Amandla Stenberg addresses Jennifer Lawrence and popular culture

Premiere Of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" - Arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 16: Actress Amandla Stenberg attends the premiere of Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” at Microsoft Theater on November 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

As fans of Jennifer Lawrence, it’s impossible not to run into the inevitably rising criticism of the actress, which, most of the time, has nothing to do with her acting skills.

Amandla Stenberg, at Sundance to promote her indie film As You Are, was interviewed by Nylon magazine where she added her perspective to the “Jennifer Lawrence fatigue” with a feminist lens.

I was wondering what kind of pressure you might feel to be constantly politically on point or you know, just under scrutiny?
Amandla: You know, I’m a teenager, so it’s inevitable that I’m going to make mistakes, and unfortunately everyone’s going to have to realize that. [laughs] And so when I make mistakes, I’m not too hard on myself because everyone does, and I think the most important thing is to recognize when I do make mistakes and to try to understand and try to have a conversation. I feel like conversation is the most important. The most important thing to me is not necessarily making a statement or preaching to anyone. The most important thing to me is trying to start a conversation about certain topics. That’s where I’m always coming from.

 

I watch how we build up women, like Jennifer Lawrence–we build them up and build them up and all of a sudden, we’re like, ‘Ugh, we’re over her. How dare she complain about not being paid enough, whatever, all this stuff.’ What is that about? How does that make you feel?
Amandla: Yeah! I mean, that’s totally an interesting complex that definitely happens with young actresses in particular, where it’s like we hype them up so much that we get sick of them. I remember at one point I was on Tumblr or something, and I wrote, ‘You guys are saying my name so much I’m getting sick of seeing my own name!’ It’s unfortunate. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we’re women, and a lot to do with how people value our thoughts, and unfortunately for a lot of young actors and women, our thoughts are only seen as valid when we’re popular, in popular culture, which is really stupid… I’ve accepted that. I know that people are going to not like me sometimes and then like me again, and they’ll like me sometimes and then not like me again, and all I have to remember is just to stay true to who I am and to continue talking about things I want to talk about.
Read the full interview here.
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