But it is interesting though to note how rare it is that we turn against a male celebrity. After thinking about it for a full day, I really couldn’t name one. However I could think of a few men who are far more exposed than Jennifer Lawrence, yet safe from the fear of backlash. Take Justin Timberlake as an example. In the past year he’s released TWO albums, taken Late Night with Jimmy Fallon hostage twice, starred in a (horrible) movie, hosted Saturday Night Live and performed a tribute to himself at the 2013 VMAs. Yet ladies still love him. While I’m personally done with his ego, I’m pretty sure that most people are still at the “can’t get enough” stage. Which is insane. If any female celebrity dared to do what he did this year, she’d be lambasted as being an attention whore who’s desperate for fame.
Or take someone like Chris Brown as another example as how much a male celebrity can do before we turn against him. This guy literally beat his girlfriend up so badly that she ended up in the hospital and he’s still popular. In fact, one of the most popular performers we have today. He write an incredibly egotistical album called “Forgiving All My Enemies” and the Grammys welcome him back with open arms. Yet Anne Hathaway makes a few awkward acceptance speeches and we, the media and the public, prepare to stone her. Can you imagine if she’d made that Meryl Streep comment that Jennifer Lawrence made last year? She’d be living under another identity by now for being bold enough to recognize her own talent. Oh wait, she did go MIA after last year’s award season, likely in hopes that we’ll forget how much we hated her. And don’t worry, I’m including Crushable among those haters. Like everyone else, we got caught up in the mob mentality last winter. Like everyone else, we couldn’t quite rationalize our hatred, but we went for it anyways. Shockingly, we’re not always perfect.
So what can we do to fix this? The middle school girl who lives inside of my brain recommends that we be more proactive about taking down successful men. But the part of my brain that actually would like to contribute something good to the world thinks that maybe we should stop with all the backlash. Men, women, even grumpy cats.
With that said, I don’t think that we should stop criticizing women for the sake of girl power. I firmly believe that part of being a feminist is saying the same thing to a woman that I would to a man, good or bad. But what I can do — and what everyone can do — is be more aware of why we’re criticizing a woman and why we’re contributing to the backlash. Is it because she did something wrong or said something offensive, or is it because she’s more successful than us? If it’s the latter and not the former, I advise you to remember what Cady Heron once said, “Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you. “