By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood March 29, 2012 at 12:20PM
As of two days ago The Hunger Games' domestic gross was up above $173 million dollars. It will clearly be above $200 million before the weekend. It's a success so the nitpicking has started. We've seen the posts on the racist tweets and now there are people complaining that Jennifer Lawrence looked a bit too healthy playing a character who was supposed to be poor and hungry.
NY Times critic Manohla Dargis calls her "a new female warrior" and "Again and again Katniss rescues herself with resourcefulness, guts and true aim, a combination that makes her insistently watchable" and then in the next sentence says that she doesn't look hungry enough her seductive and that her "womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission." There are other problemmatic comments focusing on her "baby fat" (Todd McCarthy in Hollywood Reporter). Now if I wanted to nitpick she is supposed to be 16 in the film and all girls develop differently so maybe this 16 year old could still have some baby fat. And, Katniss is a hunter she would most probably be more fit with chasing the game she shoots for her family. And I also remember reading in the books that both Katniss and Peeta overate while preparing for the Games so they could have some extra meet on them while they were fiighting for their lives.
This is beyond disgusting. Lawrence looks normal. Her male co-stars look even healthier (and have some seriously big muscles) yet no one thinks they are too healthy or big boned or big boobed or just plain old fat. Look at her. She's not fat. She's even thin and she is also totally normal about her food intake. She likes to eat and won't diet. Power to her.
Sometimes I think that we are so used to seeing such skinny women in the movies that when we see a normal looking girl we think she is big. But because this film is so important to young girls it is even more important that we not get caught up in the lookism that usually surrounds actresses. Girls are looking at Katniss as a role model - fiction or not. She's a character they can relate to.
One thing I really hope is that Larence doesn't pay any attention to this. She seems to be really grounded but it's hard to ignore all the chatter. I hope that even if she sees it she dismisses it and doesn't effect her as she heads into production on the second film this summer.
Here are two pictures. One from The Hunger Games and one from Winter's Bone. Do you think she looks different?