Before Jennifer Lawrence achieved mega-fame for her acting chops, she was best known as the actress with the “real girl” body.
Unlike most in Hollywood, Lawrence had curves, and she flaunted them proudly.
She was confident in her gorgeous, feminine size-four figure -- as she should be.
As a media-branded “plus-sized” actress, she quickly became the industry's poster girl for self-confidence and healthy body image, famously saying,
If anybody even tries to whisper the word 'diet', I'm like, 'You can go f–k yourself.'
Since emerging onto the scene, J.Law has slimmed down a fair amount, although she still insists, “In Hollywood, I'm obese.” Still, it's safe to say she's pretty thin — and not everyone is thrilled she's still being heralded as a curvy-girl icon.
Ashley Graham, a plus-sized model who's starred in campaigns for Lane Bryant and Vogue, recently spoke with Net-a-Porter's online magazine, The Edit, about the importance of promoting healthy body image for young girls. She argues the media's portrayal of Jennifer Lawrence as "plus-sized" is not only inaccurate -- it's harmful.
Young girls don't have much to look at, curvy girls are not on covers of magazines; they're not talked about on social media as much as other celebrities. Jennifer Lawrence is the media's poster girl for curves — she's tiny!
The 27-year-old, size 14 model believes the industry's unrealistic standards for female bodies aren't only harmful to the actresses themselves, but to the young girls who idolize them.
There needs to be more education in schools because that's where eating disorders start. It's not just about being healthy; it's also about loving who you are.
Of course, Graham is right. Hollywood has long held a reputation for holding women to ridiculously skewed standards of beauty, labeling anyone over a size two as “plus-sized.”
That's not to say that actually being plus-sized is a bad thing. In fact, Graham insists,
It doesn't matter if you're a size 2 or 22, as long as you're taking care of your body, working out, and telling yourself 'I love you,' instead of taking in the negativity of beauty standards.
This is far from the first time we've discussed the need for healthier, more realistic beauty ideals for women.
Over the past year, the media has made great strides in the promotion of healthy body image and self-acceptance. But we're not there yet.
If we hope to make a difference, we need to stop treating women as objects that must fit given “molds.” We have to understand that, although it may be the Hollywood norm, a size four or fourteen is nothing to be ashamed of.
The labels need to be dropped: If we accept “plus-sized” and “straight-sized” and “curvy” as ways to describe a woman, we're accepting the classification of her based on her figure.
Graham pinpointed a serious flaw in the media's representation of women — the conversation has been started, so let's keep it going.
Ladies, let's make 2015 our year, regardless of size.