Jennifer Lawrence is usually an awesome role model and I’m happy to sing her praises but her latest interview made me… cringe.
In a preview of her upcoming 60 Minutes interview, Jennifer talked about dropping out of middle school when she was only 14. She said,
“I really don’t [regret it]. I wanted to forge my own path. I found what I wanted to do and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of it.”
She then added,
“To get people to try to understand that when you’re 14 years old, wanting to drop out of school and do this, and your parents are just like, ‘You’re out of your mind.’”
While I’m thrilled that everything worked out for Jen, I can’t help but notice that she left out some very key details.
The first of which is luck. Of course, Jennifer is very talented but it would be pompous not to admit that it takes a little bit of luck, especially in Hollywood, to succeed. There is an endless amount of smart, beautiful, talented women, and sometimes you have to get a little lucky to make it in life.
But more importantly, Jennifer is blatantly ignoring her privilege. She came from a financially stable household with parents who could easily upend their lives to make her dreams come true. That’s a pretty rare circumstance. Not to mention, if things hadn’t have worked out for Jen, she easily could have re-enrolled in school, a luxury not every child has. There are so many kids who would love to graduate but can’t finish school because of family obligations, financial troubles, and more.
And third of all, to say that dropping out of school was the only path to success for her is not only incorrect but also extremely irresponsible to promote.
I look at someone like former MLB one-handed pitcher Jim Abbott who was offered a chance to join the major leagues while still in high school but turned it down in order to go to college. He was able to graduate and still become one of the best and most inspirational players of our time.
I can’t believe I have to say this but, kids, please don’t be like Jennifer Lawrence. And, at the risk of sounding like an after-school special, stay in school as long as you.