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Dear Critics: Jennifer Lawrence Is Not Fat

Jennifer Lawrence
John Shearer, Getty Images

In the blockbuster film ‘The Hunger Games,’ Jennifer Lawrence plays heroine Katniss, a young woman who lives in a post-apocalyptic world where food is doled out by social class. And while many critics have praised the performance, a few have said Lawrence herself wasn’t quite slender enough to look the part.

Some wrote a leaner actress would’ve been more believable in the role since the story is a “dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.” (But if that’s true, why did no one take issue with the strapping Liam Hemsworth, whose character would suffer from the same lack of a regular food supply?)

Slate writer L.V. Anderson was so disturbed by the repeated references to Lawrence’s physicality that she issued a public smackdown to movie reviewers who have hinted (or just blatantly said) that the actress was too big to play Katniss, saying in part:

“[Jennifer] is a thin young woman. Her body type may differ ever so slightly from the Hollywood norm — her thighs appear functional rather than merely decorative — but she’s still leaner than the vast majority of the American population … Movie critics suspend their disbelief all the time, and when they suddenly refuse to do so for a female actor whose body looks more like an average woman’s body rather than less, it’s hard to see that as anything but sexist.”

Lawrence herself hasn’t responded to the brouhaha, but before the movie’s premiere, she did talk about her curves with British Glamour:

“I didn’t want to look like a little boy — I wanted to look like a woman … Katniss is meant to be a hunter; she’s meant to be scary. Kate Moss running at you with a bow and arrow isn’t scary.”

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