of corruption is revealed or a new starlet comes along.
Whereas so many sweethearts turn out to be saccharine, Lawrence has built herself up to be a different breed from this category. The slightly misogynistic term “sweetheart” shouldn’t even apply to her (or really to any woman).
Let’s give a rundown of J. Law’s relevant characteristics. She’s incredibly sexy in an unthreatening way. And she doesn’t threaten because she’s too busy making fun of herself. She seems genuine in interviews because her mouth has no filter. And her humor turns would-be gaffes into sayings that anybody would want to crochet into a pillow.
Although Lawrence’s interviews shouldn’t be taken seriously, she’s garnering some crazy cred. She’s the star of two major franchises (“The Hunger Games” and “X-Men”) and a critical darling (“Silver Linings Playbook” and “Winter’s Bone”). She has a talent for digging to the emotional core of her characters. Oh, and she snagged the respective Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild best actress awards (while an Oscar nom is pending). Boo yah.
She hasn’t tried on a one-size-fits-all image, and yet she’s reaping its benefits. If a non sweetheart can gain so much acclaim and attention, why not just rid society of that archetype? It’s too demanding to keep up airs of innocence and bubble gum and rainbows. Eventually, a lady has to grow up, and maybe go the sexual object route. Kidding! But real talk, our leading ladies should keep it real and be able to babble all about their bodily issues to the press. Here’s to hoping that Lawrence is catching fire (too corny?), that she’s the silver lining (yuck?) or that she’s a sign that we’ll be seeing more varieties of women losing their skirts when they accept their awards on stage.
Contact Caitlin at [email protected].