Star urges restraint on TV 'fat' body image slurs

By Jenn Selby

Jennifer Lawrence.
Jennifer Lawrence.

Jennifer Lawrence has been vocal about her refusal to lose weight for acting roles in the past.

By Hollywood's often malnourished standards, she is, by her own admission, frequently considered "fat" by executives, and has encountered bullying during her acting career because of that.

But the Academy Award winner has gone one step further in her quest to hold the media more accountable for portraying positive body images to young women.

"I think it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV," she said. "Because why is humiliating people funny?"

The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle star made the comments during an interview for a forthcoming ABC News special, Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013.

"I get it, and and I do it too, we all do it," she said. "But I think the media needs to take responsibility for the effect it has on our younger generation, on these girls who are watching these television shows, and picking up how to talk and how to be cool, so then all of a sudden being funny is making fun of the girl who's wearing an ugly dress.

"If we're regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words because of the effect they have on our younger generation, why aren't we regulating things like calling people fat?"

But the chief executive of British eating disorder awareness charity Beat, Susan Ringwood, told the Independent it did not support banning words "just because they could upset someone". But it was "in favour of encouraging everyone to think twice before they make hurtful remarks".

"Being called fat isn't kind," Ringwood said. "It can be loaded with meaning that's a shorthand for ugly, lazy and not taking care of yourself."

Lawrence's comments come after she clashed with Joan Rivers over her criticism of the comedian's E! show Fashion Police.

"There are shows like the Fashion Police that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on all the wrong values and that it's okay to point at people and call them ugly or fat," Lawrence said as she promoted The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. "We have to stop treating each other like that and stop calling each other fat."

Rivers hit back, tweeting: "WAIT! It just dawned on me why Jennifer Lawrence fell on her way up to the stage to get her Oscar. She tripped over her own arrogance."

Lawrence won the Oscar for Best Actress this year for her role opposite Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook.

- Independent

- NZ Herald

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