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So Now Everyone Loves Anne Hathaway

Anne was always beautiful and always talented. But now on top of that, her ageless appearance is being conflated with being sweet and interesting and aspirational. Because she has attained a new level of beauty and stopped giving interviews about how she lost weight by giving up cheese in favor of radishes, her talent is palatable.

The narrative has changed: Suddenly the unpopular girl is the queen bee, the underdog is the top dog, the mousy loser has become the shiny-haired winner. How could Anne ever be seriously referred to as unpopular or a loser or an underdog? She anchored her first Disney blockbuster, The Princess Diaries, before she turned 20. She has starred in rom-coms, superhero franchises, space epics, musicals, and indies, and rarely gotten a bad review. She won an Oscar and an Emmy and a Golden Globe and a lifetime of being reproduced in memes with Meryl Streep, thanks to The Devil Wears Prada. She has rarely had a bad review. Her costars gush about her. Clearly, critics, movie executives, fashion designers, celebrities, and many, many fans love Anne Hathaway.

That just leaves one group: people who are loud online. This divide demonstrates both the limits of internet culture as a mirror of real life, and also its power. Anne’s lack of popularity on the web hasn’t been able to keep her from major opportunities, but it has become a cultural phenomenon of its own right. She has the dubious distinction of being able to say that the year that she won an Oscar and starred in a blockbuster smash – Les Misérables – was a nadir in her popularity. 

“I did have the internet turn on me and hate me and it was like a whole big thing,” she said last year, of the aftermath of winning the Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2013. Her whimpered “It came true!” upon holding her Oscar statuette has been echoed cruelly as an example of goody-goody preciousness ever since. She said she once came across a video titled, “Why Do People Hate Anne Hathaway?”

Jason Merritt/TERM

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