But it’s the hive mind that also informs — and infuriates — those who aren’t part of the pack, which is why I was tempted to write this piece in the first place. Take a look at the animated GIF that went viral this week of Jennifer Lawrence jumping behind a mohawk-crowned Sarah Jessica Parker in front of the bullpen of red-carpet photographers at Monday night’s Met Ball. While most people may have seen the goof as an awesomely irreverent and spontaneous joke, I saw it as rude. It doesn’t help that the subtext of this latest example of the unfortunate trend of pitting actresses against each other as polar opposites is that Parker, who was once the beloved ingénue, has fallen out of favor as her age — and, really, only her age — has come to embody desperation and sadness, whereas the youthful, bright Jennifer Lawrence exemplifies a refreshing new celebrity model.
Yet for all her outspokenness, for her seemingly unfiltered take on culture, Lawrence remains part of the Hollywood system: a commodity for the movie franchises she participates in, for the fashion houses she represents. Is she really breaking free from a mold cast nearly a hundred years ago, or is she just a variation on the same old status quo? I don’t think it’s too cynical to suggest it’s the latter.