A photograph from a Red Sparrow photocall has gone viral with people the world over claiming that Jennifer Lawrence's outfit was evidence sexism persists in Hollywood despite #TimesUp and #MeToo.
The photo, taken in London to promote the upcoming thriller in which the actress plays a ballerina-turned-spy, shows Lawrence standing alongside the film's male director and fellow (male) cast members on a balcony on a typically chilly London day.
But Lawrence's dress – a plunging black Versace gown with a thigh-high slit – very quickly got the internet talking. Specifically, the fact she wasn't wearing a coat and had a large amount of skin on show, while the men looked comfier and better insulated in their casual wear. And to be fair, she does look a little chilly in some of the photos.
In a now-viral tweet, the New Statesman's deputy editor Helen Lewis called it a "quietly depressing (and revealing) image", considering the cold London weather. "True equality means either Jennifer Lawrence getting a coat, or Jeremy Irons having to pose for a photocall in assless chaps," she added. "Not least because I've been outside today and it's bloody FREEZING.”
Thousands weighed in online, saying J-Law's outfit reinforced the stereotypical roles women are still forced to play in society.
But then the whole thing took an unexpected twist with Lawrence herself getting involved – and she is having none of it. The 27-year-old responded to the controversy on her Facebook page this afternoon, calling it "absolutely ridiculous" and offensive. She even went as far as to call it an example of sexism in itself.
"Wow. I don't really know where to get started on this 'Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing dress in the cold' controversy. This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended," she wrote.
"That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I'm going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for 5 minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice."
Lawrence's dress has been widely compared to the iconic Versace 'safety pin' gown worn by Elizabeth Hurley at the premier of Four Weddings and a Funeral, which caused controversy for different reasons back in 1994.
Lawrence continued: "This is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism. 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. Get a grip people. Everything you see me wear is my choice. And if I want to be cold THATS [sic] MY CHOICE TOO!"
Her post has already racked up around 40k likes since it was uploaded and a string of supportive comments. "You say it girlie! Sick of this crap and tabloid fodder! You ROCK! I would have bloody done the same, if I would fit in to one! Lol!," wrote one woman.
While another added: "Had you opted for the coat and scarf, there would have been fashion police insulting how you disparaged the Versace line. It was a no-win situation, and I love seeing you stand behind your principles."
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