According to internet prophecies (on this site and others), we're on the brink of a national Jennifer Lawrence backlash. She's too charming. She's trying too hard. She's annoying. She's so likeable that we're just fucking sick of liking her. She's problematic. She dressed up like a "fat witch" once, which was kind of mean. Above all, she's "fake."
But WTF is that, people? WTF is "fake"? Do you mean she's literally a counterfeit human being made out of burlap and gum and animated by a crooked magician? Do you mean to suggest that a professional actress, when she's not acting, might spend all of her time acting like a person who is not acting, to try to convince people that she's more than just an actress? And your problem with her is that she's too convincing? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
And—more importantly—has anyone ever called a male celebrity "fake"? I'm positing nope. Because male celebrities are allowed to have personalities. When women behave like people, people panic.
Here's PolicyMic on the gendered double standard of "fake"ness:
Men also have to present a calculated authenticity, but they are rarely questioned it. A quickGoogle search reveals that stars like Justin Timberlake and Kendrick Lamar also must keep fans believing that they are "real," but they are more often than not praised for beingsuccessful at it. Searches of other leading male music stars and actors — like Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Justin Bieber, Will Smith, or Leonardo DiCaprio — reveal that little such pondering of their authenticity exists.
Beyond the garden-variety image wrangling that comes with being a celebrity, I think most people are genuinely surprised when women have personalities. Not on a conscious level, maybe (for the most part—up top, PUAs!), but subtly, we expect profoundly different things from women vs. men. And when a woman like Jennifer Lawrence confounds that expectation by being loose and funny and weird and natural, some small corner of our collective 'stincts goes, "WHAT IS THAT." For conventionally beautiful women, beauty itself is supposed to be "enough." Anything beyond that is suspicious. Anything else must be disingenuous. There must be an angle.
Well, tough break. Sometimes there isn't. Welcome to "Women Are People: Exhibit 2343439879."
Image via Getty.