‘This is why I hate kYLIE JENNER and you should TOO’.
Almost everyone has, at one point in their lives, wanted to be famous. It is a side-effect of the human condition: the need to be seen, recognized and above all, widely loved. But a common con of being a celebrity is the hate. As it turns out, hate sells and we love hate.
The Hot Woman That We Love To Hate
Hate is a hefty word, and if we think about it, there’s no one we truly feel about that way, from among the people we are surrounded by. But when it comes to the people that we only see on a screen, hate becomes a common emotion. Now I’m not talking about the kind of hate that is reserved for people who are genuinely horrible human beings like R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein, etc. I’m talking about the kind that is specially reserved for “hot” women. The kind of women, we believe, who don’t deserve their success. Case in point, the Kardashian/Jenner clan. Reputed publications have given their two cents on why it is perfectly okay to hate the sisters. Forbes’ article about Kylie Jenner’s cancelled billionaire status was a marvel of bad journalism. Forbes itself took no responsibility for its botched research and the author of the article seemed to have a personal vendetta against the 23-year-old. In the past 6 days, Buzzfeed has released an astounding 6 articles about Khloe Kardashian’s leaked bikini photo, none of them good. In the era of a global pandemic, did Khloe’s body deserve 6 journalists’ talents? It even has a weekly newsletter, Please Like Me, “about how influencers are battling for your attention”.
More examples in Hollywood include Megan Fox, Paris Hilton, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, most recently, Madison Beer and various TikTok stars. Closer to home, we have Katrina Kaif, Urvashi Rautela, even Sunny Leone. They are packaged as sex symbols, and the audience usually discards and disregards them as “bimbos” who are only to be looked at, but not seen. It is not to say that the women themselves don’t profit from this image. In fact, many of these celebrities have shown an incredible awareness of their platforms, reclaimed and sometimes even transformed this image. Neither do I mean that male celebrities don’t suffer at the hands of alarming and inexplicable hatred for their good looks, but there is a special vehemence reserved for the female counterpart. In the article “Lena Dunham is a hugely original writer. Who cares if she’s a good person?”, journalist Martha Gill explores Lena Dunham, another popular celebrity to hate, albeit not for her looks, but her privilege. She writes, “part of the reason women get more grief on the internet and in media is because the perpetrators assume they will mind it more.” On why women are often in front of the firing line, Christopher Rosa says, “It’s an offensive trope as old as time, and the reason for it is even older: Men don’t have to be perfect. But women do.”
From Teenage Bombshell To A Train-wreck
There have been several female celebrities who have been titled a “train-wreck” over the years. The mother of them all is Britney Spears. Her 2007 public meltdown was the direct consequence of the media’s obsession with female failures, the effect of which can be felt even now, more than a decade later. Rosa writes, there’s “a feverish obsession with male stars’ taut physiques, and an even more feverish obsession with female failures. Failure, specifically female failure, is big business in Hollywood.” Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus are some other very popular females who have been trashed in the Hollywood media sphere as “train-wrecks”. These “train-wrecks” had priorly been “teenage bombshells”. Going from being a teenager to a functioning adult is a hard transition in everyone’s lives, and these celebrities had to go through this private transition under a public microscope.
Their lives are too accessible and our judgments too easy. It’s time we start considering celebrities as flawed human beings and extend their mistakes the same consideration and understanding as we would do, sans their wealth and fame.
Nidhi is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Varda Ahmad
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.