Jennifer Lawrence's Amazon wedding registry is a dystopian perversion of a brilliant marketing play
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- Jennifer Lawrence released a "wedding registry guide" on Amazon on Monday.
- The registry feels blatantly inauthentic, and Lawrence sounds like she has been possessed by Amazon Alexa, with lines like: "I thought it would be fun to collaborate with Amazon."
- Turning major life milestones into a chance to make money sounds dystopian, but it's pretty standard for celebrities in 2019.
- The registry fails to live up to the expectation that celebrities and brands like Amazon make an effort to at least pretend that they actually like and use the things they're telling people to buy.
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Jennifer Lawrence's wedding registry is now on Amazon. And, I hate it.
On Monday, the actress released a "wedding registry guide" on Amazon. The timing seems right - Lawrence announced her engagement to art dealer Cooke Maroney earlier this year.
On paper, I should be a receptive reader of Lawrence's registry. I'm in my late 20s and constantly forced to consider wedding gifts. I love reading inane celebrity gossip. A solid portion of my time online is spent trolling various lists of things to buy from publications that earn commissions based on my purchases, such as New York Magazine's Strategist and Insider Picks.
However, Jennifer Lawrence's registry - if we can even call it that - is extremely bad.
The biggest issue with the list is that I do not for one second believe that Lawrence actually put any of these things on her personal wedding registry. Why in the world does Lawrence, a millionaire and one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, want $36.99 flower pots? $16 twinkly lights? A $25 adapter? If she actually needs new AirPods, wouldn't Lawrence just ... buy them for herself?
Lawrence's stated reasons for recommending the products only reinforce my conviction that she did not write this list.
"I love trying new recipes, so it's important to have the right tools in the kitchen," reads one description. "Here are a few items I love, and a few more that I can't wait to start using. Cooking for two is always more fun!"
Do I believe Lawrence likes to cook? Sure. But do I believe the actress who once told a Vanity Fair interviewer that "I have ramen, so either way we're fine" when tasked with roasting a chicken would ever utter the words "Cooking for two is always more fun"? Not for a second.
Even Lawrence's "explanation" for the list sounds like she's been possessed by Alexa:
"Planning a wedding is so exciting, but it can be overwhelming. For anyone else in need of a little inspiration, I thought it would be fun to collaborate with Amazon to share a few of my favorite registry wish-list items. It's so easy, and you can find everything you need in one place."
Amazon did not immediately respond to my request for comment on the list's authenticity or questions about whether Lawrence was compensated for the collaboration. Representatives for Lawrence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lawrence noted at the bottom of the registry that she is partnering with the nonprofit Amazon Conservation as part of the collaboration, stating, "I am happy to make a donation to the Amazon Conservation."
It isn't surprising that Lawrence's quotes sound like advertising copy written by Lawrence's assistant or an Amazon staffer. In the influencer era, celebrities' preferences are a vital advertising tool.
However, this registry completely fails to pass any basic test of authenticity. Lawrence has created a "cool girl" public persona, tripping on stairs, eating pizza, drinking champagne out of the bottle. There isn't a trace of this personality in the registry.
Instead, the Amazon registry misses why people want to read lists like this. People want a glimpse into the life Lawrence shares with her art-dealer fiancé, not boring advertising copy about how "planning a wedding is so exciting."
Plus, we're all looking for guidance from more qualified sources - Jennifer Lawrence wants this fondue set as a wedding gift, so I'm going to add it to my registry too, crossing one thing off an endless wedding to-do list. As a happily engaged millionaire, Lawrence is a perfect aspirational choice, if she actually would reveal what is on her shopping list.
In 2019, the general public understands that everything from a wedding to a pregnancy are a chance for celebrities and brands to make money. It's now normal for celebrities to announce their pregnancies via pregnancy test-sponsored Instagram posts! Turning the most personal moments of our lives into marketing opportunities is dystopian, but it is also the new normal.
However, in exchange for this dystopian era in marketing, I demand good content. I don't want to read advertising copy - I want to know what is actually on Jennifer Lawrence's wedding registry, even if it is embarrassing or disturbingly overpriced.
At the very least, I expect Amazon to try a little harder when it lies to me about what Lawrence wants.
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