More women are opening up about their experiences in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, including: Jennifer Lawrence. At Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event, she shared a story that, unfortunately, women from all walks of life are likely all too familiar with.
Speaking to the crowd—which included fellow honorees Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Jessica Chastain—the 27-year-old actress revealed one of the most “degrading and humiliating” body-shaming experiences from earlier in her career. “When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks,” Lawrence recounted.
A female producer had Lawrence stand in a “nude lineup” with five other women “who were much, much thinner than me,” she continued. “We all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”
The story didn’t end there, sadly. After speaking up about the “unrealistic” demands to lose weight so quickly, Lawrence faced even more unwelcome comments about her body. A male producer responded that “he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat. He thought I was perfectly ‘fuckable.'” The experience left her feeling “trapped” and powerless in an industry known for emphasizing women’s worth based on physical attractiveness, she explained. “I was young and walking that fine line of sticking up for myself without being called difficult, which they did call me, but I believe the word they used was ‘nightmare.'”
Although Lawrence’s experience reveals that men aren’t the only ones in a position to make women feel uncomfortable in their own skin, the actress ended her speech with words of solidarity and encouragement for other young Hollywood hopefuls—but her empowering sentiments can easily apply to women across all industries.
“I want you to know we’re here for you. We’re all here for each other. Together now, we will stop this kind of behavior from happening,” said Lawrence. “We will stop normalizing these horrific situations. We will change this narrative and make a difference for all of those individuals pursuing their dreams.”