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YOU IN THE HUGE DRESS GET OUT OF THE FUCKING SHOT
March 8, 2014 10:03 AM   Subscribe

So, what's it like to go to the Oscars with Jennifer Lawrence?
posted by The Whelk (99 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
I get tired of this and decide to follow Bill Murray around the party. At one point he looks in my direction and winks at me while dancing to "If You Want My Body and You Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart—a moment, I now realize, my whole life had been leading up to.

Greatest unseen Wes Anderson vignette ever.
posted by scody at 10:11 AM on March 8 [33 favorites]


The most astonishing thing about this is that myspace is still alive. Kinda thought it was buried in the Meme Sematary with under construction gifs and frames. Spooky.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:14 AM on March 8 [16 favorites]


That format really hits new lows for usability.
posted by jeather at 10:15 AM on March 8 [26 favorites]


Jennifer Lawrence somehow manages to feel like the whole world's best friend. How awesome must it be to *actually* be her best friend.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:24 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


I'm having a hard time phrasing this question in a way that doesn't seem problematic, but the second-to-last photograph really reads to me as a person made up in blackface. I presume that can't possibly be true--just the lighting maybe?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:31 AM on March 8


I am left with just one important question, and I'm sure it's because I have been remiss in my celebrity-worship. Who is Major Barbie Feet?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:36 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


What, Horace Rumpole? No, I think that's Miss J. Miss J's job (as far as I could tell) is to yell, "Work it girl! Be fierce!!" at the models on America's Next Top Model.
posted by artychoke at 10:37 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Confirmation of Miss J photographed at the Governor's Ball in same getup.
posted by dhartung at 10:43 AM on March 8



Jennifer Lawrence somehow manages to feel like the whole world's best friend.


I think she's a good actress, but her "I'm the goofiest/most fun celebrity EVER! OMG, look at me trip, I'm such a goof!" bit is getting kind of old. I know a lot of it is media created but like the article says, all famous actors get this constant press of photographers and attention and what not constantly. While I'm sure some are nicer than others and JLaw is probably on the nice end of the scale, being an A-list celebrity has got to mess with your head in a lot of ways.

She's not a normal person and not like most people's best friend, and there isn't even anything wrong with that. I just feel like every few years there's an ingenue that gets this "I'm a goof treatment" and it seems really contrived to me, partially by the star and by their machine.

That said, I don't mean that JLaw isn't talented. I just don't agree with that so goofy spin on her.
posted by sweetkid at 10:43 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Yeah BTW Miss J doesn't look at all like a person in blackface to me in that pic. Just a black person.
posted by sweetkid at 10:44 AM on March 8


,That format really hits new lows for usability.

It worked ok on my ipad, maybe not so good on other platforms?
posted by Dip Flash at 10:47 AM on March 8


That format really hits new lows for usability.

It actually broke Readability on my computer. Never had that happen before.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:48 AM on March 8


I get tired of this and decide to follow Bill Murray around the party.

Much like navigating by the North Star, one should always orient to Bill Murray at a party. There cannot possibly be anything better happening than whatever is happening closest to Bill Murray.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:52 AM on March 8 [31 favorites]


I just feel like every few years there's an ingenue that gets this "I'm a goof treatment" and it seems really contrived to me, partially by the star and by their machine.

Every celebrity movie star has a "contrived" public persona. Saying you enjoy Jennifer Lawrence and think she's adorable doesn't mean you think you actually know who she really is as a person. That would be impossible for someone who only knows her through the media. It just means you enjoy her public persona, the same way someone might enjoy the character of Loki in the Thor movies.

She's playing a character in public, but it's a good character, I enjoy it, and hope to see more.
posted by straight at 10:53 AM on March 8 [18 favorites]


Yea I think I agree with you straight. Every celebrity has a contrived public persona, and JLaw's is "goofball." But some people seem to buy the spin that she's just like your bestest friend.
posted by sweetkid at 10:55 AM on March 8


Also just to be a bit cynical she really can only get a few more years out of the goofball stuff because her youth makes it work. She'll always be talented but the best friend stuff will drop off after 25. Celebrity culture is kind of ruthless as celebrities age.
posted by sweetkid at 10:57 AM on March 8


I know somebody that spent time with Brad Pitt training him for a movie role. Her opinion of the Brad Pitt musk is not so ccomplementary.
posted by COD at 11:20 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Or maybe she really is a bit of a goofball in real life and has found that just letting herself be goofy works for her publicity. Not everything has to be a conspiracy against the audience.
posted by chimaera at 11:22 AM on March 8 [20 favorites]


Yeah, I wonder how many A-List Celebrities would be cool with their best friend posting "My date grabbing my neck as she eats shit" gifs, contrived public persona or no.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:25 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Young actresses can't win, huh? Either they're Anne Hathaway and too "poised" and "smug" and "fake" or they're "trying too hard to be relatable" and it's "just an act"
posted by The Whelk at 11:25 AM on March 8 [102 favorites]


I just do not understand the Anne Hathaway haters (Hathahaters? Haterways?). Both she and Lawrence seem perfectly nice.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:28 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


I'm not sure if someone has already linked to this Buzzfeed article about the popularity and disposability of the "cool girl" persona, but it seems appropriate here: Jennifer Lawrence and the History of Cool Girls.

[T]he Cool Girl’s cool is ephemeral. We’ve been anticipating the J.Law backlash for months, but if and when it comes, it’ll have less to do with Lawrence and more to do with the need for a new articulation of the Cool Girl to keep the myth alive. This is an anxiety that needs constant soothing, and one star can provide only so much reassurance. One minute you’re cool, perfectly balancing the progressive and the regressive, but when that balance falters, you’re too much, too sexual, too loud, too performative, and the cultural backlash sweeps you under.
posted by bibliowench at 11:28 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


I think the Hathaway hate is another media thing.
posted by sweetkid at 11:29 AM on March 8


How can you have a thread that mentions Bill Murray and convince yourself that celebrity goofballs are all faking it and inevitably going to lose their sparkle?

BILL still sparkles!
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:32 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


If I put on Brad Pitt musk, would the pheromones make me seem oddly alluring?

It doesn't seem fair that he gets that face and a good musk.
posted by Area Man at 11:42 AM on March 8


Anyone who gives the finger to an asshole reporter making fun of them taking a dive at a primetime awards ceremony is aces in my book, contrived or not.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:43 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I read about throngs of angry, hateful religious people and I'm right back to being embarrassed about being a human.

Isn't the way you perceive how another person smells an indicator of genetic diversity, as in "we'd make great babies together?" Thought for sure I had read some sort of pop-sci tidbit about that. So everyone will have a different perception of how good/bad someone's stink is. Though I would say if we're not actually hugging and I can smell you, that's not so hot, either way.
posted by maxwelton at 11:46 AM on March 8



Also just to be a bit cynical she really can only get a few more years out of the goofball stuff because her youth makes it work. She'll always be talented but the best friend stuff will drop off after 25. Celebrity culture is kind of ruthless as celebrities age.


Reading that did negate a lot of the joy I got out of reading the article. You're entitled to voice your reaction, of course. But, yeah.

Anywho, how awesome are Glenn Close's combat boots?
posted by Diablevert at 11:47 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


The alternate title was "..and a dress long enough to hide comfortable shoes."
posted by The Whelk at 11:48 AM on March 8


I just do not understand the Anne Hathaway haters (Hathahaters? Haterways?)

It's ugly, but I can see how people dislike her because she's gorgeous and obviously smart and cultured and serious and always ready to talk about smart-cultured-serious-person stuff, which makes her a lot more imposing than Lawrence. To quote Jack D. Ripper, they sense her power.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:51 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Also I was reading something that said that people bristle at Anne Hathaway because she's such a striver. She talks about how hard she works and how much the dieting sucks and celebrity culture is usually spun as more about natural talent and celebs who stay skinny running after their kids and stuff.

Personally that willingness to talk about how hard she works makes me more interested in what she has to say and her career.
posted by sweetkid at 11:57 AM on March 8 [12 favorites]


It's ugly, but I can see how people dislike her because she's gorgeous and obviously smart and cultured and serious and always ready to talk about smart-cultured-serious-person stuff, which makes her a lot more imposing than Lawrence.

Eh, imposing to a degree, but the flipside of that, also: Uptight, someone you can't relax around.

TL; DR: J.Law = more attractive Carol Burnett, Anne Hathaway=Julie London.
posted by Diablevert at 11:59 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


"I'm the goofiest/most fun celebrity EVER! OMG, look at me trip, I'm such a goof!"

How about thinking that she's just naturally lovely and human and full of foibles like the rest of us and is enjoying her life. I mean her life is pretty nuts right now and she's young and having fun. Crazily, some of us don't think that's an act.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:59 AM on March 8 [16 favorites]


You know who I am.
That's why we're stalking Bill Murray instead.
posted by arcticseal at 12:01 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]



Personally that willingness to talk about how hard she works makes me more interested in what she has to say and her career.

I read somewhere that it rubs against traditional notions of how women should succeed - you should be GRATEFUL for everything cause everything is given to you, not because you worked hard for it. Women aren't supposed to want things or actively work hard for them, they're supposed to sit around and wait until their "discovered" when a nice man realizes you are in fact the prettiest princess and success is given, not gained.
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM on March 8 [47 favorites]


I'm not much of a person who cares about celebrity, but I do find Jennifer Lawrence fun and refreshing. Maybe it's an act, maybe it isn't, but I think I'm going to go with "yeah, that's how she is: very cool and goofy" instead of giving in to complete cynicism.
posted by Kitteh at 12:25 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I know somebody that spent time with Brad Pitt training him for a movie role. Her opinion of the Brad Pitt musk is not so ccomplementary.

That must have been before the musk gland implants. They're all getting them these days, usually from the same surgeon that did their wife's lips.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:29 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


What the Jennifer Lawrence backlash tells young women
posted by brundlefly at 12:34 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure if someone has already linked to this Buzzfeed article about the popularity and disposability of the "cool girl" persona, but it seems appropriate here:

Glad someone linked this. I liked that they included the Gillian Flynn Cool Girl quote; here's an extended version:
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

[...] Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain.
posted by lalex at 12:40 PM on March 8 [14 favorites]


I suppose it is possible this whole article is a put on, some contrivance by a PR person to forward the Lawrence brand as a loveable goofball. I know there is a popular theory that celebrities are entirely artificial, and that every public appearance is a carefully orchestrated event in which they are playing a role that somehow tested well.

I dunno. I've been an arts journalist for two decades, have worked in the film industry, and have a number of friends who are either regular working actors or have had periods of enormous fame. I've been to movie openings, private events, and afterparties.

Pretty consistently, I have seen PR people as being more like harried and overworked cat herders than master puppeteers. They can barely get their clients anywhere on time, much less get them to behave as they want or say what they want. I used to live right by the former Kodak theater and walked by it during the Oscars, and through the barricades you could see semi-sober celebrities with PR interns chasing after them, begging then, please, we promised you would do one minute in the carpet with so and so.

I think there has been a mass Bill Murrification in Hollywood, with celebrities enjoying being anarchic and playful. It doesn't suit everybody, and sometimes it can be a bit contrived, but it's a lot more fun than what the PR people would come up with. If Lawrence successfully portrays herself as a fun-loving oddball, I'm going to say that's who she actually is. Despite their reputation for playing make believe, the principal acting style in Hollywood is a search to represent truth on screen -- to honestly interact with someone onscreen, and to find ways to represent the experience of having that interaction. Some people have a talent for taking those skills and applying it at public events.

I haven't met Lawrence, though. She is a terrific actress and maybe her public persona is a manufactured or exaggerated one. Maybe she has a previously undisplayed genius for improv, and uses it whenever she needs to represent this persona to the press. Could be.

I find it unlikely, though, and it would be contrary to my experiences. I think it is much more likeky that criticisms of her personality are what they often are -- a hint of unexamined sexism dressed up with an uneducated cynicism about the industry masquerading as knowingness.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:43 PM on March 8 [67 favorites]


Young actresses can't win, huh? Either they're Anne Hathaway and too "poised" and "smug" and "fake" or they're "trying too hard to be relatable" and it's "just an act"

This, exactly. I love Jennifer Lawrence but I was always bothered by the reaction to her that was like "See, she's cool because she's so fun! Not like Anne Hathaway who's a bitch". And now it's being turned against JLaw too. People actually got mad at this picture. WTF. It's OK to like Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o all at the same time! Really, it is!

(This, btw, is my favorite "goofball" actress Tweet of all time, from Anna Kendrick:
Ugh - NEVER going to a Ryan Gosling movie in a theater again. Apparently masturbating in the back row is still considered "inappropriate"
)
posted by kmz at 1:05 PM on March 8 [19 favorites]


I am sure Jennifer Lawrence is a lovely, fun person in real life -- maybe she's a goofball too -- but I am also sure that her public persona is, to a great extent, a persona. (Also Anne Hathaway's persona.) JL is doing the funny girlfriend/sidekick, which I assume is why we mostly never hear about her being in a relationship. (Wikipedia says she's been dating someone for 3 years, minus a few months last year.)

There's nothing wrong with presenting a facade to the world, though no one will admit that because then the "which celebrity would you like to do this random thing with?" or "who is your celebrity BFF?" stories would never work.
posted by jeather at 1:24 PM on March 8


Maybe it's an act, maybe it isn't,

And regardless, it's a choice, and one she's on board with. She's a talented actress; if she's chosen to play "lovable goofball" off camera, she's certainly capable of pulling it off, but the agency still rests with her

I've often wondered about how weird that has to be to her as the star of the Hunger Games, a series that is about managing your own personal brand as much as it is about anything else. She stars in this movie where she's placed on a global stage, attended to by stylists, told how she has to make the public love her in order to gain sponsors in order to literally stay alive -- and then she goes out on the PR circuit for the movie, placed on a global stage, attended to by stylists, and (i am assuming) told how she has to make the public love her in order to gain sponsors in order to keep her career trajectory alive. And because she's been nakedly, hilariously honest about so many aspects of filming and doing the PR junkets, but to my knowledge she's never discussed THAT aspect? that increases the likelihood in my mind that these are deliberate choices, to a certain extent.

And, you know, good for her. that's not even remotely a criticism. There's no reason for her not to make choices of some kind on how she appears on camera; I am sure that every public figure does it. Which then raises the question as to why J-Law gets the squinty stare for it and Robert Downey Jr. doesn't.
posted by KathrynT at 1:29 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


"Murrification" in the Oxford Dictionary by 2016. Let's make it happen, folks.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:31 PM on March 8


Which then raises the question as to why J-Law gets the squinty stare for it and Robert Downey Jr. doesn't.

I've seen a bunch of "wow, RDJ is so cool, he says he IS Iron Man" and a bunch of "wow, Emilia Clarke is so weird, why is she obsessed with dragons".
posted by jeather at 1:33 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


How about thinking that she's just naturally lovely and human and full of foibles like the rest of us and is enjoying her life. I mean her life is pretty nuts right now and she's young and having fun. Crazily, some of us don't think that's an act.

Her public "foibles" are so incredibly tame, though. She seems perfectly fine as an actress, I don't take issue with her, but tripping once in a while or sometimes being slightly uncouth in perfectly socially acceptable ways just doesn't seem that "refreshing" to me.

I don't think it's an act, particularly, but I do think once she's past a certain age (25 seems about right) people are going to be much less forgiving of this particular behavior (clumsiness, cussing, whatever). At that point, either she'll find a way to be "refreshingly uncouth" in other relatively milquetoast ways or she'll polish herself up and people will say she's uptight. That doesn't seem all that cynical to me, nobody plays the ingenue forever. Angelina Jolie went through a similar process, I think, shifting from "batshit" to "kooky" as she aged and people were starting to think "enough with the blood vials, you should know better." To me, it's the behavioral equivalent of "no miniskirts after 35."

It does bother me that conventionally beautiful, blond, consistently polite and sweet and cheerful JL is considered refreshingly real because her behavior is aligned with the hegemonic ideal 99% of the time instead of 100% of the time (like when she trips). I mean, seriously, that's the margin for error? That's still an impossible standard. Characterizing her behavior as "goofy" and "fresh" also seems infantilizing to me -- her behavior would be "goofy" in a fourth grader; I would think that as a grown woman, we (the audience) would expect or even prefer her to be a little more complicated or darker or even just more idiosyncratic in her behavior than this. But apparently not.

Anyway, I've kind of had a soft spot for Anne Hathaway ever since she dated that horrible guy who's maybe in prison now. Foibles like "catastrophically bad taste in men" and "bellyaching too much" are more my speed, I guess.

My actual favorite actresses tend to be TV actresses because I'm a TV fan more than a movie fan in general, so happily, I never hear or see those actresses anywhere except on their own shows and don't really have to worry about reactions (my own or anybody else's) to their public personae.
posted by rue72 at 1:36 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


you take that all back rite now she is my BFF!! at least she would be if she met me I just know it
posted by billiebee at 1:39 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


it's the behavioral equivalent of "no miniskirts after 35."

also what
did I miss a memo?
posted by billiebee at 1:40 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


You guys are too cynical about some things and not cynical enough about others. This is a case of the former; everything I have encountered leads me to believe that this isn't an act on Jennifer Lawrence's part. She is simply being herself.
posted by Justinian at 1:44 PM on March 8


I never hear or see those actresses anywhere except on their own shows and don't really have to worry about reactions to their public personae.

Better seen and not heard?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 1:54 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I don't follow celebrity gossip at all, but Lawrence is a kick ass actor, says intelligent things in the few interviews I've seen, and once in a while does something like flip off an asshole photographer. Unless I learn something to the contrary, I'm going to say she's ok in my book. I hope she finds a good way to handle hollywood's shitty problem with "older" actresses where they get no roles, because I like he acting enough to want to see it evolve over decades.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:00 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


did I miss a memo?

No memo, rock on with your miniskirts! It's just one of those judgmental rules I've heard (probably somewhere stupid, like "What Not to Wear") about how women are "supposed" to behave/look/dress. Another one would maybe be, "don't wear white for any wedding but your first." In reality, dude, wear what you want.

I'm sitting here in an olive green sweatshirt vest right now and nobody has given me a code violation write-up yet, so maybe the fashion police are going easy on people nowadays anyway.
posted by rue72 at 2:02 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Well I'd never thought much about her before, altho she seems like a fine actress.

But from reading this thread, I have chosen to believe that she is secretly Amish, married with three kids, wears only modest dresses she knits herself, and her main hobby is doing her own taxes, by hand. But this is all brutally suppressed by her publicity machine, and anyone who dares suggest that she's anything but a 'fun gal you'd want to have a beer with' is likely to Never Work in this Town Again.

Hooray!
posted by hap_hazard at 2:43 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I love the Cool Girl quote -- I love Gone Girl -- but while Gillian Flynn did write the novel it's from, I think it's important to qualify calling it a Gillian Flynn quote, per se. That's a quote from a fictional character who is not Gillian Flynn. Gillian Flynn may agree with every word of it, or may think it's all bullshit, or may even be somewhere in the middle...regardless, this is from a work of fiction she wrote, not from her, like, blog. Something I feel the need to be pedantic about, sorry if it's a derail...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:44 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


I can't speak to Brad Pitt's pheromones but I was struck this year, apropos celebrities' aging public personae, by Angelina Jolie's beautiful maturity. It seems just a heartbeat ago she was playing the bad girl at the Oscars with Billie Bob Thornton.
posted by Anitanola at 2:54 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I always wonder about how people get wrapped up in these absurd "every celebrity action is a carefully planned PR stunt" conspiracy theories. It's exactly like Alex Jones for the TMZ set.
posted by young_son at 3:16 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I suddenly really want to watch a movie about the bff of a major celebrity going to the Oscars and having lots of weird celebrity encounters. Like this, but maybe with some crime thrown in.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 3:16 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


Strange article.

1) The careful avoidance of Jennifer Lawrence's name.

2) As for the author's name--is it Laura Simpson or Joan Crawford? The author listed on the Myspace article is "Laura Simpson," but clicking on her name takes you to a Myspace page for "Joan Crawford." A google search for her twitter handle says "Joan Crawford" in the listings, but when you click thorough to Twitter, the name on the page is "Laura Simpson." Did she get herself a stage name?

3) No acknowledgement of the fact that she is posting on "is-that-thing-still-around" Myspace. Her Myspace page doesn't even link to the article.

I dunno; I enjoyed reading the article, but my final takeaway is that the whole thing is a carefully planned PR move. (Likely designed to benefit her as much as Lawrence. Not to mention Myspace.) Good for her for seizing an opportunity.
posted by mantecol at 3:17 PM on March 8


Every celebrity movie star has a "contrived" public persona.

Not universally true.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:22 PM on March 8


I suddenly really want to watch a movie about the bff of a major celebrity going to the Oscars and having lots of weird celebrity encounters. Like this, but maybe with some crime thrown in.

Get an backstage pass .....TO MURDER.
posted by The Whelk at 3:30 PM on March 8


1) The careful avoidance of Jennifer Lawrence's name.

Eh? I didn't find that weird at all. It's not like there was some sort of ambiguity?

2) As for the author's name--is it Laura Simpson or Joan Crawford?

Laura Simpson. Again, this is obvious and I don't understand why it's confusing.

3) No acknowledgement of the fact that she is posting on "is-that-thing-still-around" Myspace.

Why should there be? I don't acknowledge that I'm posting on Metafilter when I post on Metafilter. Except in this comment, I suppose.

You're being wayyyy too cynical.
posted by Justinian at 3:36 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


"That's a quote from a fictional character who is not Gillian Flynn."

Not only that, but it's from one of the more notably unreliable narrators in recent popular novels.

It's kind of amazing that anyone would use that quote to make an argument about projection and about authenticity when it's a product of what is, in its own way, just as contrived and untrustworthy as Amy's earlier persona.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:36 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


That's a quote from a fictional character who is not Gillian Flynn.

That's quite right, and I'm sorry my comment implied that it was Gillian Flynn's opinion. I should have been clearer; I only meant to correctly attribute the quote.

That being said, I posted the quote because when I read the novel I really responded to it. It definitely speaks to a certain archetype that I've personally felt pressured to embody. I dunno, it's tough out there.
posted by lalex at 3:44 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


How can you have a thread that mentions Bill Murray and convince yourself that celebrity goofballs are all faking it

I mean no criticism at all of Bill Murray (or JLaw) to say that we do not know Bill Murray, and the stuff you think you know about Bill Murray is the stuff he has chosen as his public persona.
posted by straight at 3:54 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


I always wonder about how people get wrapped up in these absurd "every celebrity action is a carefully planned PR stunt" conspiracy theories.

I always wonder about how people get the impression they know somebody who they've never had any contact with except via mass media, someone whose job is to have and maintain a public persona.
posted by straight at 4:00 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Is too!

Is not!
posted by Mick at 4:31 PM on March 8


We all have a public persona. Jesus, if I said publicly what I say in private, people would think me a monster.

That doesn't mean my public persona is artificial. It's simply mediated. If the question is whether celebrities have public personas, the answer is yes, we all do. If the question is whether that makes them somehow a reasonable target for largely irrelevant and ofter gender-based criticisms, I would say no, it's just an excuse.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:37 PM on March 8 [27 favorites]


I wonder sometimes if the identification of a sole Good Female Actor is a side effect of the Smurfette Principle, where there is One Girl and her specialty is being The Girl. When you view women that way - as of value when they embody whatever good Girlhood / Womanhood is and that is only one thing (that changes when we feel like it) - than the idea that you might like Hathaway and Lawrence and Nyong'o all at the same time is completely unthinkable. Any variation on Smurfette is Evil-Black-Haired-Smurfette and must be defeated at once.

Even in woman-centered high-financed media, relationships between women are rarely center stage, and pretty much never when there are men around who are more important. This is part of what inspired the Bechtel Test - it's a very basic test of whether you have two women with a storyline and relationship independent of men in the story, and even where movies could easily pass it (I'm looking at YOU, Avengers) by simply having two of the women interact to further the plot (Hill and Black Widow were in the same place. A lot. WHY DO THEY NEVER SPEAK????) they often don't and people often don't notice that they don't because it's so ingrained that women are there to have relationships with men and not with each other.

I see a lot of women do the heavy lifting for not having relationships with other women. One thing I really like about this article was about how much of it was about the relationships between the women - both fleetingly as she met a variety of women she knew only via their persona, and persistently through the relationship between her and her best friend which is the unspoken backdrop of the whole post.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:24 PM on March 8 [26 favorites]


We all have a public persona. Jesus, if I said publicly what I say in private, people would think me a monster.

Yes, and somewhat related: Some of you have obviously never known an actor.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:23 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


I don't buy her public persona as being all that 'contrived.' It's adjusted, sure, for audience--but every single one of us does that all day every day. Her public persona is just more public than yours or mine, that's all. If I were to guess at the motives of someone I don't know at all I would guess that she's trying to balance the ridiculous fishbowl she lives in now by not carefully culturing a public image crafted by PR people. It seems like a much healthier response than e.g. Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears or any of the numerous young women our culture likes to chew up and then watch implode.

I mean is it really so hard to believe that she'd behave somewhat differently in an interview than at home watching TV with friends? Or differently at the Oscars than she would at a doctor's appointment? We all modify our behaviour.

Also just to be a bit cynical she really can only get a few more years out of the goofball stuff because her youth makes it work. She'll always be talented but the best friend stuff will drop off after 25. Celebrity culture is kind of ruthless as celebrities age.

As female celebrities age. Male celebrities seem to do just fine. Obviously there are counterexamples but far more women get thrown away when age starts becoming apparent than men do.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:05 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Also just to be a bit cynical she really can only get a few more years out of the goofball stuff because her youth makes it work. She'll always be talented but the best friend stuff will drop off after 25. Celebrity culture is kind of ruthless as celebrities age.

As female celebrities age. Male celebrities seem to do just fine. Obviously there are counterexamples but far more women get thrown away when age starts becoming apparent than men do.



Yep, totally agree. A lot of this thread seems to be people trying to argue against my stating the obvious that people will tire of the adorable goofball act (or reality, or whatever) of Jennifer Lawrence after she's 25 or so. It's just...the ingenue thing ends at a certain point. That's just how it is. jlaw will still have her talent and fame to sustain her, so I'm not worried about her.


I think I've made my views on sexism pretty clear on this site so despite what Bunny Ultramod says, I'm not criticizing JLaw's personality and I'm pretty emphatically not a sexist. It's interesting to be accused of that just because you don't buy everything about a young white conventionally attractive ingenue's public presentation.
posted by sweetkid at 10:50 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Well, you might take it as an opportunity to be less secure about what is clearly some kind of gut reaction you have and how you've rationalized it. Sexism is more a social illness than an individual moral failing (though it sometimes is that, too). All of us have unexamined reactions that are, at root, internalized sexism. Or racism. Maybe that's what's involved in yours, or maybe not. But being a consistent and outspoken feminist is no guarantee against it. It's just human.

There are numerous aspects of a backlash against Lawrence that are, as we say, problematic. Those are worth carefully considering.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:15 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Having said repeatedly that I think Jennifer Lawrence is talented, and that I don't think her " everyone's best friend" persona is entirely her own doing, I don't think I'm part of any backlash.

Interesting though that several men are trying to have me examine my sexism here. To me the sexism is more apparent in the fact that we toss away "goofballs" after age 25, or if they're not conventionally attractive white women to begin with. The bar is set that much higher.

But no, because I don't think Jennifer Lawrence is the world's best friend, I'm internalizing sexism.
posted by sweetkid at 11:41 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Women are the primary patriarchal policers of other women's public appearance and conduct.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:42 PM on March 8


Isn't the backlash against Jennifer Lawrence really a backlash against all the people who hold her to an impossibly high ideal. She's only human. At some point she'll make a duff film, do or say something that slightly jars.

The backlash is like a form of buyer's regret for having built Lawrence's persona into the acme of the beautiful and talented everywoman. Having done so, that energy has to go somewhere.

More cynically, journos need narratives. The 'has Jennifer Lawrence lost her touch' articles could basically be written now and it wouldn't make much difference.

She seems pretty down to earth to me. As does Nicholas Hoult. They tipped up at a pub near his parents' home in rural Hampshire for New Year's. I don't believe she is contrived. I think her goofballness is a strategy to keep herself level and to remind herself and others that A list celeb is a status conferred by others, and at the whim of others.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:46 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Hey thanks for the sexism lesson IF. You're clearly more of an ally to women than I am. Good for you.
posted by sweetkid at 11:46 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Isn't the backlash against Jennifer Lawrence really a backlash against all the people who hold her to an impossibly high ideal. She's only human. At some point she'll make a duff film, do or say something that slightly jars.

The backlash is like a form of buyer's regret for having built Lawrence's persona into the acme of the beautiful and talented everywoman. Having done so, that energy has to go somewhere.

More cynically, journos need narratives. The 'has Jennifer Lawrence lost her touch' articles could basically be written now and it wouldn't make much difference.


posted by MuffinMan at 3:46 AM on March 9 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Agree.
posted by sweetkid at 11:48 PM on March 8


I just asked you to think about all the various stuff going on in your reaction to Lawrence and that others here have made good points about there being sexism in the backlash. It's really not about which of us is a better feminist, which is an incredibly stupid argument for people to have. It's that each of us can have reactions to things that are a product of narratives and social conventions that we're not aware of.

And I do think there's a gender gap (in the unexpected direction) in this case, just as there is with regard to parenting and, yes, the public appearance of women. I doubt that much of the backlash or skepticism about Lawrence originates from men even though it's all about how a patriarchal society understands women, portrays them, idealizes them, and polices their conduct. Misogyny and men's interest are at the root of this, but a lot of this stuff is expressed as resentment against women by other women for behaving "inappropriately", in some sense or another. Being male doesn't get me off the hook for this stuff, but being female certainly doesn't get anyone else off the hook, either, because so much of this stuff is women attacking other women.

Also, I admit I'm a little irritable about some of the things involved in this because in general I am dismayed by the kind of scrutiny that young female actors endure and, as you mention, the distortions and foreshortenings in their careers relative to their male peers. It's tremendously unfair. And it's extremely upsetting how we have this story over and over again with women in general, about how literally nothing a woman does is ever acceptable. A woman in the workplace is either too meek and passive or shrill and ball-busting. Nothing, ever, it seems that any woman, and particularly any woman in the public sphere, ever do is the "right" thing in the eyes of society, which emphatically includes other women; it's always a catch-22 and there's no way to win. This opposition above, that you participate in, between Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence is appalling, it's as if there's absolutely no space for either of those people to just be who they are without being seen and judged as models for womanhood.

Back to part of why I'm irritable about this, is because I've been reading lately a lot of commentary by women against other women who exhibit vocal fry and uptalking. Particularly Lake Bell, who's built a media machine promoting her film around her assertion that other women are talking wrong, and she makes these claims under the aegis of a woman advocating a feminist position. The complaint about fry and uptalking among young women is all about unexamined gut reactions and completely absent any knowledge of linguistics or even any attempt at cross-generational, cross-cultural, and cross-gender speech patterns — each of which simply demolish all of the strongly held assumptions of those who criticize this speech pattern. But few bother to actually look at any evidence because their gut reaction, their awareness of the self-evident "truth" that fry and uptalking is horrendous infantilization is just too good to be checked, to even be examined critically.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:16 AM on March 9 [10 favorites]


I wonder if the "goofball" aspect of her character seems contrived to some because it doesn't fit with how we view beautiful, talented women? As in, you can be very beautiful and capable or you can be the lovable goof, but it doesn't make sense to be both because there are no archetypes for that.

In an actual film, the kook is normally the best friend of the main character, she's the comic relief as the heroine works to achieve her goal (usually Getting Her Man). I've only seen Jennifer Lawrence in a couple of things, but she doesn't seem to portray that character at all. She's steely, fierce and capable, as we expect our heroine to be. So then when we see her in real life (or at least the snapshots of her real life that we have access to, which are admittedly still public and media-driven events) the goofy stuff seems contrived. But personally I don't think it is. I think it just proves that she really is a great actress, because on screen she's totally believable as someone who can win a fight to the death, but irl she falls down just walking up some stairs. Which, as someone who can only aspire to be the best friend and not the heroine, I find totally adorable.
posted by billiebee at 3:33 AM on March 9


100% PR contrived or not, what I took from this is that JL didn't allow herself to be set up on a contrived Hollywood photo opportunity/date with someone she didn't know in order to further her gossip-worthiness. (Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields, anyone?)

I cannot help but appreciate that instead she brought her best friend and find that sweet and normal (ANDOHMYGODI'MFALLINGFORTHEPUBLICITYMACHINATIONS).
posted by kinetic at 6:14 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Well she was also there with her actual boyfriend Nicholas Hoult. Who looks all grown up since About a Boy and the two of them look great together.
posted by sweetkid at 8:13 AM on March 9


. This opposition above, that you participate in, between Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence is appalling, it's as if there's absolutely no space for either of those people to just be who they are without being seen and judged as models for womanhood.

I didn't "participate" in any opposition between Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence. The conversation seemed to have moved to the treatment of Anne's celebrity backlash and I expressed why I thought that was and what I thought about it.

I don't see how I'm policing Jennifer Lawrence's behavior at all by saying I think her persona is fairly contrived . As said above, a lot of it is contrived by media "Jennifer Lawrence is the best friend you wish you had!" Etc and I can definitely see a backlash there. I just don't like it is all. If anything it's those media articles that police women as seen in the Cool Girl comment above. It's like there's this thing where you're supposed to do all the trappings of traditional feminity/ciswoman behavior but you're supposed to make clear that you don't like those things and think they're silly. That seems silly and reductive to me. Again I don't really think Jennifer Lawrence is the problem, media and its constructs around "Jennifer Lawrence is fresh and fun" and "Anne Lawrence is a shrill humorless striver" are both much more about their highly public personae than about who they are as individual people.


Personally I don't think falling on stairs is fun or refreshing, or even unexpected at this point. If she falls down at the next public event, will people think that's adorable AGAIN.?

Dunno I guess so. But just because I don't think it's adorable doesn't mean I think Jennifer Lawrence is performing feminity wrong or whatever else it is you think I am doing by "policing" her. I'm allowed to have an opinion on this without it being about my supporting the patriarchy.
posted by sweetkid at 8:46 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Well she was also there with her actual boyfriend Nicholas Hoult. Who looks all grown up since About a Boy and the two of them look great together.

This is exactly what happens when my mom asks, "What do you want for your birthday?" and I reply, "Socks," instead of "PLEEZ get me a year of OK and Star magazines."
posted by kinetic at 8:57 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Ok and Star straight up make shit up, US Weekly and In Touch seem to just exaggerate truth.
posted by sweetkid at 8:59 AM on March 9


This being the internet, if you come into a thread where people are pretty much enjoying a celebrity they seem to like and the thread is not about something controversial/bad they've just done, and decide to declare you don't like what others seem to enjoy and think it fake, you aren't going to come across as iconoclastic or speaking truth to sheeple.

The suggestion that oh, I refuse to be deceived by that popular white girl you all seem to like doesn't really add anything to the conversation, and crying fake about the whole thing comes across as it usually does online - tiresome, especially without evidence.

Does this make someone a bad feminist? I don't personally think so. But the idea that you and you alone can see through a celebrity's behaviour to the truth within is pretty solipsistic, if you think about it.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:28 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


she really can only get a few more years out of the goofball stuff

It's just...the ingenue thing ends at a certain point. That's just how it is.

Well, Zooey Deschanel's ten years older than Jennifer Lawrence, and she doesn't seem to have gotten that memo.
posted by scody at 10:02 AM on March 9


[One comment deleted. sweetkid, at this point maybe ease back?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:11 AM on March 9


I love that recently Emma Thompson seems to be embracing her inner goofball (maybe she always has? But I never noticed?). And she's definitely outside the <25 category. I wonder if there is something of a backlash/resurgence/trend for women in the spotlight to show their sense of fun. If so, awesome.
posted by tracicle at 10:25 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I agree with much of what you've written, sweetkid, and I regret that there's been some friction. It's just that...well...I think there's something a bit off about choosing to be critical of Lawrence's public persona. Pretty much in the same way that there's something weird about criticizing Anne Hathaway. Male actors aren't really subjected to the same kind of intense scrutiny, especially with regard to authenticity and the implications about whether someone is "admirable".

They do get some of this, but mostly when an actor does really unusual things in public, not merely the vanilla sorts of things that Lawrence does.

When we scrutinize public women like this, for most of us it's not some malice motivated by misogyny, it's just, well, women in public have all this baggage forced upon them; all these expectations and gut reactions are like the air we breathe in this culture. And while stuff can seem very harmless and trivial, that a famous young woman people perceive as a "goofball" is irritating, it's worth considering why that would be irritating to some and why people even notice. Why even that she has to be a "type".

And to amplify on something you wrote earlier, I'm actually uncertain that Lawrence couldn't be this person as she ages - - but maybe you're right that she couldn't while, in contrast, we have the example of Bill Murray. I think it's indisputable that female actors are very boxed in, limited not just in the roles they play or the length of their careers, but also who they're allowed to be in public.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:28 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I actually think we basically agree, too IF.

Also more to the topic of the post, which we have gotten away from: I liked this girl's account of the event and her pics were fun. It was interesting to see that gif where five people ran to help Jennifer Lawrence when she tripped but basically no one was looking out for the friend she fell on.
posted by sweetkid at 11:33 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I love that recently Emma Thompson seems to be embracing her inner goofball

Me too, but then wasn't she in Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry's comedy troupe in college? I have a feeling she's getting back to her roots, or her inner goofball was always there, but for the past couple decades she was playing so many serious roles we never got to see her comedy side.
posted by mathowie at 12:08 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I think it's interesting to compare/contrast Jennifer Lawrence with Aaron Paul, who seems similarly genuine, goofy, and all around likeable. He isn't quite as popular, true, but I have yet to see anyone claim there's anything contrived about him, for what it's worth.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:03 PM on March 9


I have chosen to believe that she is secretly Amish, married with three kids, wears only modest dresses she knits herself

Does she make her own butt plugs too?
posted by homunculus at 1:28 PM on March 9


But Aaron Paul wasn't playing the strong, hero type (in Breaking Bad anyway, I haven't seen him in anything else). And he's not leading man handsome (cute, but not Ryan Gosling handsome). So maybe that's why he gets away with it? Are men allowed to be The Hero and goofy as well? I'm sure they're allowed more room that way, I just can't think of any off the top of my head.
posted by billiebee at 1:31 PM on March 9


I don't pay that much attention to this kind of thing, but it seems to me that I didn't hear much about people's encounters with Aaron Paul around Albuquerque — I did hear about Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris, though, both of whom had reputations for being really nice, approachable people. Norris and his wife lived there year-around, though. Maybe Paul didn't stick around much when they weren't shooting.

But, yeah, things I've seen in the national media about Paul have given the impression that he's very easygoing and goofy.

My impression of Jennifer Lawrence was solidified at the time of Winter's Bone; not just her performance, but she got a whole bunch of attention when the film opened and she just seemed to me to be a very talented actor. That's who she is to me, anyway.

On the topic of the post, I found this a bit interesting in that I have an old friend who's a producer who's had one of her films nominated for best picture and goes every year — not that it could ever have actually happened, but because of that I can sort of imagine being the nobody date of someone who is Somebody at the Academy Awards. That's probably also why I, like a couple of other people above, are a bit sensitive about some of this because these are just regular people. Really famous people are family and friends and just regular folks to someone, they're not manufactured in a laboratory.

Even if they're not so much regular people now, they were regular people not that long ago. My friend had a film this year that was nominated in a major category and just last month I came across an interview she did during the Toronto festival and my impression was that she was just herself. She's a producer and not an actor who has to worry about their public image (or not nearly as much), but I think I agree with the point made earlier that while all these folk have to be aware of their public image and many of them have handlers that try to manage it, for the most part they're just people doing what they do. The idea that they're like Coca-Cola or something is silly. I admit that it's true for a few of them that they're multinational brands, those who are megastars and have been and will continue to be for something measured in decades. But even then, they have to be unusually invested in managing that aspect of their career (many big stars aren't). But people like Jennifer Lawrence are in a different league, even if they're A-list right now.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:56 PM on March 9


Are men allowed to be The Hero and goofy as well?

The Rock.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:57 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


This is why I keep Metafilter around: So that every once in a while, I am not the most cynical person in the room.
posted by jcreigh at 5:28 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I'm just glad that all of these unimaginably rich and powerful and influential people are such great buddies with one another. It's important to have a network to rely on. What happens if you're late on the rent, or the gas is about to be cut off, or there's a medical emergency? Brad and Angelina will give you a couch to crash on for a few nights. It'll work itself out.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:10 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I've often wondered about how weird that has to be to her as the star of the Hunger Games, a series that is about managing your own personal brand as much as it is about anything else. She stars in this movie where she's placed on a global stage, attended to by stylists, told how she has to make the public love her in order to gain sponsors in order to literally stay alive -- and then she goes out on the PR circuit for the movie, placed on a global stage, attended to by stylists, and (i am assuming) told how she has to make the public love her in order to gain sponsors in order to keep her career trajectory alive. And because she's been nakedly, hilariously honest about so many aspects of filming and doing the PR junkets, but to my knowledge she's never discussed THAT aspect? that increases the likelihood in my mind that these are deliberate choices, to a certain extent.

Lawrence has done interviews where she has talked about being primped and prodded and interviewed on the press junkets for Winter's Bone and then going straight from that into the scenes in Hunger Games where she is primped and prodded and interviewed, and she said she thought to herself, "oh, hey, yeah, I know what feeling like a pawn in pretty make up is like. I've got this." So she is certainly aware of Hollywood fakery and the image making machine and its obvious parallels to The Hunger Games.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:58 AM on April 5


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