Jennifer Lawrence has taken home Oscars for heavy-hitting roles displaying her chameleonic abilities as an actress—it’s really no wonder has been cast as everything from the gritty and quietly heroic Ree in Winter's Bone to the resident shape-shifter Mystique in X-Men and the spirited self-made millionaire in Joy. But when it comes to her own physical form, the newly engaged beauty has no plans of changing the way she looks. “Dieting is just not in the cards for me," she said earlier this year of starting—then stopping—a strict meal plan while training for her role as a femme fatale assassin in Red Sparrow.
Instead, Lawrence—who turns 29 today, and yet possesses the self-assured command of her career and grounded approach to her personal life more typical of a veteran screen star—hopes that society will shift its perspective. Here, a look back on the actress’s six most powerful takes on body positivity—and why skinny shouldn't mean beautiful in Hollywood or beyond.
On Redefining What It Means to Have a “Normal” Body
“I would like us to make a new normal-body type. Everybody says, ‘We love that there is somebody with a normal body!’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t feel like I have a normal body . . . I do Pilates every day. I eat, but I work out a lot more than a normal person. I think we’ve gotten so used to underweight that when you are a normal weight it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, she’s curvy.’ Which is crazy.”
On Embracing a Diet-Free Life
“You have to look past it—you look how you look, and be comfortable. What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”
On Changing the Way We Look at Each Other
“Shows like the Fashion Police and things like that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on all the things that are wrong, and that it’s okay to just point at people and call them ugly and call them fat. They call it ‘fun’ and welcome to the ‘real world,’ and that shouldn’t be the real world. That’s going to keep being the real world if we keep it that way.”
On Why Strong Is the New Skinny
“I’m never going to starve myself for a part . . . I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That’s something I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong—not thin and underfed.”
On Rejecting the Body Image Status Quo
“I’m a woman that’s living in this world of everybody telling everyone how they should look and what they should be eating and how people can lose this much weight this fast, and it just kind of overwhelms our senses. If I could just make the tiniest bit of difference in getting rid of that because it is so annoying, I would love that.”
On Outlawing the Word Fat
“Why is humiliating people funny? . . . I think it should be illegal to call somebody ‘fat’ on TV. If we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cusswords because of the effect that it has on our younger generation, then why aren’t we regulating things like calling people ‘fat’?”
Watch Everything It Took to Create Jennifer Lawrence’s September Cover Shoot:
Originally Appeared on Vogue