These celebrities deserve an apology!
Celebrities can sometimes seem like they aren’t real. They are larger-than-life. They’re living grand, luxurious lives, and they mostly exist to entertain us. What do they care if we poke fun at them a little? They won’t even hear us from their Hollywood mansions, right?
Unfortunately, they often do hear us. And hey, it turns out they are real people!
Over the years, there have been plenty of women in Hollywood that were more than just a little teased. They were shown a severe lack of sympathy, held to impossible standards, and downright ridiculed by the public.
I think it’s time that they got a little recognition–and maybe an apology or two.
Remember when the entire world pitted Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears against each other? I know it was started – or at least fueled – by the media. But really, we’re all to blame for perpetuating the weird competition between these two young women.
And from this competition came some really terrible treatment, particularly for Christina Aguilera. Although both were young blondes who had started with The Mickey Mouse Club and ended up at the top of the pop charts, they clearly couldn’t just exist while being so similar to each other. Instead, they needed their own je ne sais quoi so they could compete for attention and album sales.
Britney was the wholesome, corn-fed Midwestern-bred pop princess, while Christina was relegated to the naughtier vixen-esque pop diva.
What was lost in all this feuding and delegating personas? Xtina was just a kid by most people’s standards, hitting the scene at 18. And here she was, having Time declare she looked like a hooker. She was called worse by plenty of people, and it overshadowed her actual talent for many years. Luckily, it seems like people have come around and recognized her real talent as a singer.
By now, we all acknowledge that Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction was Justin Timberlake’s fault, right? The jury is still out (almost 20 years later) on whether or not it was planned out or an “accident,” but there were two people on that stage and Janet took all the heat. The public spewed vitriol.
The double standards here are appalling. The ultra-conservatives were offended, so they felt like they had a right to punish the woman involved – even though she was the victim.
She was unfairly canceled: blacklisted from every major network and banned from industry events. Jackson saw her career tank. JT didn’t see any of those same repercussions. In fact, while she was uninvited from the Grammys, JT received five nominations and was scheduled to perform.
There were a lot of things that happened in Amy Winehouse’s life that led to her early death, and there were certainly plenty of factors that the public could not control. However, the public bears some responsibility for how we treated her while she was struggling.
By the time she was winning Grammys, the soulful singer-songwriter was battling demons, with a public struggle against addiction and an eating disorder. She was clearly unhealthy. She needed help.
Instead of compassion and sympathy, she was met with mockery and judgment from both the media and the public. Winehouse was just a spoiled brat who was willfully ruining her own life. The singer was too thin and ragged looking. She wasn’t ill, she was just doing it to herself with bad choices. There was a clear lack of sympathy over her very real mental health struggles.
Of course, the public’s dismissal, nitpicking, and harsh criticisms didn’t cause her death. But I do think it’s safe to say that it didn’t help, and it certainly wasn’t fair. Winehouse didn’t deserve the treatment she received from the public.
Megan Fox may be pretty, but that doesn’t make her vapid – yet the public sure thinks it does. The actress is the perfect example of how people are quick to stereotype and tear down women based on their looks.
I’m certainly not writing a sob story because Fox wound up with all the good genes. I am, however, pointing out that she’s been treated like dirt by just about everyone because she did. Her entire career was reduced to being sexualized and objectified (even when she was a teen), and she just couldn’t do anything right. She can’t act, she’s just there as eye candy, or she’d do better in the adult film industry.
“It wasn’t just that movie [Jennifer’s Body], it was everyday [sic] of my life, all the time, with every project I worked on and every producer I worked with,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “It preceded a breaking point for me.”
Jessica Simpson has always been as sweet as can be, but that didn’t protect her from the public’s hostility and hatefulness.
She skyrocketed to fame as a pop singer thanks to her impressive vocals. Unfortunately, no one could just leave her be. Instead, they scrutinized her and pitted her against fellow singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
The public also became obsessed with her sex life (or lack thereof) and fetishized her as a “sexy virgin.” No one wanted to leave her alone about it, even though it was a deeply personal decision she made based on her religion. Imagine being asked about your virginity every time you step out in public!
And of course, after she was married, the public still couldn’t stop making fun of her for being a “dumb blonde.” She’s also been criticized for fluctuating weight – even weight gains from pregnancies.
Model and social media maven Chrissy Teigen just can’t catch a break. She’s criticized for her parenting, “oversharing” about her personal life, and even how often she posts pictures of her food. And we can’t forget how much she’s body-shamed, including when her weight was criticized a few months after having a baby.
She regularly takes breaks from social media due to her treatment. Sometimes it feels like the bad outweighs the good.
“It’s hard to just exist as a woman on the internet,” she once told USA TODAY. “We’re just nitpicked and torn apart and it’s just brutal. And I think at the scale that some of us receive it at is just too much for any person to take. And so yeah… when the good outweighs the bad, I will be there.”
Look, if I hear one more conspiracy theory about how Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain…
Courtney Love is still feeling the effects nearly 30 years later after she was labeled the villain in Kurt Cobain’s death. For decades, people have been grasping to link her to the tragedy, completely undermining Cobain’s mental health and substance abuse struggles.
Love was never allowed to be the messy, moody rock star that her husband was idolized for being. She was difficult and opportunistic, never talented and ambitious. Her successes were dismissed or attributed to her husband.
The Olsen Twins
From the time they were babies, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been seen more as commodities than people. It’s also worth noting that they have rarely been talked about as two separate people, rather than two parts of a single entity. And while that’s kind of what I’m doing here, it’s because most of the public scrutiny has come at both of them at the same time.
Together or apart, neither one of them have been allowed to live their personal lives. From fellow college students all the way to awful fellow celebs (looking at you, Spencer Pratt), everyone was willing to sell photos and stories to the tabloids to make a quick buck. Can you blame them for shying away from the public?
And can we also talk about the awful way people treated them as they approached 18? Sure, the tabloids had a hand in this one, with all those creepy headlines counting down to their 18th birthday. But the public certainly joined in to cheer it all on, with some even creating websites to track how far away they were from the age of legal consent in every state.
Widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time and the highest-earning woman athlete of all time, Serena Williams still can’t escape poor treatment from the public. On and off the court, she’s been described with words like “savage,” “masculine,” and “overwhelming.”
Williams has faced plenty of criticism concerning her physical appearance over the years. Her body, her hair, and her fashion choices have long been scrutinized, and there’s always a hint of race and/or class bias under there.
In fact, Williams drew plenty of criticism for wearing a short bodysuit – seriously, a one-piece outfit with shorts that fully covered her torso – to the 2002 US Open. She apparently left “little to the imagination.” She was described as “trashy” and “a working girl of a different sort,” among other colorful insults.
Williams couldn’t even show up at the 2018 French Open in a bodysuit (this time with pants, full coverage down to the ankles!) without being told she was “disrespecting” the game.