Since this opinion piece was written, Jennifer Lawrence has hit out at feminist campaigners who criticised her for wearing a revealing dress in the cold London air, calling them "ridiculous".

Jennifer Lawrence was photographed outdoors in barely-there Versace alongside male castmates rugged up against the London weather in jackets and jumpers.

Pictures from the media call show Lawrence flanked by Red Sparrow co-stars Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts and director Francis Lawrence, on a balcony of London's Corinthia Hotel in subzero temperatures.

Cue outrage, the picture going viral, and some in Twitterati saying the whole thing smacks of Hollywood double standards.


I call BS.

Until I hear from J-Law's lips that she was forced into posing against her will, because ... Hollywood ... I'm struggling to see what the fuss is about.

And I doubt the reason we haven't heard from her on this non-issue is because her teeth are still chattering.

Let's all take a chill pill. As Katniss Everdeen, she survived far worse in The Hunger Games.

J-Law is a woman with a history of speaking up, and a veteran of the Hollywood process of having a movie to sell.

She knows how movie promo campaigns work. It's part of the job. You front up, give back-to-back interviews, pose for pictures, lavish praise on your co-stars — repeat ad nauseam for several days. And if you're tired, or cold, or hungry, you either suck it up, or speak up.


Then there's the picture you maybe didn't see: J-Law stepping from her chauferred limo as she arrived at the photo call wearing that dress. Topped with a sensible, heavy overcoat.

I'm pretty sure nobody held her down to wrestle said coat off her against her wishes at any point over the next couple of hours.

Jennifer Lawrence arriving at the press conference for Red Sparrow in London, England. Photo / Getty
Jennifer Lawrence arriving at the press conference for Red Sparrow in London, England. Photo / Getty

I'm equally sure if they had, J-Law would have had something to say about it.

Anyone who has been in the vicinity of these events knows that along with the stars come myriad minders, managers and celeb wranglers whose sole job is to keep the talent happy.

When you have your star talent going through several days of back-to-back interviews, endless picture opportunities, best you give them nothing to complain about.

The equation is this: Happy talent = good publicity = people want to watch your movie = people want to watch you in another movie.

J-Law knows it. Versace knows it — that's why they dressed her. And those around her know it.

So when someone suggests a picture be taken outside in freezing conditions, J-Law is going to be asked how she feels about that.

Given her record of telling it how it is, if she doesn't want to do it, it won't happen.

This, after all, is a woman who last year said of Harvey Weinstein: "He had only ever been nice to me, except for the moments he wasn't and then I called him an arsehole and we moved on".

A woman who took the her first sexual role in Red Sparrow as she swallowed down fears after being the victim of a nude photo hack more than three years ago.

"I've been afraid of that since 2014, when I got my pictures hacked," she confessed.

"I just thought, 'I'll never do that again. I'll never share that part of myself ever since it got shared against my will'.

"And then when I said 'yes' to Red Sparrow, I felt I was taking something back."

The Hollywood double standards critics seem to assume J-Law meekly acquiesced to freezing because female stars are so accustomed to being the glam accessory in a photo shoot.

What if, in fact, someone said "it's too cold, lets's keep it inside?" and J-Law, being professional, had said "you know what, it's lunch in half an hour, let's just nip out and do this?".

Jennifer Lawrence says she was 'taking something back' by signing onto Red Sparrow. Photo / AP
Jennifer Lawrence says she was 'taking something back' by signing onto Red Sparrow. Photo / AP

What if, in an era of #metoo, and #timesup against a background of Hollywood atrocities kicked off by the Harvey Weinstein affair, J-Law is a grown adult who knows what's worth getting upset about, and when to pick a fight?

What if it was a pure business decision, and she just wanted to honour the deal with Versace to showcase the damn dress?

Fact is, the coat she'd arrived in would have been just out of shot, held by another minder, ready to wrap her up during breaks in shooting.

Just like wraps and blankets are close handy for every model shooting a summer campaign in the dead of winter. And every actor doing the same for a film or a TV show.

What if we look at the picture differently?

What if J-Law is the one who looks powerful, because the dress she chose to wear — and believe me, she has final call on that — shows up her rugged-up male co-stars as a little weak?

What if she's sitting back with a hot chocolate or a wine having a laugh that with hindsight, a photo shoot in freezing conditions with her male stars rugged up like Eskimos looks hilariously stupid, but "jeez, that's a hell of a dress"?

Countless stars trod the red carpet for Britain's version of the Oscars, the BAFTAs earlier this week — briefly facing the same London winter J-Law posed in.

The majority of female stars wore similarly glamorous gowns, similarly ill-suited for cold weather.

But if anyone was screeching "get that woman a coat", it was drowned out by the statement they were making by choosing black to support the #timesup and #metoo movements.

And yes, J-Law supports them too.

I stand in solidarity with women across every industry to say #TIMESUP on abuse, harassment, and assault.

Posted by Jennifer Lawrence on Monday, 1 January 2018

At risk of speaking for J-Law — (but heck, everybody else seems to be, so why not #metoo?) — I'd suggest she'd want those in a lather over Hollywood double standards because she looks cold in a picture might channel their outrage and energy elsewhere.

Like into the political activist work she's planning with Represent. Us as she slows down on her filming commitments for a year.

Or maybe they could check out her Facebook page and see what causes she really gets vocal about: the Women's March she attended in January, the campaign she has lent her star power to change laws to help stop sex trafficking.

This isn't a woman afraid to speak up or scared to be seen as difficult.

J-Law has used her profile as a star to advocate for a range of issues, from Planned Parent to gender equality in Hollywood and taking aim at President Trump.

She can make up her own damn mind about keeping her coat on. Or off.

If that means freezing her butt off in Versace, more power to her.