Jennifer Lawrence's Wage Gap Essay Spurred Plenty Of Criticism, But She Doesn't Care What The Haters Think
She may be an Academy Award-winning actor, but beyond the red carpets and fancy gowns, Jennifer Lawrence is human, just like everybody else. As much as some fans may idolize the Hunger Games star, she's not immune to having feelings. In Harper's Bazaar's May issue, Lawrence responds to critics of her Lenny Letter essay, and in doing so, provides a reminder why it's necessary to speak out in the first place. Last fall, she penned an essay about the wage gap. While plenty of fellow celebs showed their support, she had her fair share of critics — and it wasn't easy to deal with. J. Law tells the magazine,
I had no idea it was going to blow up like that. And I obviously only absorbed the negative. I didn't pay any attention to the positive feedback. My parents get really upset. They do not like me speaking out about anything political because it's hard to see your kid take criticism. But, really, people who criticized it are people who think women should not be paid the same as men. So I don't really care what those people think.
The 25-year-old is frequently praised for being so real. From talking openly about her love of pizza to tripping up the Oscars steps, she is down-to-earth and relatable. That's why I appreciate this quote so much. Lawrence acknowledges that the criticism did get to her, and that's perfectly OK, because human beings have feelings. Sometimes it's easy to let negativity outshine the positivity, especially when people can be so mean. But the best part is that she then realized those opinions don't matter in the first place and decided not to let them hold her back any further.
She elaborated more, specifically touching on the comments from people who joked that she was already wealthy and shouldn't complain. This even came up at the 2016 Golden Globes, thanks to host Ricky Gervais. She says, "I try not to be too sensitive to the 'poor rich girl' jokes. I was saying my reality is absolutely fabulous, but it is not the reality of a lot of women in America. That's what I'm talking about." This clarification matters, because it proves why equal pay is still worth talking about. It's an issue that extends well beyond Hollywood.
I'd also argue that the critical response that Lawrence received highlights the need to speak out about the wage gap and other gender-related injustices in the first place. It proves that it still is a bit of a taboo topic and something people are hesitant to acknowledge or embrace. And anyone who doesn't want to label themselves a feminist? The Joy star tells Harper's Bazaar, "I don't know why that word is so scary to people; it shouldn't be, because it just means equality." Touché, J. Law.
Just in case her Lenny Letter essay didn't convey her point loudly enough, these additional comments highlight why it's still a topic worth discussing. And luckily, she hasn't let the haters stop her from continuing to speak out.