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The main charge is not that Anne Hathaway is untalented or undeserving of celebrity. It’s an issue with her perceived personality. She has been labeled annoying, somehow both over-eager and smug, try-hard but also weirdly honest, un-funny. Consider this 2015 exchange between two hosts of the radio show Dish Nation, when the name “Anne Hathaway” came up.

Host one: I love her.

Host two: You love her, but I guess there are a lot of people—there are actually people called “Hathahaters.”

Host one: –‘Cause she’s so awesome.

Host two: No, I think it’s because they think she thinks she’s so awesome.

It’s textbook—one person is a vehement defender, the other is, under the guise of rationality, trying to catch her somehow tricking us. These critiques are clearly based to some degree in her gender. “The anti-Hathers were a stark reminder that public-facing women aren’t allowed to want things, or they’ll be sentenced to an eternity in internet hell,” Jill Gutowitz wrote in Vice in 2019. “The baseless hate was textbook misogyny.”

It’s true that Hathaway’s public tone seems to awake some ancient internal anxiety about gender. No male celebrity in recent memory has cooked up this flavor of public disdain. (Ed Sheeran might be the closest—he is a writer, so critiques of his lyrics are more fair game when it comes to analyzing his character than critiques of Hathaway’s tossed off red carpet quotes.) Vitriol towards Hathaway seems to stream from the same source as vitriol towards Katherine Heigl, and to some degree, Jennifer Lawrence. Famous people are, in general, eager to please, attention-seeking perfectionists, since that is what pays for their jets and property portfolios. One of Hathaway’s crimes seems to be that she doesn’t disguise this longing as successfully as her peers. She isn’t “chill.” She gets emotional.

There is sexism implicit in collective hatred towards Anne Hathaway. But surely the end-game of sexism isn’t that no woman should ever be called annoying. Male celebrities get called annoying. Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost titled his memoir A Very Punchable Face because, well, it’s true. Benedict Cumberbatch’s hotness or lack thereof has been discussed publicly enough to surely drive him into a few hundred hours of extra therapy. Justin Bieber, for all the adoration he receives, has also been roasted to a crisp. The difference is that male celebrities get to have obvious flaws and still be widely beloved. They get to age. They get to say dumb things and be forgiven.

Anne Hathaway’s fans were always right about her talent. Her new fans like her because she finally seems perfect.

Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on Twitter. 



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