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They said/We said: Critics claim Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t look hungry enough to be in The Hunger Games

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Photography courtesy of Lions Gate Films

The Internet (plus Stanley Tucci, but more on that later) is in the midst of a hot debate over Jennifer Lawrence’s body size: is she “too big” to play the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games?

The debate is—shocker!—mostly catty (she’s been dubbed “Fatniss”) and barely justified: it’s based entirely on the fact that Suzanne Collins, author of the The Hunger Games, described the fictional character as a starving teenage girl.

Renowned New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis is being cited by many for her comments: “A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.”

While it is true that Lawrence may not be a literal representation of the character, we can’t help but think this is all ridiculous. And this sentiment is shared by Lawrence’s co-star Tucci, who said, “That’s it, that’s all you can say. That’s ridiculous, a ridiculous statement.”

She’s clearly not fat. At all. And since when has a realistic physical appearance been a mainstay of Hollywood movies, anyway? No one seemed to get on Angelina Jolie’s back for her too-skinny portrayal of a CIA agent in Salt. Or Zoe Saldana as the thinnest assassin ever in Colombiana. We’re happy to see someone who actually looks like a hunter playing the role of one.

THEY SAID:

L.A. Times: “This is a thought that never would have crossed my mind—she looks pretty, um, normal in the sleek, belted golden gown she’s wearing [at the premiere].” [L.A. Times]

Bliss Tree: “Jennifer Lawrence is not fat. She isn’t even what some would kindly refer to as an ‘average’ weight. She’s thin. She’s beautiful. And yes, at 21, it’s clear that her body has already hit puberty. This might be distracting for die-hard fans of The Hunger Games trilogy, who imagined a Katniss with a different body, but let’s be honest: We look past far worse discrepancies regularly.” [Bliss Tree]

The Cut: “…some reviewers felt an element of emaciation was missing—you know, a dull complexion there, a visible rib cage here, the little things.” [The Cut]

WE SAID:

Paige Dzenis, associate online editor: “Considering yesterday’s story about the extreme measures a mother took to make her seven-year-old daughter lose weight—and the backlash that followed!—you’d think people would know that being hungry doesn’t always mean you look hungry. Jennifer Lawrence is an incredible actress and she channels the emotions of Katniss so well in The Hunger Games that it transcends her physical appearance—which, for the record, looks exactly like that of someone who hunts and slings arrows for a (literal) living.”  

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