Modern Transcendentalism

Kelsey Shuck
English III
December 10, 2013

America's Sweetheart

“I’m the fastest pee-er ever. I’m famous for it,” (Eells, 2012). Jennifer isn’t afraid to be herself and speak her mind. She often blurts out the first thing that pops into her head, which is part of the quirkiness that her fans love. Her role in The Hunger Games has sent her into the spotlight, even though she had been acting since she was just fourteen. Jennifer doesn’t let her fame get to her head. In an interview with David Letterman regarding her role in The Hunger Games, she said, “Don’t go see the movies, I’m a troll. I think the movie was great, but their biggest mistake was me,” (Lang, 2013). Jennifer Lawrence shows the transcendental qualities of nonconformity, individuality, and self reliance.

In an industry where “thin is in,” Jennifer often gets called chubby. Her remarks about the matter were, “I don’t really diet or anything. I’m miserable when I’m dieting and I like the way I look. I’m really sick of all these actresses looking like birds… I’d rather look a little chubby on camera and look like a person in real life, than look great on screen and look like a scarecrow in real life,” (Lang, 2013). Lawrence refuses to change herself in any way or starve herself just to get a role or fit society's standards. Lawrence is wonderfully true to herself, and that self is not constrained by the conformity rules of Hollywood (Hirschberg, 2013). She hasn’t let the fame get to her head, and she still lives in the modest condo in Santa Monica that she moved into in 2006 when she was 16. Throughout her many interviews, it’s easy to detect that she is not guarded, nor the least bit conventional. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer said, “As soon as somebody farts around me, I think it’s hilarious. This is something my brothers did that now the boys at work are obsessed with. You cup it, and then you throw it in someone’s face and say, ‘Take a bite of that cheeseburger!’” (Lang, 2013). Honesty and individuality are hard to find in a world where people conform to the things society says they should be, but Jennifer possesses both.

Though Lawrence has been deemed as “America’s Sweetheart,” she’s keeping it real. Lawrence is giving the people what they want, while reminding them that what they want is bogus. She recently said, “I feel like I’m becoming way too much” (Hoffman, 2013). Lawrence loves her job, and she said that she’s glad to get paid to do something that she loves. However, she feels like people are making her out to be more than she is, an actress. Lawrence said, “Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid. Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky?’ I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid,” (Fair, 2013). She’s an oddity for her generation. She’s also not afraid to show that she, too, gets excited about meeting her famous counterparts; “Once I’m obsessed with somebody, I’m terrified of them instantly. I’m not scared of them – I’m scared of me and how I will react. Like, for instance, one time someone was introducing me to Bill Maher, and I saw Meryl Streep walk into the room, and I literally put my hand on in Bill Maher’s face and said, ‘Not now Bill,’ and I just stared at Meryl Streep. [when asked if she met Meryl Streep] Of course not. I just creepily stared at her” (Lang, 2013). At only 22, Lawrence is considered a rare celebrity; one who looks and acts more like a human being than a well-coached product. It has been said that Lawrence, who has been thrust into stardom, isn't afraid to put it all out there, or even bite the hand that feeds her (Fair, 2013). Though grateful for all her roles, she wouldn’t hesitate to speak her mind, regardless of who was listening. Jennifer tends to stay true to herself, even if it means stepping on people’s toes while doing so.

The idea of trusting one’s instincts is not the least bit new. Henry David Thoreau, a transcendentalist himself, said, “...if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Thoreau tries to get the point across that following one’s dream and going down the path that leads them to the life they wish to have, often leads to success, even if the path was a bit bumpy. Lawrence had a desire to be an actress at the age of fourteen. She decided that that was the path she wished to follow. Lawrence graduated high school two years early with a 3.9 GPA as part of the deal she had with her parents that would allow her to pursue acting (Jennifer Lawrence, 2013). Lawrence has become successful because she pushed herself to follow her dreams. In one of her interviews, she said that there are actresses who are made by others, and there are actresses who make themselves. Lawrence said that she wants to be an actress who makes herself (Lang, 2013). She’s starred in many movies and even on a TV series when she was younger. She sometimes feels like she’s uneducated, but is glad that she followed her intuition about becoming an actress because it has brought her great success. When deciding if she wants to play a role, Lawrence said, “It’s always been about the script and the director, for me. There are directors that I want to work with and that I admire. You can love a script, but if it doesn’t have a good director, it won’t be that,” (Lang, 2013). Jennifer has won a total of fifty-one awards during her career; some of these include: an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture. Jennifer has become quite successful thanks to intuitive decisions.

There are more and more young stars getting thrust into the limelight and all too
many of them act the same. Instead of personality and individuality, the young
stars try to conform to what they think society wants. Jennifer Lawrence has yet to conform to the person Hollywood wants her to be. She refuses to starve herself for any part, nor does she want her young fans to starve themselves to try to look like her. She’s open about who she is and what she thinks. Some people consider her borderline cuckoo, while others commend her for acting like a real person instead of
another Hollywood drone. Lawrence is confident in herself and decisions. She
made a decision at a young age to become an actress and because of it, she has
become very successful in her career. The transcendentalist characteristics of
Jennifer Lawrence are an oddity, but are also what makes her so popular with
her fans. Her nonconformity, individuality, and intuition are all part of what
has deemed her as “America’s Sweetheart” and a modern transcendentalist.

Works Cited

Eells, J. (2012, April 12). Jennifer Lawrence: America's Kick-Ass Sweetheart.
Retrieved December, 8, 2013, from Rolling Stone.
Fair, V. (2012, January 2). Jennifer Lawrence on How Acting "Is Stupid," and the
Time She Almost Shot Suspected Home Invaders with Her Bow and Arrow.
Retrieved December 8, 2013, from Vanity Fair website.
Hirschberg, L (2013, February). The Nonconformist. Retrieved December 8, 2013,
from W Magazine website.
Hoffman, J. (2013). Retrieved December 8, 2013, from The Biography Channel
website.
Lang, N. (2013, August 8). 61 Hilariously Honest Jennifer Lawrence Quotes That
Will Make Your Day. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from Thought Catalog
website.

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