It’s been five years since the world first met Jennifer Lawrence, the girl next door with the small bladder and potty mouth who just happened to be a prodigious acting talent, too. Since her now-legendary 2012 sit down with David Letterman (“he told me to go on medication!”) the narrative that Lawrence is “relatable” has been front and center to her overall persona (Google “Jennifer Lawrence” and “relatable” and you’ll get 750.000 results). That was fine when she was still a burgeoning starlet overwhelmed by life as a superstar, but she’s 26 years-old now. She’s been nominated for four Oscars and won one. She flies in private jets with rock stars and sits front row at fashions shows for couture labels that she also endorses. Yes she drinks, and yes she curses. But make no mistake: Jennifer Lawrence is not relatable.
It’s worth noting that calling Lawrence “relatable” not a crime. She’s is still one of our most electrifying movie stars and her interviews continue to be a delight. What we find puzzling is our need to cling to JLaw’s relatability as though she would be somehow diminished without it. Take for example Vogue’s upcoming 125th-anniversry issue, which Lawrence is on the cover of (so relatable!). The headline on the online version of the profile is as follows: “Jennifer Lawrence on her New Movie, New Relationship and how She Stays So Damn Relatable”. Really Vogue? That’s you angle?
Which of four do you prefer?)) For its September issue, Vogue USA commissioned three leading photographers and one artist to create a portrait of #JenniferLawrence for four variations of the magazine covers. 1) Photographed by @bruce_weber, Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, styled by @tonnegood. by @tonnegood; 2) Photographed by @inezandvinoodh, styled by @tonnegood. 3) Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, styled by @tonnegood. 4) Cover by John Currin. "Untitled," 2017. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm). © John Currin. Photography by Rob McKeever. Courtesy @gagosiangallery. #JenniferLawrence #Vogue125 source: @voguemagazine #beautyofwomen #womeninart #womanportrait
Don’t get us wrong. It’s an excellent profile written by an excellent writer (shouts to Jason Gay). Among the things they discuss: Her love of reality television (relatable). Her hatred of people who like mentioning they go to Harvard (also relatable). She’s not happy with our current president (so relatable). Other things they discussed: She liked Ariana Grande’s impression of her on Saturday Night Live (not relatable). She’s disappointed that she failed to see that Passengers would revolve around what essentially amounted to a rape (not relatable). She refuses to take selfies on planes with fans (not relatable). Sometimes Lawrence flips from relatable to non-relatable in the same train of thought. She loves her boyfriend, director Darren Aronofsky (being in love is relatable!) and was reminded what a genius he is when she watched her new movie mother! which he directed (starring in your brilliant boyfriend’s huge movie is not relatable.)
In many ways, Lawrence is the same cherubic 20-year-old we fell in love with whenshe described her gastrointestinal difficulties on national television all those years ago. But Lawrence is a complex women with many facets, and to reduce her down to being relatable as a way to make ourselves feel better about who we are is simply unfair. She shouldn’t have to bear that cross for the rest of us.