Remember when the entire world pitted Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears against each other? 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.
By now, we all acknowledge that Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction was Justin Timberlake’s fault, right? The jury is still out 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. She was unfairly canceled: blacklisted from every major network and banned from industry events.
There were a lot of things that happened in Amy Winehouse’s life that led to her early death, and there were factors that the public could not control. However, the public bears some responsibility for how we treated her while she was struggling. Instead of compassion and sympathy, she was met with mockery and judgment from both the media and the public.
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.”
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. Her successes were dismissed or attributed to her husband.
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 can we also talk about the awful way people treated them as they approached 18?
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.