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Everybody Hates A Winner

Sometimes I feel like there isn’t enough success to go around. If all the women around me become successful, it somehow eats up at the success quota. What I have to keep telling myself, is that the more successful women I know, the closer I am to being successful myself. Then I think about Anne Hathaway.

We’ve been hearing the debate about sexism in comedy and entertainment. Everyone is debating over if Seth MacFarlane went too far and if his jokes objectified women. Outraged columnists write about how Hollywood requires less of men than of women and that entertainment is still a male driven industry where successful women are still objectified, scrutinized and torn down more than their male counterparts. And I agree with some of that. But in the immortal words of Tina Fey, “I think there’s been some girl on girl crime here.”

The only thing it seems that women have agreed on is that Anne Hathaway is insufferable. There is even a name for it — “Hathahating”. It seems that the world has collectively decided that she is an unbearable, fake, nerdy theater kid who tries too hard. This hatred has been brewing for some time, starting with the Golden Globes. Many women (and men) felt her speech was fake and that she wasn’t genuinely surprised, even though every critic had picked her to win every award since before Les Miserables was even released.

And then I start to think of another often reviled young actress, Lena Dunham, who is constantly criticized about everything from boobs to nepotism. So it makes you think: what do these two women have in common that other women hate them so much?

The easy answer is success. People are just jealous. But then you say, “Everyone is in love with Jennifer Lawrence right now, so success isn’t it, those bitches are just the worst.” I think it comes down to not having the success but the way the success is handled. Graciousness, shock and a genuine “awww, shucks” attitude is required of a woman that wins any major recognition. If not, then the claws come out and these accomplished women are picked apart in the media.

That isn’t true of men. Men are allowed to have “swagger”, men can brag. Daniel Day Lewis and Christoph Waltz didn’t have to pretend to be shocked when they won their Oscars and neither did any of the other men that won. They were allowed to walk up, stroll even, calmly accept their awards, make jokes and leave with the good graces of the world with them. So why should Hathaway pretend? I would have loved it, if she had sauntered up to the mic, said her thank you’s with confidence and bravado and sashayed off stage, even dropped that mic if she wanted.

I wonder how people would have felt about Jennifer Lawrence’s acceptance speech if she hadn’t fallen. I am not saying that it was on purpose, it would be genius if it was…. I’m just wondering, what if she hadn’t been humbled in the proudest moment of her life. Would everyone still love her? Even in the 21st century, women are required to act like their success is simultaneously no big deal and the biggest surprise of their life.

And this is true for smaller scale success too. Job promotions get swept under the rug with an embarrassed shrug at happy hour because if they aren’t as soon as you are done, raising your glass to the woman of the hour, everyone is turning around and saying, “Why was it her? She’s the worst.” Same goes for engagements, pregnancy and hell, even getting a bargain at a sample sale can bring the ire of fellow females if it’s not handled with a, “Oh gosh, however did this happen to little ole me?” blush.

It’s time for women to be proud of what they have done without the fear of other women tearing them down. To say “F**k yes! I got that job promotion/won that award/found that cheap Dior because I worked hard and I’m damn good at what I do!”. To say to everyone, “Yes I earned it and I am awesome.” Maybe if we start letting each other do that, men will follow suit.

You can read more from Becky Flaum on her blog.

  • Hilary June

    I don’t hate Anne Hathaway. Even though my friends might disagree because I’ve been known to say “Isn’t Anne Hathaway in that? Ugh. No. I don’t want to see it.”

    I just think she’s a bad actress. I will will reluctantly see a film she’s in if it’s free and I’m peer pressured into it. (Batman, Les Mis, That one with Jake Gyllenhaal, Princess Diaries) From those I have developed this opinion. I just don’t like her as an actress. That’s not hating. It’s an opinion.

    It’s also an opinion I have about many other famous actresses and actors on TV and in movies. (See: Daniel Radcliffe, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, Channing Tatum, Tom Cruise, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph, Hemsworth A and B, Blue Eyes from Lost and a vampire show, Joe Dinicol, George Clooney, Emma Roberts, the guys from The OC, could go on for a while.)

    This article seems to suggest that the only reason people “don’t like” Anne is because she is successful. Nope. I’m glad she’s successful! She seems humble and nice and not obnoxious or rude, and I like that. (I do see your point about the job promotion thing, but I think that’s different.) I just don’t like her as an actress, although, she keeps getting cast in big movies so whoever is in charge of that obviously disagrees with me, and that’s cool.

    But women hating on other women? Yeah we totally don’t need to do that. I’m not hating on her, again, I’d like to make that clear. If all of a sudden the world was super annoyed with Paul Rudd, I would be in agreeance with that but I wouldn’t actively troll and spew about how awful he is, because that is unnecessary.

    I don’t know how much trolling and ranting is going on about/at Anne Hathaway, but if there is any, then seriously, people, relax. There is no need.

    If you don’t like her, don’t see her movies. There are other things to do with your time than hate on someone you don’t know. Move on.

    • Jennifer Edmondson

      Very balanced opinion.

  • Deanna Raphael

    No one hated Anne even two years ago and she was very famous and successful. Her desire to get that Oscar in her dirty little paws was unappealing. Any actor who puts that much stake in the Oscar is goofy. The best actress/actor rarely locks down the award: Sally Field. The only people who should know that you are sweating an award that hard should be your friends and family. In my opinion Anne has done this to herself. Before all this nonsense we liked her.

    • Jordan Weaver

      So wanting to win something very badly is suddenly terrible and “unappealing”? What does it matter to you that she wanted to win the Oscar so badly? Does it bother you when a women’s basketball team wants to win the championship? Or when a dancer wants to win at a competition? I don’t understand why it’s so awful that she really, really wanted to win. And the reason more people than just her friends and family knew is because the media is constantly up her butt, like they are with every actor/actress in the spotlight.

  • Isra Alkassi

    I agree with most of this, it is a problem that women have to represent themselves in a way just to be accepted. However, I don’t agree with it having to do with confidence or humility. It’s about being genuine, which is why people are loving Lawrence right now and not Hathway. Another problem is trivialising everything women around us do. “So what if she shaved of her head” “Who cares that she has a degree” “I could write about my awkward sexual experiences and you don’t see me with my own tv-show” etc. It’s part jealousy and part disappointment in ourselves which leads to the irrational dislike of actresses. Then again, they are public figures and the public can dislike and like whichever way they please, whether it’s justified or not, it doesn’t really matter.

  • Madeleine Rowe

    I disagree. I think that what bothers people most about Anne Hathaway is that she appears to be unconvincingly acting like she’s trying to go “aww shucks” when what she’s really conveying is that it means a lot to her, she takes herself seriously, like way too seriously, considering her job is to further her own glory.

    Why do people adore Jennifer Lawrence? She seems to have a sense of humor about it. She seemed truly touched and happy to win but she seems real and down to earth.

    Hathaway seems fake. That’s all there is to it. People are endeared by that which seems real, not artifice. Everything Hathaway says and does, it all seems calculated to win people over, and that’s condescending.

    I think people were endeared by Lena Dunham’s behavior even if they don’t like her show.

    And BTW I think a lot of people find many actors to be insufferable and to take themselves too seriously, and to be pretentious – Daniel Day Lewis included. However, Daniel Day Lewis is older, more accomplished, and has proven himself to be a good actor for years and years. Hathaway is still young and people are still unconvinced that she deserves so much credit.

  • Emily Bouchard

    Awesome! Entirely agree. Personally, I hate all this “Hathahating”. Although I’m not sure which I hate more the term itself or the phenomenon. I think Hathaway WAS being genuine in her speeches – she just wasn’t being demure. Apparently, a woman has no place being proud and/or aware of her success. I’m all for women developing some swagger!

    Thanks for the article!

  • Becky Gilbert

    Maybe what women should do is stop obsessing and caring so much about whether or not other people like them, period. If I were Anne Hathaway I wouldn’t give a good goddamn if people like me, and if I got a promotion I’d brag or not brag about it depending on how I felt and not worry if the other women or men in the room were jealous. That said, I also have the right to like or not like whoever I want, regardless of whether or not they’re a woman. So, I don’t like Anne Hathaway, and I don’t have to, even though she’s a woman. I do like Jack Nicholson, even though he’s gotten kinda creepy about women in his old age. The point being, stop being so worried if you ‘like’ the right people or if you are acting in a way that will make people ‘like’ you. Just do you and the rest will take care of itself.

  • Lauren Nicole

    I have to disagree with this article. I think people were so receptive to Jennifer Lawrence’s success because of her behavior prior to awards season. All of her interviews show her giving very genuine responses (and little to no brain mouth filter which is very endearing and relatable). I’ve never really liked Anne Hathaway in anything, except Princess Diaries and that’s because I was young and hadn’t formed a taste in movies. I love actresses like Lena Dunham and I love that women in Hollywood are getting recognition for great work. I just can’t stand Anne Hathaway. Just like I can’t stand Matthew McConnaughey or Mel Gibson. It’s not a hating on women thing. It’s a I-Honestly-Can’t-Listen-to-You thing. And when you say “Even in the 21st century, women are required to act like their success is simultaneously no big deal and the biggest surprise of their life” I think that applies to everyone, not just women. If someone acts uppity or obnoxious about receiving recognition for an achievement, it can be quite a turn off and I don’t think smugness looks good on any gender.
    I appreciate the article and the perspective, but I think people (including myself) not liking a particular actress for whatever reason isn’t based in a sexist revolt against my own gender. I mean, do I have to like or love EVERY successful actress because it’s a woman? God I hope not.

  • Johnna Nicole Reynolds

    I agree with this article. I watched the video for a second time online and am struggling to see any arrogance in Anne Hathaway’s speech. In fact, she spends most of her breath naming other people. While more people may relate to Jennifer Lawrence’s candid manner, there is nothing wrong with displaying poise and self-restraint. Lawrence is fairly to the acting scene, while Hathaway has been around much longer. Should Hathaway adopt Lawrence’s approach, she may be criticized for not acting properly as an actress with her experience. She spoke with passion and sincere gratitude. Each actress is different- let each of them accept her award in the manner she chooses.
    As far as women being afraid to be successful, I would have to agree. I feel pressure to laugh off promotions and life-changing events because I don’t want other women to become competitive. It’s irritating and I wish it weren’t so. There’s no need to gloat or apologize for success. Confidence, humility, grace and poise comprise a good attitude in this situation.

  • Sarah Travis

    I love this! I love Anne and mad at all her haters! I think the fact she didn’t act all surprised was true and genuine, the buzz was she was receiving this award, I would have been more upset with the “OH MY GOD! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS” reaction, because that would have been fake.

    • Caroline Jeffery


  • Sarah Williams

    I’m really not a fan of Anne Hathaway, generally. Her personality is a bit strange, like forced. Like we don’t know the real her. As for her acting, it’s got better over the years. She was spectacular in Les Mis. Like left me in tears amazing. Her speech, meh. I didn’t really put much thought into it, one way or another.

    Lena Dunham, I dont really have anything nice to say about her, so I will just leave it at that.

    Jennifer Lawrence, I’m still in the air about. She’s very good at her craft. As for her personality, I’m beginning to see bits of arrogance. But she’s young, and having the time of her life. Personality flaws are only natural in all of us, especially when we are 20 years old.

    All and all, we don’t know these people. We shouldn’t judge them to the point of “I hate” or “best person ever”.

  • Katy Littlejohn

    I feel like we all need to get over this debate of do we hate _______ or not? Why? Why not? Hate is such a strong emotion to assign to someone you’ve never met. Don’t like her acting? Don’t watch her movies (or watch them because someone else you like is in them and the story is incredible. Afterwards, share the opinion that you found her performance lacking and then go out for drinks). Don’t like the way she accepts an award? Maybe the next time she wins you mute her and ad-lib a preferable speech on her behalf.

    Save the hate for the truly evil people in the world who use their time to hurt other people for personal gain.

  • Jackie Portillo-Hyten

    I wasn’t really sure where all this negativity toward her was coming from but it was coming for her and it was coming from pretty much everywhere. Do I think she’s a great actress? No. But it wasn’t my opinion that got her the Oscar or the Golden Globe or any other accolade she received for her role in Les Mis. My husband and I watched it recently and I’ll admit I was befuddled by the fact that she won an award for being in HALF of a movie. I also joked that she won the Oscar because she comes back from the dead in the end (ba dun ching!) but i digress.

    According to the people who “matter” in these situations she did the better than everyone else and who are we to argue with that. She wasn’t genuine enough in her acceptance speech? I find that most of the winners aren’t. They all go in with an expectation to win and they all prepare (and over-prepare) their speeches so naturally, it is going to seem rehearsed and far from genuine. Whether an actor/actress or a regular Jo Schmo it is hard to be happy for people that don’t seem genuine so in that regard I can understand. However, being told that in your proudest moments you are being hated on by the masses for being proud of yourself and your accomplishments probably isn’t an easy to pill to swallow.

    As for woman on woman crime…it needs to stop. But, this idea that you’re only hating on another female because you’re jealous also needs to stop. I don’t need to like every other woman on the planet simply because we share the same anatomy. I can dislike another woman for valid reasons none of which have to do with being jealous. That doesn’t make me less supportive of my gender–it just makes me human. I’m proud of anyone that works hard to achieve success and I’ll support anyone on their individual journeys to get there if the journey is genuine and ripe with ambition. Everyone deserves their moment to shine. I just wish we were more open to letting people have that moment.

  • Caroline Jeffery

    Where did this phenomenon even come from??? I don’t feel the need to say whether I like Anne Hathaway or not – as if I should be jumping on some social bandwagon, like, “OOH! Oh yeah! I hate her too! Let’s DO THIS!” <– WHAT IS THAT? That is exhausting is what it is. It is trivial. It is cartoonish. It is a mob mentality. It is placing that which we celebrate celebrities for back upon them, undeservedly. They play fictional or fictionalized versions of people and we praise them for it, but then the moment they do something 5 points shy of perfect we create this narrative of how such a perfect person could have fallen into such distasteful depths. That perception we've created is just as fictional as the characters they play on screen. This whole phenomenon, and Anne Hathaway is not the first to face it, is about people feeling better about themselves by hating on other people, and trying to convince all their friends of it at every possible moment, further aggrandizing their own personal opinion. That's what happens in 6th grade when all your friends decided to stop talking to you for a week . It has no rhyme or reason. It is by definition childish. And it is exhausting. If you don't like something, it feels way better to just smile, nod and move on. Positive (or neutral) emotion SHOULD trump negative emotion.

  • Annika Boet

    This is a lovely piece! I have never understood the hate towards Anne Hathaway since she is one of my favourite actress since I was very very young. (I’ve watched the Princess Diaries at least 20 times, without exaggerating)

    Sometimes I can be jealous when other people are succesful and I’m not. That’s just being an honest selfish person speaking. However being surrounded by great people also inspires to achieve greatness!

  • Benjamin John Spencer

    Awesome article, I agree 100%.
    The strained Oscar speech is totally understandable. She was feeling pressure. It’s a lot of pressure to be up there knowing everyone is judging your every facial expression, especially when you’ve already won every award there is that season and you’re grasping for another way to express your gratitude.
    Some people in that ridiculous, unnatural situation will shut down and put on an “actor” mask. That’s what she did. Others put on their tipsy, tomboy, toss-off-a-quip party girl mask. That’s what Lawrence did (which is very much in fashion). One is not “better” than the other. They are both masks.
    I really can’t understand why in an industry as archaically cruel, discriminatory and sexist as Hollywood, a victory like Hathaway’s is reviled by the very segment of that industry who are often unfairly excluded from its rewards – women. If you think that’s exaggerated, well, do you see any men piling on the Hathaway hate?

    The revilement of Hathaway points out a trend that sometimes afflicts historically discriminated groups – they tend to band together only in opposition to said discrimination and fragment when that paradigm is shifted. They can’t support each others’ successes. It’s discrimination of a different sort, but no less vicious.
    People handle success, and pressure, differently. Just because Hathaway takes her craft seriously (and incidentally, kicks all kinds of ass at it) while Lawrence (an as-yet unproven talent in my estimation) tosses it aside with cracks (a tendency she shares with Meryl Streep), does that mean Hathaway deserves scorn? She is too earnest? Well, who made it the law that everyone must be in hip, ironic, “I could give a shit less” mode all the time? Some people just can’t – they are themselves, and they care a lot, no matter how much people may want them to conform to the current hipster deadpan, ironic pose, “it’s all a joke” mask.
    A mask that is probably utter bullshit, by the way. Odds are Lawrence cares just as much, feels as much pride, and cries in her pillow just as hard when she misfires as Hathaway. She’s just better at hiding it. And this backlash points out why she must hide it. Why risk the backlash from people such as these bloggers (that nobody knows the names of), most of whom could not conceive of having even an ounce of the fortitude you must possess to achieve respect as a serious actor in Hollywood, and yet. have a pathological compulsion to tear down others’ hard-earned success?

  • Sophia Rasmusson

    This is so true!! Everybody that I know is always saying “I hate Anne Hathaway, she’s so snobby!” And so on, but everyone I know is like “OMG!! I like love Jennifer Lawrence(personally I’m not a big fan of her, I’ve been watching Anne Hathaway on screen since before Ella Enchanted, and I’ve always liked her). But what does Jennifer Lawrence do that Anne Hathaway doesn’t?!? Seriously!

  • Ashlea Mask

    I think the personality of Anne vs. Jennifer is simply she is just not as comfortable in the light as Jennifer. Jennifer plays it much better and her authentic self comes out more. It feels Anne is being fake, which I think is something she probably can’t help. A lot of us put on a game face when we are around people. Come on being in front of that many peers, knowing you are being televised to millions of people has got to get to you. But everybody degrading her when they don’t know the true Anne is ridiculous. Think of the simply saying ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover.’

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