Alright, hands up – did anyone here have an amazing childhood that was fully of joy and harmony and zero pain and awkwardness? Please, if that’s the case, let me know. I feel like everyone had a shitty childhood/adolescence – obviously to varying degrees – but you grow up, get some therapy if necessary and work on being a well-adjusted human being that puts good things into the world. Jennifer Lawrence has managed to do this, despite dealing with anxiety and depression and shit as a youngster. Roll the tape, girl.
Given her intensity, it does not come as a surprise that Lawrence describes her childhood as an “unhappy” one—exceptional, excitable, hot-wired kids are often misunderstood and full of anxiety. Lawrence herself was so anxious that her parents found her a therapist. “I was a weirdo,” she says. “I wasn’t picked on or anything. And I wasn’t smarter than the other kids; that’s not why I didn’t fit in. I’ve always just had this weird anxiety. I hated recess. I didn’t like field trips. Parties really stressed me out. And,” she adds, “I had a very different sense of humor.” I ask Lawrence how that manifested itself in, say, junior high. She launches into several tales as examples. Like the time she decided it would be funny to jump out of the emergency exit of a moving school bus; or the time she thought it would be really funny to announce to the entire seventh grade that she wet the bed; or this: “My family went on a cruise, and I got a terrible haircut. FYI: Never get your hair cut on a cruise. And I had, like, this blonde curly ‘fro, and I walked into the gym the first day back in seventh grade and everyone was staring at me, and for some reason I thought, I know what I need to do! And I just started sprinting from one end of the gym to the other, and I thought it was hilarious. But nobody else at that age really did. It was genuinely weird.”
That just seems slightly awkward, not necessarily awful. It’s not like she had no food to eat, was homeless, abused, etc. (I’m assuming, of course – I doubt she’d be talking about that in an interview with a magazine.) We all got shit haircuts. I remember crying on the phone to my friend Tenna in 6th grade after a particularly bad one, sobbing about how I looked like a freak and everyone was going to make fun of me. No one did, but that shit was traumatic nonetheless.