By: Lauren Freier, Regular Contributor
After going to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and American Hustle, watching the Golden Globes, and searching every cast interview the internet could provide, I can't help but wonder what it is that keeps me (and the rest of the world) so encapsulated with the new wave of celebrity that is Jennifer Lawrence. Refreshingly real, unapologetically raw, and confidently humble, Lawrence is the embodiment of cool. Perhaps this is why her acting chops are so incredible, she leaves her work on set by not performing in her public persona. Refusing to be another Hollywood puppet, Lawrence breaks the mold by simply knowing when to roll cut. However what intrigues me most is why her most shockingly captivating facet—authenticity—is what has garnered so much attention and struck such a personal chord.
Image via nextmovie.com
Having spent eight years in the glimmering city of angels myself, I observed a layer of superficiality that has become the norm in people's lives today. But this can also be true of anywhere you go. Jobs that sound incredible but are in reality degrading, people who look beautiful but are actually painstakingly insecure, and parties packed with people who underneath have never felt more lonely. Part of what made my departure from Los Angeles such a tenuous decision was knowing how many people would (and did) call me crazy for doing so, but what I finally realized was that in staying I, too, was beginning to fall victim to keeping up appearances. I needed to grant myself permission to let go, take a chance, and possibly even (gasp) make a mistake.
Reflecting on my not so mild obsession with Jennifer Lawrence's humorously genuine demeanor, I now realize that my respect for her was invoked by her fearless ownership of self. Choosing not to filter her behaviors and showing blatant disregard for criticism from others, she has unintentionally proven that being the antithesis of perfect is undeniably refreshing. More so than that, she has proven that being imperfect is wonderful. Lawrence certainly does not portray herself as invincible, but rather voices her vulnerabilities through a lens of self-acceptance. It seems she caught on quicker than most in her understanding of the importance of self-love.
When we mask our identities in an effort to enhance our reputation we send the message that our true selves aren't good enough, which welcomes harsh self-judgment and shame. But Lawrence is living proof that accepting yourself for your imperfections rather than in spite of them is not only healthier, it is actually really freaking cool. If we can admire someone even more after literally falling on her face in front of the entire nation, we must learn to accept that it is okay for us to fall too. The key is trusting that you will get back up, and even though Hugh Jackman may not be the one running to your aid, just like Lawrence went on to accept her Oscar, you too can go on to accept yourself.
Lauren is a passionate writer, Beatles fanatic, celebrity gossip junkie, therapist, and mental health advocate. Her personal and professional experiences in both LA and Chicago have inspired her dedication to emotional wellness, resiliency, and self-acceptance. She holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a therapist at InnerVoice Psychotherapy and Consultation, a Chicago-based private practice, as well as a social-emotional health educator at a non-profit organization.
Featured image via revisalife.com