It’s only a matter of time before we’ll be sick of America’s sweetheart.
A few weeks ago, The Onion ran an article with the dead-on headline: “Area Woman Has No Idea She Will Hate Jennifer Lawrence Seven Years From Now.” It captures how everything charming and fresh about Lawrence will eventually rot in the eyes of the public, just as soon as she says something a little too real.
Sound familiar? It’s called the Celebrity Hate Cycle. We treat our celebrities the way the popular clique in Heathers and Mean Girls do – turning on them for the slightest faux pas, ready to rip them to tatters for daring to reveal their flawed humanity. Then we wait for them to prostrate themselves enough to be welcomed back into our good graces – or until the news cycle fixates on someone else’s awards show gaffe or postpartum weight gain.
On that note, here’s a quick list of the celebs who garner the most narrowed eyes in the high school-like hallways of American fame.
When Paltrow cried about her Best Actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, everyone at home collectively cooed, “Awww.” But after marrying Coldplay’s Chris Martin, naming their kid Apple and bragging about her macrobiotic bona fides, we decided to hate her. Paltrow’s been doing this long enough that she knows just how to nudge the cycle back in her favor: The GOOP goddess recently told Beach magazine that her interest in healthy living started when her father was diagnosed with throat cancer and she researched anti-cancerous diets for him. Only cretins could hate a concerned daughter, right?
The eternally bright-eyed Hathaway irks people with her boundless enthusiasm and drama club earnestness. But it’s also those very qualities that have earned her the A-list. Hathaway trained her eyes on a show-stopping performance for “Les Miserables” – which was only appropriate to the job description. So what gives? Do we punish women who have the gall to show such naked ambition? Good thing Hathaway doesn’t care: She just signed on for another musical, Song One, produced by her husband Adam Shulman and Jonathan Demme.
Originally loathed for dressing Goth and then later for stealing Jennifer Aniston’s man, Jolie’s New York Times op-ed about her double mastectomy has thrown the haters for a loop. How do you criticize a brave woman who publicly shares her reasons for having her breasts removed? People have found plenty of ways – just look at the reader comments that suggest her surgery was an elaborate ruse to get breast implants without scrutiny. All the same, the overwhelming support for Jolie has surely been enough to warrant her a Get Out of Jail Free card for the next scandal.
And here is the black hole of the celebrity hate cycle. Lohan seems to just keep absorbing our hate and instead of it killing her, she’s used it to become some kind of inside-out Marilyn Monroe, all her flaws projected on the surface. Lohan defies us, her star power still so grand that it eats a million suns of our hatred for breakfast. The next few months should be quiet while Lohan’s serving her mandatory sentence in rehab. But who knows what will happen after that. Could the long-delayed comeback, the ultimate challenge to the hate cycle, finally be on its way?
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