Written by Harrison Mines
A passing photo-op moment caused an unexpectedly giant media reaction this week in London, England at a press event for Francis Lawrence’s upcoming thriller Red Sparrow. Leading lady in the film Jennifer Lawrence posed with her cast-mates outside of the event venue and the internet lost its mind.
Despite chilling temperatures in mid-February London, Lawrence appeared in a sleeveless, plunging Versace gown alongside her male counterparts, all bundled in coats and scarves. Lawrence instantly became a Twitter moment as many criticized her fashion choice. Some voiced their disdain for her eagerness to show skin in cold weather, proposing she was more invested in her appearance than promoting her upcoming film. Others fired back from a different perspective, recognizing the photo as an exercise of the male gaze and stating Lawrence’s controversy is stemmed from male expectations on female movie stars.
Jennifer Lawrence was quick to shut speculation down on her Facebook page. In a lengthy post, Lawrence targeted shamers and gossip columnists stating: “Over-reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward. It’s creating silly distractions from real issues.”
Her comments arrived with relevance to her new film’s subject matter. Red Sparrow follows Lawrence’s character, a Russian spy, forced to use her body to uncover information. Critics have recognized Red Sparrow’s articulation of the hardships, solitude and abuse in sex work—an issue present in current feminist discourse.
Lawrence showed her exasperation with the media moment by saying “this is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism.”
As photos of Lawrence in custom Versace continue to circulate social media, this quiet fashion choice proves the ongoing discussion concerning female expression and preservation.