We beat up on a lot of celebrities around here. It’s part of our nature. There are certain filmmakers, actors, and even screenwriters that we don’t like and we often go out of our way to rag on them. That hatred is often earned, but sometimes, maybe it goes too far. Not just here, but around the Internet.
However, there are five particular celebrity women for whom the Universe really has developed an irrational hatred. I’m certainly not abdicating responsibility, particularly where one of these women is concerned, and I’m not trying to excuse, justify, or absolve our role. I’m not even suggesting that we’re going to quit. It’s fun to have enemies, and our major villains include one of these women (in addition to Tyler Perry and Michael Bay, for whom maybe we’ve also developed an irrational hatred, but that’s a post for another day).
What I’m really trying to get at with today’s seriously random list is why? Why do we hate these five women so much? Why do we often wish them harm? It’s too easy and misguided to blame it on sexism: That may play a role in some of it (and the characterizations of them as “whores,” “hags,” and “bitches,” doesn’t help) but these five women are generally regarded just as poorly by other women.
I want to explore that hatred, hopefully with a modicum of reason and logic. I’m putting that question to our readers to help explain it, because while we (and by “we,” I mostly mean “me”) may harp on Rainbow Killer more than is warranted or necessary, most of the vitriol directed at the other four women comes from y’all.
5. Jennifer Aniston: Yes, she makes very bad movies (with very few exceptions). And yes, she was at one point married to Brad Pitt. I’m not sure, however, why that makes her such a bad person. She always seems lovely to me in interviews, and while I can’t stand 94 percent of her movies, that’s true of a lot (most) actors. What has Aniston done, really, to deserve our scorn, besides get dumped by Brad Pitt, who most of us like? Is it just her poor script choices or is there something else behind the hate?
4. Sarah Jessica Parker: Per that ongoing thread earlier today, if there was one thing I would ban, it’s the horse analogy (not just for SJP, but Jennifer Garner and Julia Roberts, too. Come on: The latter two, at least, are beautiful women.). The hatred for SJP seems to be almost exclusively aesthetic. Yes, she makes bad movies, and most of us hate the SATC movies. But the criticism is almost always: She’s not attractive, or at least not attractive enough to warrant a series and two movies about sex and fashion. I’m not going to weigh in on that except to say that she made my knees buckle a little in L.A. Story. But can we really base our hatred upon the way a person looks, particularly given how much we love Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi?
3. Gwyneth Paltrow: This one I honestly don’t get, and when her name comes up, it often gets downright nasty. So, she has a holier than thou attitude towards America, at times. Don’t we all at times? I guess that we sort of hate her privileged lifestyle, right? She stumbled into success without really earning it. Is that it? Because of the five people on this list, Paltrow probably has a better filmography than any of the other four, combined (not that that’s saying a lot). I think she’s a great Pepper Potts, and I think she has a pretty decent sense of humor about herself, too. But what do I know?
2. Megan Fox: The Megan Fox hate was fairly well explored last week, after she quit Transformers 3, but I never really got a satisfactory reason for why. I actually respect her more for quitting Transformers and for calling out Michael Bay, although getting the part by washing Bay’s car — as she suggested — doesn’t exactly win her any likability points. She unabashedly uses her looks to get her parts, but is that really a reason to hate her? And if it’s really because she’s not a very good actress, then why does that make her a “whore”?
1. Katherine Heigl: The most common adjective I see connected to Heigl is “mouthy,” which is probably unfair. I think many of us developed our initial distaste for Heigl because of the confluence of two things: Her mostly unlikable character on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and the way she spoke out against Knocked Up and Judd Apatow (a criticism that might have seemed more credible if she did not, herself, follow up Knocked Up with a series of shrewish, stereotypical female roles). For my part, it’s largely visceral: It’s not that I don’t think Heigl is attractive (she is, by any traditional standard), it’s the way she comports herself and a certain unearned self-righteousness she seems to possess. I dislike her because her every expression seems to suggest that she’s better than I am. Maybe that’s just weird insecurity. I dunno. Mostly, though: I just hate her movies, and with as much pull as she has in Hollywood, I’d like to think she could do better.