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When Jennifer Lawrence was a little girl, she knew she was going to be famous ... she just didn't know how. She would lie in bed and consider her options, but I'm guessing even in her wildest dreams, she quite never saw herself as the 23-year-old she is today: one of the biggest celebrities in the world, beloved by millions, an Oscar-winning actress who's managed to rake in critical acclaim while still headlining blockbusters like The Hunger Games and X-Men.
In the September issue of Vogue, Lawrence opens up about the high cost of fame and how it affects her life. It's a fascinating revelation, considering this was her stated dream all along. In fact, Lawrence's experience seems to perfectly embody that old saying, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."
Lawrence says that when she was a young girl living in Louisville, Kentucky, she somehow always had a notion of her own destiny:
I've never said this before, because there is no way to say it without it being completely misunderstood, but ever since I was really little, I always had a very normal idea of what I wanted: I was going to be a mom and I was going to be a doctor and I was going to live in Kentucky. But I always knew that I was going to be famous. I honest to God don't know how else to describe it. I used to lie in bed and wonder, 'Am I going to be a local TV person? Am I going to be a motivational speaker?' It wasn't a vision. But as it's kind of happening, you have this buried understanding: Of course.
I suspect this sort of thinking isn't all that unusual for a little girl -- maybe particularly now that it's possible to become famous overnight from a single YouTube video -- but Lawrence's convictions seem to have stuck with her over time, eventually leading her to persuade her parents to help her find a talent agent in New York City when she was just 14 years old.
Her breakout performance came in 2010's Winter's Bone, and of course after that was her much-lauded role as Katniss in 2012's The Hunger Games. Of her subsequent performance in Silver Linings Playbook, Rolling Stone wrote,
(Lawrence) is some kind of miracle. She's rude, dirty, funny, foulmouthed, sloppy, sexy, vibrant, and vulnerable, sometimes all in the same scene, even in the same breath. No list of Best Actress Oscar contenders would be complete without the electrifying Lawrence in the lead. She lights up the screen.
Which is to say, by nearly every standard, Jennifer Lawrence has definitely achieved her dream of fame. She's one of Hollywood's hottest actresses, and her star is still rising with upcoming movies like Catching Fire, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and the film adaptation of Jeanette Walls' best-selling memoir The Glass Castle.
However, for Lawrence, the downsides of fame are no joke. She says,
I'm just really starting to feel like a monkey in a zoo. I teeter on seeming ungrateful when I talk about this, but I'm kind of going through a meltdown about it lately. All of a sudden the entire world feels entitled to know everything about me, including what I'm doing on weekends when I'm spending time with my nephew. And I don't have the right to say, 'I'm with my family.' I am just not okay with it. It's as simple as that. I am just a normal girl and a human being, and I haven't been in this long enough to feel like this is my new normal. I'm not going to find peace with it.
Yup, I can imagine that the exact things we love about Jennifer Lawrence's personality -- her authenticity, her humbleness, her refusal to take on some sort of slickly-packaged Hollywood persona -- are the same reasons why fame is never going to be easy for her.
The spectrum of celebrity culture is so weird, isn't it? On the one end you've got, say, Farrah Abraham. And on the other, Jennifer Lawrence, a relatively private young woman who truly doesn't deserve to have cameras shoved in her face when she's off-duty. It makes you wonder what she would have chosen if she could have seen into her own future, all those years ago.
Do you think it's sad that Jennifer Lawrence's dream came true but in such an invasive way?
Image via Vogue