By De Elizabeth. Photos: Getty.
Approximately four years ago, the internet turned on Anne Hathaway for seemingly no reason at all. The actress who was once loved for her role in the Princess Diaries franchise or her iconic (and still oh-so quotable) film The Devil Wears Prada suddenly became the subject of cruel memes, mean tweets, and all-around unwarranted bullying.
But no one could really put their finger on why they disliked Anne. She hadn't done anything wrong, she wasn't involved in any scandals or controversy; at most, she had a successful year with her emotional portrayal of Fantine in Les Misérables, culminating with her infamous Academy Award speech where she lovingly looked at her Oscar and said, "It came true." And although some might point to that speech as the moment when the entire internet decided they hated her, people still couldn't really identify a specific reason for their hatred. The Cut tried to get to the bottom of it by crowdsourcing, but all they received were reasons like, "She is that theater kid with good intentions but secretly annoys the sh*t out of you." Not exactly a concrete example.
Fortunately, the onslaught of negative opinions doesn't seem to have bothered Anne too much; in fact, she says it's helped her grow as a person. While talking to Jezebel, Anne explained that the mean comments used to catch her off guard. "Now, it’s not that I’ve gotten a rhino skin to it, but I sort of see all of that for what it is," she added. "How the world feels about me has nothing to do with me. How other people treat me has nothing to do with me. But if anything that anybody said resonated with me as something I’d like to work on for myself, I took it in like that. And to that extent, I feel like I got to shortcut a lot of my growth. To that extent, even though I wouldn’t have chosen to go through it, I still found a way to be grateful to it."
While Anne's response to the barrage of hate is certainly admirable and mature, it's important to point out that the way the public treated her was pretty horrible. There was a seemingly unwarranted dislike that seemed to follow her in 2013; it was almost as though people felt like she was undeserving of her accolades, or that she was obnoxious simply because she expressed happiness at her own success. Feminist film scholar Karen Hollinger points out, "Female stars, more than male stars, are supposed to be humble and not put themselves out there." So the fact that Anne's success – and visible happiness at her own success – has provoked such an angered reaction from the public says a lot more about her haters than it says about her. That said, we're glad that she's moved on from all the drama, but the period of Hathaway hate remains as an ugly reminder that society still has a great deal of work to do when it comes to the way we view women in the workplace, regardless of industry.
This story originally appeared on Teen Vogue.
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