Taylor Swift is getting pummelled on social media right now.
But it feels like there’s something else going on.
Like the hate has something to do with Swift appearing too eager to please, too earnest, too put-together, and too successful.
For some reason, when we as a public see too much of someone like that, we want to tear her down.
We’ve seen it happen before.
Back in late 2012 and early 2013, Anne Hathaway — an eager-to-please, earnest, put-together actor — had a very bad few months.
In December 2012, she won a Golden Globe and gave a very awkward acceptance speech.
“Um, oh my gosh,” she began. Then, in a stage whisper she said, “This is happening.”
Social media had a field day with that one. It was so cheesy. What a theatre kid.
Then came the Oscars. Due to a last minute screw-up by her designer, Hathaway had to find a dress at the last minute. She found one. But it had some very unfortunate stitching. The social media feedback was brutal. A hashtag, #hathahaters, gained steam.
A Crushable writer named Alexis Rhiannon summarized the views of many, writing the following:
“When I see Anne Hathaway out in the world, I’m not into it. She’s like… too good. She’s too nice, too attractive, in too good of shape, too humble, too talented. With all those things, I should be obsessed with her. But instead I’m just not. I’m oddly disconnected.
I watch her beautiful face do its talented acting and go — my my, what a large beautiful mouth. I don’t like it. Look at those dark beautiful eyes. I don’t like them. Listen to her skinny beautiful words. I don’t like them. Shut up. Shut up, Anne Hathaway. I honestly don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m jealous, but I don’t feel jealousy. I watch her in outtakes, and I feel like she’s not a real person. She’s always putting on accents and flittering around apologizing for mistakes that she didn’t make, and I just don’t get it. I don’t find her perfection charming. I find it annoying.”
Eventually, The San Francisco Chronicle named Hathaway “The Most Annoying Celebrity of 2013.”
Naturally, all of this made Hathaway feel terrible.
In 2014, Hathaway told Harper’s Bazaar that the morning after her 2013 Oscar win, she found herself asking Google a question: “Why does everyone hate Anne Hathaway?”
What came back was awful.
She told Harper’s it all made her feel like she had been “punched in the gut. Shocked and slapped and embarrassed.”
“Even now I can feel the shame,” she said.
Meanwhile, none of the rest of us got much out of bringing her down. So why are we doing the same thing to Swift?
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