Was Jennifer Lawrence too FAT for the Hunger Games? Male critics believe actress should have looked "more hungry"

Was Jennifer Lawrence too FAT for the Hunger Games Critics believe actress should have looked 'more hungry'



22:17 GMT, 28 March 2012

Film critics in the U.S. have collectively deemed Jennifer Lawrence as too big to play Katniss Everdeen in their reviews of The Hunger Games.

There have been several arguments that the 21-year-old, who plays the film's heroine, had too much 'baby fat' on her frame for the blockbuster movie.

The reviewers of the film felt the character of Katniss was insufficiently malnourished to be living in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world and think she should have been skinnier.

Hunting prowess: Ms Lawrence was critised for being too fat for a starved Katniss, instead of being praised for her lean frame portraying her character as a svelte professional hunter

Hunting prowess: The star was never praised for her fit-looking frame, with her character being a lean professional hunter in the film

In a review for The
Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy notes her 'lingering baby fat', while
living in a poor mining region, as problematic.

Salon's Andrew O'Hehir points out Miss Lawrence's 'well-fed' body in the film, with the notion that her frame inherently renders the actress as too fat to play a realistic Katniss.

Referring to her body shape in a similar vein, Variety's Justin Chung wrote that any evidence of the movie's supposed hunger in the poverty-stricken District 12 'barely even seems to register.'

Further still, in what could be considered blatant sexism, Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeffery Wells calls
Miss Lawrence a “fairly tall, big-boned lady” who is too big for her
romantic interest Josh Hutcherson.

Starved silhouettes: Many of the film's critics believe that Ms Lawrence was too big to play Katniss in her povetry ridden world, although no mention was made about her co-stars bulky frame

Character dichotomy: Critics think Miss Lawrence was too big to play Katniss, but there's no mention about Liam Hemsworth's bulky frame

He goes on to say that Liam
Hemsworth, a bulky 'six-footer or thereabouts, has no problem on this
score,' as the other romantic figure in the film.

One is left to wonder, though, isn't
that the point Katniss struggles to choose between these two men in the
second film Fire. Perceiving Katniss as dominant to one love interest
and possibly vulnerable to another would be an easy way for an audience
to differentiate between the two candidates.

Not emaciated enough: Film critics have collectively said that they think Jennifer Lawrence was too big to play Katniss

Weighing in: Film critics have collectively said they think Jennifer Lawrence was too big to play Katniss

Perhaps noteworthy is the fact that out
of all the film's reviewers who critiqued Miss Lawrence's figure, only
one of them was a woman.

Manohla Dargis critiqued Ms Lawrence's shape in her review for the New York Times, arguing
that, 'a few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to
play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad
fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.'

Miss Lawrence is, by all appearances, a thin, young woman. Her body type, while not mirroring her more starved looking peers, differing ever so slightly from the current Hollywood norm, is lean, fit and slender – perfect for the professional hunter which she plays in the film.

It is a fair assumption that these reviewers see Miss Lawrence's body shape as deviating slightly from the exceedingly thin figures that populate most blockbuster films, in turn, perceiving her as too big.

Those who use the argument that Miss
Lawrence doesn’t look
authentically hungry enough for her role as Katniss also don't seem to
take into account human genetics in the population of our vastly
diverse world.

As Slate pointed out: 'Just as living in a world with abundant
calories does not automatically make everyone fat, living in a dystopian
world like Panem with sporadic food access would not automatically make
everyone skinny.'

One of
the film critics' biggest flaws is their lack of critique on the male
characters in the film, and their pointedly bulky frames.

to the arguments that the young Miss Lawrence was not skinny enough,
there was little concern about Mr Hemsworth's exceptionally muscular
build, despite the fact that he inhabitants the same poverty stricken and
starving community.

While it is acceptable to hold an actor's physical appearance to a standard of realism in all movies, in this instance it appears to be more a case of pudgy-does-not-equal-pretty for the heroins on today's silver screen.

Criticising Miss Lawrence's slender, instead of too-skinny, frame is effectively rendering every woman in America with an average body also too big.

Those are dangerous grounds to tread on.