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Anne Hathaway: Why all the hate?


In the past year or so, Anne Hathaway, the formerly beloved Princess of Genovia, has fallen to
one of the most despised people in Hollywood. But the hate is misguided. Among celebrities
who have gotten into drugs or have been caught cheating on or abusing their significant others
or have had tussles with the paparazzi, Anne Hathaway, who hasn’t come close to any such
behavior, is still one of the most hated. And really, it just doesn’t make sense.

The Complaints

“She’s just like the annoying high school theater kids.”
For many people, Anne’s bubbly personality brings back the memories of that one kid who
thinks they’re better than everyone because they have some musical or theatrical talent and
big a Broadway dream. These are the kids who don’t quite understand personal space, and
seem to have a warped view of reality, believing that the school, world, and universe revolve
around them. They aren’t intentionally cruel, but they frequently come off as condescending
and egotistical. They’re nice enough for the most part, but you just can’t stand them (i.e. Rachel
Berry from “Glee”).

“She’s not genuine.”
People complain that her speeches seem rehearsed and overall just fake. This complaint didn’t
come up until this year because, before Les Mis, she wasn’t up accepting trophies and giving
speeches every weekend.

“She tries too hard.”
From interviews to speeches to hosting the Oscars, many people ambiguously cite their dislike
for her as that she just tries too hard. She comes off as trying too hard to be fun and likable.
When she co-hosted the Oscars in 2011 with James Franco, every single critic picked on the fact
that she seemed to be forcing everything.

The Explanation:
Hollywood is made up of thousands of high school theater kids. Almost everyone you see on
screen started acting at a young age, and many of them probably fit the annoying theater kid
stereotype. Because we aren’t around them on a daily basis and they have learned to conduct
themselves in public, we often don’t remember that. So putting that one against Anne is unfair,
because she isn’t the only theater kid in Hollywood.

As for her bubbly personality, that contradicts the complaint that she isn’t genuine. Celebrities
have been trained to act a certain way in public, to be cool, calm, and collected. We don’t know
what these actors are really like. They’re actors. They could be acting through all the interviews
and speeches as well, and we would be none the wiser. But Anne Hathaway isn’t afraid to show
her personality—as excitable and energetic as she is—which is a refreshing break from the celebrities who play it safe and refuse to give us any idea as to what they are like off camera. She stands up for what she believes in and seems to legitimately care for others, which is evident in the interviews in which she refuses to talk about her Les Mis diet, in order to avoid people trying similar, unhealthy, diets and her public support for the gay rights campaign. Maybe she doesn’t come off as likable as some of the other actors out there, but, hey, we can’t all be Jennifer Lawrence.

Faulting Anne Hathaway for trying too hard is downright terrible. And it’s not just something in Hollywood—in the hallways of high school, kids deemed “try-hards” are shamed by classmates as well. There’s nothing wrong with making an effort; there’s no success without it.

Hosting the Oscars, she had to force the jokes and compensate having an inanimate object as a co-host. While Franco stood on the sides—looking like his character in “Pineapple Express”— Anne had to carry the show. As Seth MacFarlane tweeted after his night hosting, “The Oscars is basically the Kobayashi Maru test.” It’s a no-win scenario, especially for someone stranded without her co-host. And if you were in an industry where millions of people scrutinized your every move, wouldn’t you try hard to be perfect too? The hate Anne has received in the past few months serves as a prime example of why she tries so hard.

But there are other factors that go into the hate as well, including subconscious factors. Popular
Science exposed that her appearance may be a contributing factor to the dislike in an interview
with psychology professor Terry Pettijohn, who said “When times are good we prefer actresses
with rounder faces. They convey these ideas of fun and youth.” And no one can argue that Anne
Hathaway’s face is far from round. Adding to her appearance, after chopping her long locks
(live on camera, mind you) for her role in Les Mis, she has sported a stunning pixie cut. Which,
even though well-done, can’t change the unfortunate fact that society is sexist, and many people
mindlessly hate all short haircuts on any girl.

Even if her appearance and personality make her unlikable to some, she still doesn’t deserve
the amount of hate she receives. She hasn’t beaten anyone like Chris Brown. She hasn’t been
caught yelling any racial slurs like Mel Gibson. She isn’t a symbol of greed and stupidity like
almost every realty TV star. She is one of the few people in Hollywood who seems human. She’s
an amazingly talented actress who is still incredibly humble, and often overwhelmed, about her
fame and success, which is something to be appreciated in an industry in which almost everyone
has an ego the size of Mount Everest.

The day after the Oscars, the media was buzzing with stories about her controversial dress.
Few of them recognized the significance of what she said in her speech; “Here’s hoping that
someday in the not too distant future, the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories,
and never more in real life.” While she tried to bring up that there are still women around the

world suffering from a bad lot in life, the media analyzed her wardrobe. In a world of phonies,
she’s one of the few we can attempt to relate to.

It’s also important to remember that she’s only 30 years old. She hopefully has decades of acting
left in front of her, and in that time, she will mature and become more calm and confident in her
speeches. Right now they’re a little awkward, and you can see how emotional she is, but who can
blame her? She’s trying her best, and she just looks innocent—almost childlike–up on the stage
with the gold statuette in her hands. When you’ve won as many awards as Daniel Day-Lewis, it’s
easy to give a good speech.

I dream a dream that we won’t relentlessly hate on one of the most genuine and nice people in
Hollywood. If you had a negative view of her in the past, give her another chance. Watch some
of her interviews and remember how much we all loved her in “Princess Diaries.” And if that
doesn’t convert the haters, then that’s too bad. But I guess haters gonna hate.

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About the Contributor
Randi Peterson, Author

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