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Jennifer Lawrence shared a story of being treated poorly early on in her career at Monday night’s Elle Women in Hollywood Awards, adding her story to a growing narrative of actresses who have faced sexism in the industry.
“When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by the producers to lose 15 pounds in two weeks,” she said. “One girl before me had already been fired for not losing enough weight fast enough.”
“And during this time, a female producer had me do a nude lineup with five women who were much thinner than me, Lawrence continued. “And we all stood side-by-side with only pasties covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet. The director of that film asked me if I would star in a porno as well as many other things that are too inappropriate to mention here.”
While the crowd gasped with sympathy, the X-Men star noted that she did try to speak up for herself. “I asked to speak to a producer about the unrealistic diet regime and he responded by telling me he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat. He thought I was perfectly f***able,” she revealed.
Lawrence noted that she, like many of her colleagues, was also too afraid to set boundaries during her early career days and that whenever she did, she was labeled as “difficult.”
She added that as her star power rose, so did her confidence in that department, however. “By the time I got Hunger Games, I could say no. I worked out every day, but I was damned if I was going to represent the idea that skeletal was a positive body image. What’s the difference between then and now? I became a ‘movie star.’ And when you’re a movie star, you have the power to say no. But every human being, no matter how successful they are, should have the power to be treated with respect because they are human,” she proclaimed before tearing up and running off the stage to give her girlfriends seated at her table a hug.
Lawrence was just one of the many presenters and award recipients who touched upon the current dialogue happening in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein situation. And she was just one of many who used their time at the podium to admit to being victims of inappropriate activity in the past.
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