Jennifer Lawrence’s Body Not Hungry Enough for “The Hunger Games”

    The success of The Hunger Games has been extraordinary. Still the number one movie in theaters, The Hunger Games has caused quite a stir. Everyone’s raving about it. Teens have praised the acting, the storyline and the way the movie aligns with the books. But with such admiration comes some criticism.

    According to some critics, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays heroine Katniss Everdeen, just doesn’t look hungry enough.

    Yes, you read that right. Apparently, critics have voiced their concern that Lawrence is not physically suitable to play Katniss because her character is supposed to be deprived of food and her body does not look malnourished.

    Check out the following clip:

    A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times).

    Although a great choice talent-wise, apparently Lawrence just doesn’t meet the physical expectations of the character. Instead, she has been described as “big-boned” with “lingering baby fat,” and just not physically compatible with Peeta, her love interest.

    When I read these criticisms, I was reminded of the many discussions we’ve had here on PI regarding Hollywood’s unrealistic expectations of women. Hollywood’s version of a “normal” body weight is just not normal. Whether it’s demonstrated via an extremely photo-shopped image of a celebrity or an unnaturally skinny Hollywood star, Hollywood’s version of beauty is close to emaciation.

    Only in Hollywood would a slim person be described as “big-boned” and considered too fat to look hungry. If Lawrence had taken it upon herself to lose weight until her ribs showed, would her portrayal of Katniss have been more believable? I doubt it. Had she been overweight, maybe there would be legitimacy in the criticism, but to condemn a slim woman for not being slim enough is ridiculous, in my opinion.

    Maybe these critics were desperate to find something negative about the movie. But picking on Lawrence’s weight may be damaging. With so many young girls concerned about their own weights and striving to meet the unrealistic body images Hollywood promotes, I’m concerned such criticism will send the wrong message. Many young girls look up to Hollywood actresses as role models.

    I pray the reckless comments made by these critics are not taken seriously. And I pray also these critics understand that their negative words have power over the young and insecure, and they may cause unnecessary damage.

    Ladies, do you think that Jennifer Lawrence is not “skinny” enough to play Katniss?

    T.M. Gaouette
    T.M. Gaouette is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London and is now living in New England with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for teens and young adults. T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and "Freeing Tanner Rose," Christian novels for teens and young adults. She's currently working on completing her upcoming novel -visit for more on her Christian fiction work. Connect with her on and .


    1. Lovely article, and it is terrible what people say, she has like the perfect body! Granted in the books it definitely seemed like she should’ve been super thin because she was always starving, still Jennifer did a fabulous job and is totally a skinny woman!

      • It’s been a while since I read the books, but if I remember correctly, there was one part where Katniss mentions that everyone around her was malnourished and starving. On the other hand, the exercise and food from hunting had given Katniss a lot of muscle. So while she didn’t have any excess fat, she was a lot healthier than everyone else. I think that Jennifer was an awesome actress for Katniss, both in appearance and acting! (the scene with Cinna right before she entered the arena was breathtaking!)

    2. In my opinion this is silly. Even if she didn’t look skinny enough who cares? We were probably more focused on the movie not something silly a a “weight problem.” As a fan of the movie and of the books, i thought that the movie was really good. If they really did want Katniss to look skinny, why didn’t they just edit it in or something? Hollywood today wants everyone to look skinny and people will starve themselves to make that happen! We don’t need that, it isn’t healthy and I think that as long as she is healthy she is fine!

    3. Well, if you think about it…
      Katniss wasn’t starving because she hunted in the woods and provided for the family.
      There is no way that Lawrence is “not hungry enough” for the role.
      People just like to talk in order to here their own voices.

    4. I think that Jennifer Lawrence did an amazing job as Katniss Everdeen! When I read the books the way she acted as Katniss was what I imagined. She is beautiful, talented and I think that she did great. <3 🙂

    5. I saw the movie and that NEVER crossed my mind. I thought her acting was incredible and she looked great. She does hunt her food, so she wouldn’t be stick thin. I think these critics need to stop. What they are saying is very damaging to her and others. Jennifer, you look awesome and you were an amazing Katniss 🙂

    6. I love the Hunger Games, and Jennifer Lawrence fit my idea of Katniss almost to a tee. Yet I do think she isnt as skinny as Katniss is supposed to be. I love that Jenn accepts her body and isnt stick thin and malnourished, however societys sick perspective about how beautiful women should look is what Katniss looks like. She is starving. Its a little rediculous however to critisize her for not being skinny enough because other than that tiny thing she did a FANTASTIC job playing Katniss.

    7. If she’s not physically compatible with Peeta, it’s because he’s short and she’s tall. It’s not her fault J-Hutch is short. (Not his either) She is beautiful, and is at a perfect weight for her build and height. THIS is someone girls should look up to, not those anorexic, starved models. If she was skinnier, they would get onto her for projecting an incorrect reality to all the girls who look up to her and want to be her.
      and since I’m sure some of these people are the same ones complaining that Cinna, Rue, and Thresh was black (when they were black IN THE BOOKS) I think she should absolutely not listen to them and keep on doing what she’s doing.

    8. She was perfectly fine, her acting out shined her ‘weight problem’. I really look up to her she’s one of very few actresses under the age of thirty who is ‘big boned’ and she is so real. Being big boned myself her body is perfectly fine, she looks healthy, happy, and comfortable in her skin.

    9. I think that Jennifer made an excellent Katniss! I really don’t get why people said she was ‘too fat’, especially when-while watching the movie-I was thinking about how thin she was looking in some of those outfits. Hollywood’s idea of the perfect body is ridiculous!

    10. That is HORRIBLE! Why should someone have to look like they are actually starving to make a role believable?? Even if the character is supposed to look hungry, the audience will get that. I never once thought, while watching the movie, that she doesn’t look convincingly hungry. It’s just not important enough to warrant an actress starving herself.

    11. That is so wrong! They were already on diets to slim up! Yes, she’s pretty! DUH! She’s perfect for the role and I love the movie. If They wanted her to look underfed, then she would have to be underfed. Gosh! Back off! Ugh!

    12. I think that she is the perfect weight! Besides, I couldn’t imagine her as bone-thin in the books anyway without grossing myself out. She could have looked a little thinner during the bread scene or toward the end of the Games, but they should have used digital editing for that! CGI would have been good for those because she would need to look even smaller than usual, and if she was skinny all of the time those scenes wouldn’t have showed such a startling contrast. I mean, they didn’t use anything, but that would have been the only time for her to thin out at all! Every other time she was perfect due to hunting and stuff.

    13. I loved the movie and plan to go again. Jennifer is so FIT and STRONG-You cannot do the archery shots without being strong. It is very difficult (my father taught me in middle school and I took it in college-then I taught it) Plus I loved the way she showed strength in getting up the tree and her brain power. So there are bullys as adults of all ages–and this time the bullys come in the form of experts and journalists (who are normally bullys anymore)-Remember the movie “Mean Girls”? Well there are adult women of all ages who are still “Mean Girls”

    14. dont they have special effectsfor a reason? if they had really thought she neded to look skinnier they could have just made her look skinnier. and anyways, she looks fine. the book says that katniss isnt as skinny as some of them because she eats a lot of meat.

    15. This is horrible. Teenage girls have differant heros they look up to and Jennifer Lawerance could be one of them right now. SO that person will do more reseach on it and if they came across something like that they would like at Jennifer and then themselves and start criticing what is already perfect.

    16. I think that Jennifer Lawrence did an amazing job as Katniss. I will say, however, that when I first saw the trailers and such, I didn’t think she would be very good for the part. I thought she looked too nice. I think that when people say she doesn’t look “hungry” enough, they don’t mean it as an insult. They describe her as beautiful. I think they are making more of an artistic statement that since she is supposed to be someone starving, she should be a bit more scrawny. I think that her fabulous acting overrode that she didn’t entirely look the part, but I can actually see where they’re coming from. I don’t think they mean it to be “she’s not pretty and slim enough,” rather they are saying “she needs to be more starved looking and not so beautiful.”

    17. In the Hunger Games books, Katniss’s family, along with most of the other residents of their district, starve on a daily basis because they have no money and/or food to quench their hunger and thirst. I believe the people commenting on Jennifer just meant that the book version of Katniss is very, very thin and boney and that the special effects crew didn’t bother to work their magic to make Jennifer thinner in the scenes, so the actress is bigger than the book’s description. It’s the truth! That’s how Suzanne Collins wrote Katniss, and I believe that the people are saying Jennifer doesn’t match the hunger-struck girl’s physical appearance perfectly, they’re not saying the Jennifer is fat. They’re just comparing her to the book’s physical description.

    18. I think that Jennifer Lawrence was an amazing actor in The Hunger Games, and she should not be criticized. She is the perfect actress for Katniss, and the movie was amazing. You’re right; they’re scrambling for a negative comment. These people are delusional.

    19. Jennifer is one of those people who refuses to let Hollywood define how fat/skinny she needs to be. She is perfect the way she is and I think many people support and admire that. We need more of those kind of people in Hollywood today, instead of this garbage about how no one is skinny enough!!

    20. She is totally fine! She’s a great actress and she matched Katniss’s attitude PERFECTLY. And just a reminder to these people, in the books, she is supposed to be WELL FED because she cat catch game. Some people are forgetting that part.

    21. This is apalling ad ridiculous! I think that Jennifer is a great actress, looks a normal size and plays the role of Katniss amazingly. I do not think that she is ‘not skinny enough’ to play Katniss Everdeen.

    22. I agree to a point but I’ve read the hunger games (please note that i am not saying that she should starve herself because your right she is slim)and Katniss is incredibly skinny because she is undernourished and when she leaves for the Capitol she gorges herself on food because she is hungry and has never had that much to eat before and frequently went hungry so that her mother and sister could eat so i see where the critics are coming from but i don’t want her to starve herself to make her acting more believable or them picking on her about her weight

    23. Seriously. That is their biggest concern? Her weight?! She did a great job playing Katniss, she is an amazing role model, and the perfect weight for her. That doesn’t mean you should be against skinny people–if you are naturally skinny it is okay, but with the world we have now people are starving themselves to be skinny. In the book I remember Katniss thinking that the capitol was insane, because they wanted to be skinny and wrinkle-less while in District 12 having wrinkles and not being skinny was an accomplishment, because it meant they had good food to eat and lived to a old age instead of dying from hunger. And if it really was so much of a problem, they could have just used digital effects. Plus, like everyone else mentioned, Katniss hunted and built up muscle so she wouldn’t have been super skinny anyways, though she would still be a bit on the skinny side. Can’t you stop for one minute, critiques, and focus on the meaning behind the story not on the looks of the people?

    24. Except for the fact that in the books she was small, but well nourished and toned from the meat she caught and the physical exertion it took to get it!
      also, if the call her fat, what are girls who have a diffrent body type going to think?

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