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Why We Can’t Stand Anne Hathaway

DISCLAIMER: I loved the Princess Diaries.

The story about quirky, frizzy, albeit charming Mia Thermopolis gave me and every other pre-teen at least a tiny inkling that Julie Andrews might show up unannounced to tell us we were princesses, too. Mia was flawed, in retrospect quite deeply, but that’s what made the Princess Diaries feel like it could have actually happened. For that, I give Anne Hathaway credit.

Some of her movies were box office flops—One Day and Get Smart were particularly painful—and they could have been career ending. Yet Anne Hathaway starred in hugely successful flicks beyond the PDs like the Devil Wears Prada and Rachel Getting Married. I loved these movies, too. My feelings about the former Princess of Genovia, however, had gone sour.

And it wasn’t just me. In the interim, in addition to making some questionable career choices, her former boyfriend was indicted for a ponzi scheme and she had royally sucked as an Oscar host in 2011. But that wasn’t why I, along with so many others, started to dislike her. James Franco hosted the same Oscars, reprised roles on General Hospital, and is often too-stoned-to-function but we would still date him (duh). How did Anne Hathaway get on all of our bad sides?

Because she never stops acting. The overstated graciousness and humility make us feel like the cameras never stop rolling for her. At every award show this season she had the opportunity to win back her audience’s affection. If she had said something that reminded her critics that she’s a human and not method acting 24/7, we might have shut up. Instead she tried to be funnier than Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and said stuff like “It came true!” when she accepted her awards. Take a page out of Jennifer Lawrence’s book. She admitted to being tipsy and behaved more or less like a train wreck at the winner’s press reception. BUT IT WAS REAL and as viewers we can look at her and appreciate that she’s not so different from us (read: we are also train wrecks).

The internet is a buzz with critics and defenders of Anne Hathaway. Those who come to her defense make a sound argument that women shouldn’t put down other women who are successful and thus advancing the feminist cause. I hear that. But feminists also reject the idea that women should have to project an image of perfection, and in my opinion Anne Hathaway tries to convince us that she’s perfect from the time she wakes up in the morning to the time she goes to bed at night. Flawed, awkward Anne Hathaway circa that Princess Diaries didn’t try so hard and we appreciated that. We related to that.

Disliking Anne Hathaway doesn’t make me an anti-feminist. It makes me a human—something she might consider trying.

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