Jennifer Lawrence's revealing gown is a reminder that sexism in Hollywood is real

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

When it comes to selling movies, actors and actresses play two entirely different games. Looking at new photos of Jennifer Lawrence at a cast photo call Tuesday for Red Sparrow makes that abundantly clear.

From left, director Francis Lawrence and stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, and Jeremy Irons attend the Red Sparrow photo call at Corinthia Hotel London on Feb. 20, 2018. (Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Lawrence stood on a rooftop in London, where temps topped out at 49 degrees, in a body-baring, low-cut black Versace gown with a leg slit well up one thigh for the photo session. Solo shots of the Academy Award winner, 27, quickly drew comparisons to Elizabeth Hurley’s infamous safety pin dress, but the group photos are what really stand out. That’s because Lawrence looked supremely out of place alongside her male counterparts, who were enjoying a denim day and, ya know, had on coats. 

Jennifer Lawrence at the Red Sparrow photo call at the Corinthia Hotel London. (Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson, Lawrence’s stylists, probably pulled outfits in the double digits for their client to wear throughout this press tour, and their decision process behind this particular look has yet to come to light (they have not responded to our request for comment). And yes, stars get paid to wear famous designs, with Versace quickly stepping forward to take credit for the show-stopping look. But Lawrence’s revealing look juxtaposed with the outfits of her covered-up co-workers serves as a reminder that the expectations of women and men are so different — so much so that Joel Edgerton can show up dressed like a sailor while Lawrence comes looking like Jessica Rabbit.

Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Lawrence attend a Red Sparrow photo call at the Corinthia Hotel London. (Photo: Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

While #MeToo and #TimesUp are the new way of Hollywood (and Lawrence has long been spotlighting the gender pay gap), this is the same conversation that’s been going on for years, including very memorably in 2015 when Selena Gomez was promoting Transylvania alongside professional gym clothes wearers Adam Sandler and Kevin James. Back then, Yahoo Lifestyle asked: What would happen it if played out the opposite way and Gomez opted for the dressed-down approach?

That same question — only with Lawrence as the subject — is being asked again on Twitter.

As for Lawrence, she wrote on Facebook that she’s “extremely offended” by “this ‘Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing dress in the cold’ controversy.” She didn’t wear a coat so she could showcase the dress. “I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.”

She went on to say, “This is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism. Over- reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward. It’s creating silly distractions from real issues. Get a grip people. Everything you see me wear is my choice. And if I want to be cold THATS MY CHOICE TOO!”

Nonetheless, a conversation is happening on social media right now about equality in Hollywood related to this.

Though — like Lawrence — not everyone agrees that it’s sexism.

Many people couldn’t believe that Lawrence wouldn’t speak up for herself if she felt she was being wronged at the time.

Others just blamed her stylists — or the Versace connection.

One person just wanted to borrow the dress for prom.

This is just one controversy (and one of many ensembles) related to Lawrence during this press tour, though. She was accused of being “rude” to Joanna Lumley during the BAFTAs.

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