Celebrity hate is nothing new. I mean, who can blame us?
These are people that are thrust into our lives, our living rooms, our movie screens. Their publicists want us to be interested in their personal lives. They are commodities, only worth as much as their popularity.
Interestingly, hating these people we hardly know seems to be mainly a domain for women.
Seven of the top ten most hated people in Hollywood are female, according to Star magazine’s 2013 “Most Hated Celebrities” poll. And does anyone else feel that a lot of the people doing the hating also seem to be female?
The cut goes a step further, to try to analyze what, exactly, it is about these celebrities that we hate. Basically, they either try too hard, don’t try hard enough, or wrong another celebrity. Phew!
Let’s take one example to look into further. For instance, Anne Hathaway seems to be one of the most polarizing actresses out there.
While I am personally indifferent towards her, there is actually much to like. For one, she is a representative for One Billion Rising, a global action spearheaded by playwright Eve Ensler.
For another, she is painfully honest about her own body image struggles: “I still feel the stress over, ‘Am I thin enough? Am I too thin? Is my body the right shape?’… There’s an obsessive quality to it that I thought I would’ve grown out of by now. It’s an ongoing source of shame for me.”
Sadly, the fact that we are all watching and judging her every move seems to have had a negative impact on Hathaway’s personality: “I actually really don’t feel like getting made fun of. So I put on something boring and navy and go out and try to disappear.”
Is this what we really want? For more women to just give up, and disappear? I mean, sure, you might not like this certain person (whom you almost certainly have never met), but does their mere existence actually cause you pain?
How about this: Let’s all just move past the hate. Can you imagine how much power we would have if we worked together?
Tessa Needham finished her PhD in Performing Arts at the University of Western Sydney (Australia) in 2008. Her thesis explored the potential of performance to provoke change, and part of her research was Bodily, a solo theatrical performance about body image. She loves technology and the creative arts, and is passionate about the different cultural forces affecting the body image of girls and women. She teaches computers and does freelance creative work: www.tessaneedham.com.