Jennifer’s Body

Jennifer Lawrence is considered a ‘fat actress’ in Hollywood. When I Google her name, the first thing that comes up is ‘weight’. Some other fun contenders include ‘measurements’, ‘body’, and ‘diet’. In the newest Harper’s Bazaar UK, she talks about how she was told as much, and how the comments still hurt years after her milestones and successes. Lucky for us Jen is against body shaming, eats what she wants and is in a position to tell anyone who says otherwise, to shove it.

Although this is nothing new, psych studies have measured male and female preferences of a female body ideal. Women tend to think men would prefer a figure that is thinner than what they actually prefer, and score a figure smaller than themselves as more ideal. Body dissatisfaction among women keeps increasing because of how much thinness they’re expected to live up to.

Figure 1. Body shape figures scale.

There is a simple solution. Put a range of sizes on display. A separate study showed that visual diets in which individuals are exposed to larger bodies actually prefer them to their smaller counterparts. What we see matters. Modeling is a common technique used by people to live up to an ideal. Prior to the excess of technology, we would model ourselves after our parents. Now, television is considered our third parent. We model ourselves after anything on TV, magazines, and the internet. Sadly, what we are given is a skewed perception of reality (You can read the full study here).

In impoverished nations, fullness is equated with wealth, health, and beauty. In westernized cultures, thin is in because the media shoves it down out throats in the most unhealthy manner.

If we could see more of Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, Sofia Vergara, Mindy Kaling, and Christina Hendricks of the world alongside the Jennifers (Aniston, Garner, Lawrence), we would be getting a more level view of women, and maybe stop fat shaming so much. Why is it that no one bats an eyelash at a fat actor, but the second an actress is even seen eating something that isn’t vegan, calorie-free, or healthy, the tabloids speculate on her ‘food/baby bump’ for a month? Fat shaming has gotten even worse now that pregnant celebrities are so heavily monitored. Seriously? They just pushed a human out of their body, leave them the fuck alone (Yes, even Kim Kardashian).

 

If I have to live in a world where Leo Dicaprio’s looks have declined since Titanic, Ryan Gosling says getting ripped for a role was not worth it, and Kevin James gets the hot actress in the end, then I’m going to have to insist on shedding some light on some normal sized women.

Compared to these ladies, how big does Jennifer’s body seem now?

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