Jennifer Lawrence has shut down claims that she’s had plastic surgery done after fans claimed she looked “unrecognisable” at a Dior fashion show.
While interviewing Kylie Jenner for Interview magazine, Lawrence and Jenner got into a chat about the rumours circulating regarding the work they may have done to their faces.
“I also think it’s incredible what makeup can do because I work with Hung [Vanngo], who overlines the lip, and I call him a plastic surgeon because everybody in the last few months since I’ve been working with him is convinced that I had eye surgery,” Lawrence told Jenner, adding: “I’m like, ‘I didn’t have eye surgery. I’m doing makeup’.”
“I started at 19, so I get the before and after pictures from when I’m 19 to 30 and I’m like, ‘I grew up. I lost baby weight in my face, and my face changed because I’m aging,’” she explained. “Everybody thought I had a nose job, and I’m like, ‘I’ve had the exact same nose. My cheeks got smaller. Thank you for bringing it up.’”
Did Jennifer Lawrence have work done on her face? I don’t know, maybe, who cares? Have you seen the price of food lately? But also, why wouldn’t she, if she wanted to?
Women, particularly those in the spotlight, are held to ridiculously impossible beauty standards. Pamela Anderson was recently called brave just for daring to be seen without makeup. Seemingly every day, there’s a headline about a woman who’s too vain because she’s had so much work done, and a woman who’s “let herself go” because she chooses not to dye her hair.
JLaw is not the only celebrity who had her appearance raise questions in the last few days. Selena Gomez had people ask in the comments if she’d had Photoshopped a photo she’d posted to Instagram, saying it looked like she had “a new face”.
Supermodel Adriana Lima’s photos from when she attended a recent movie premiere also circulated online alongside captions questioning what the 42-year-old model could possibly have been doing to her face because she doesn’t look the same as she did 10 or 15 years ago.
Ashlee Simpson also recently stunned fans with her “new” look because apparently, people expected a 39-year-old woman to look just like she did in the early 2000s.
Everywhere you look, there’s a new article about a female celebrity looking “unrecognisable”, a word that does a lot of heavy lifting. It doesn’t mean “she doesn’t look like herself” or “she doesn’t look like she used to”. What it really means is: she does not look like we expect her to look.
Women are either seen to be either trying too hard or not trying hard enough. There seems to be no realm in which they can simply exist.
It is little wonder that people like Jennifer Lawrence end up feeling like they should try to slow down the passage of time, using makeup, fillers or even surgery, lest they end up being cast as someone’s grandmother even though they’re only in their 30s.
Whether anyone has or has not had plastic surgery is really not the point. The politics of the scrutiny of female faces go much deeper than this.
A lot of celebrities, like Kylie Jenner, have a habit of playing semantics and deny “plastic surgery” rumours because fillers and botox are not surgery. That, in itself, is problematic because hiding it only contributes to the stigma and the misconceptions around beauty and ageing, and eventually only leads to people feeling worse about themselves.
The waters get even murkier when we think of people like Kylie Jenner (and her Kardashian siblings) who run makeup empires and, therefore, are more than mere victims of the beauty industry standards. Jenner is both a victim and an upholder of those standards, and that is a line she toes very carefully in every appearance and every Instagram post.
It would be disingenuous to think that there is no downside or no moral questioning to be done when celebrities lie about their procedures - but we should also wonder why so many of them feel compelled to hide them. A conversation around that would surely be more productive than accusatory finger-pointing.
Ultimately, however, what someone does to their body is none of our business - and that’s the detail everyone seems to be missing, or conveniently ignoring. In this godforsaken year of 2023, we seem to finally have accepted that talking about people’s weight is not okay (thank goodness for that), to now focus on their wrinkles or the shape of their noses.
Frankly, if I had a dollar for every piece I read about whether or not a different celebrity has had plastic surgery (usually female celebrity, men can do whatever they want), I’d have enough to fund so much Botox, I’d look permanently unbothered by it all.