Can we talk about Chris Pratt for a second? Talking about Chris Pratt and just liking him all together as one happy Internet is so much fun and unifying. Chris Pratt is hot and nice and funny. Watching him do anything is like being asked out on a date while cuddling a puppy and finding out Nutella has fewer calories than you thought all at the same time. He is the best!
Which must mean ... How rough is the backlash going to be, eh? You know, when Chris Pratt reaches Chris Pratt-overload? When everyone decides Chris Pratt is trying too hard? When everyone picks a new "It" guy?
Just kidding, that doesn't exist! There are no sexist double standards for wildly popular men in Hollywood!
Now, no one, not even for one second, should stop loving Chris Pratt. Participating in liking Chris Pratt is like getting a big, warm hug from someone willing to share their HBO GO password. With all the angry, outrage mob culture of the Internet, it's really nice to all get to like someone and then clap for each other for liking that someone. You could post any article or video of Chris Pratt with a mere "❤️" and get at least one "Like."
And that's not a bad thing! Just look at this picture of Chris Pratt with his family. They are so cute! But can we, without stopping the liking of Chris Pratt, juxtapose the way men and women experience this ultimate stratosphere of newfound celebrity?
Consider Jennifer Lawrence. When she rose up to fame in 2013, we loved her with all our celebrity-worshipping hearts. She was our best friend. During every single quirky talk show appearance, we daydreamed about eating pizza with her and said, "Oh my God, for real though, Jennifer Lawrence is my spirit animal!" But then something changed. The court of public opinion turned on Lawrence almost as quickly as they had crowned her queen.
"What's Behind The Jennifer Lawrence Backlash?," "Is Jennifer Lawrence Katnissing Us?" the headlines asked. As soon as she fell on the Oscars red carpet for a second time, the public (and Jared Leto) seemed to throw up their hands in unison, as if asking if any of it is "real." Lupita Nyong'o was immediately crowned a worthy successor.
But this isn't really about Jennifer Lawrence. Or Chris Pratt, for that matter. This is about how the question of authenticity, of constant scrutiny and evaluation to the point of combustion, is a singularly female phenomenon. A reality best expressed by the very fact that the phrase "It Girl" exists.
"I think, to some extent, there can only be one person on 'top' at one time, at least when it comes to women," Aisha Harris wrote for Slate back in March of 2014. The corollary there is that we pit famous ladies against each other, measuring their strengths and weaknesses, deciding who deserves to be on "top." Why did Nyong'o need to "replace" Lawrence? Why can't we have both?
The complete absence of this conversation surrounding Pratt is not a mere byproduct of him being at Peak Lovability (though he is). It's a gendered reality which pervades the marketability of stars and their corresponding fandom -- an enduring need to tear all but one lucky woman down before moving on to the next. There's no fathomable future where we recoil at Chris Pratt's antics, saying, "Ugh, enough of this Pratt guy. He's totally faking this whole adorable-and-talented-family-man thing!" We only expect women to run in that pair of heels.
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Follow Lauren Duca on Twitter: @laurenduca
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