When I saw this re-posted on a friend’s Instagram feed today, I commented to her in the most elegant way I knew how: “WTFFFF.” Somebody consciously typed “Jennifer Lawrence is not holding back” and placed the words just-so atop a photograph of her that absolutely looks like she holding back. Consider that Jennifer has been gone awhile from the public eye, and while she’s grown and changed a lot in that time — got married, had a baby, took some much-needed time off from The Art of Being J.Law — she is a celebrity who always radiated a sense of fun and a little mischief. She had a spark. Based on the interview excerpts, that Jennifer Lawrence still very much exists. I just can’t solve the puzzle of why Vogue chose THIS as the photo to relaunch her. She doesn’t have to be laughing so hard that we see her tonsils, but neither need she look like a woman who is dissociating in order to get through her arranged marriage to Mr. Collins.
So many of Vogue’s covers lately have been somber, taciturn, joyless affairs. Scroll through our recent Vogue archive, and you’ll see; Emma Corrin’s jumps out because there is real energy and warmth there, and beyond that, it’s grim until last September’s group model cover (which was not good either, but NOW I at least appreciate the life in it). Is this really… all they could muster for Jennifer Lawrence? Is that all there is? Spinning the wheel of neutrals and then getting that expression by, I don’t know, reading aloud stories about how badly we’ve warmed the glaciers?
You will enjoy the interview so much more. I had a hard time deciding what excerpt to pick, but she talked really openly about gun control, Roe v. Wade, and being raised in a Republican family and self-identifying as a Republican for her youth — in much the way kids do when they’re born into a specific sports allegiance, or their mom uses Tide exclusively, or only buys Peter Pan peanut butter and so they have no IDEA how good Jif is until they are the one doing the shopping. (She says Liz Lemon from 30 Rock first inspired her to start shaping her own views, at age 16. Go, Liz.) This of course has led to some communications breakdowns that have not healed:
“I just worked so hard in the last five years to forgive my dad and my family and try to understand: It’s different. The information they are getting is different. Their life is different. I’ve tried to get over it and I really can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry I’m just unleashing, but I can’t fuck with people who aren’t political anymore. You live in the United States of America. You have to be political. It’s too dire. Politics are killing people.”
She also likened voting for Trump in 2016 to voting for a jar of mayonnaise, which at first seemed like a weird and insufficiently nefarious comparison, and then I decided it works because if you open mayonnaise and leave it out on the counter for too long it will MESS YOU UP FROM INSIDE. Just like that guy. Anyway, it’s a very engaging profile. I’m just sorry she is in a trance on the cover. Somebody make sure they didn’t call in a rogue hypnotist, or else she might cluck like a chicken every time she hears the word, “Oscars.”