When obsession becomes hate: Our faves' girlfriends should be treated with kindness
There's a new romance on the horizon but many fans aren't so happy with the pairing. Harry Styles, British pop star and former One Direction band member, was seen kissing model and actress Emily Ratajkowski in a fan-filmed video. Coincidentally, both Styles and Ratajkowski have just gotten out of a long-term relationship.
Styles reportedly called it quits on his love affair with director Olivia Wilde after almost two years. Ratajkowski, on the other hand, just finalized her divorce from her ex-husband and film producer Sebastian Bear-McClard.
When Daily Mail released the video of the pair kissing, a barrage of hate was sent to Ratajkowski, criticizing her for her so-called awful dancing and saying that her kiss with Styles gave the "ick."
This formulation of hate seems pretty similar to what Wilde received when she first started dating Styles. Any chance that the "Harries" could get, they'd bombard Wilde with hate comments on social media, citing anything they could to make her seem like the bad guy.
Much criticism was leveled at Wilde for leaving her long-time partner, Jason Sudeikis. But plenty of men in Hollywood have left and cheated on wives and girlfriends, and they usually get away with it without scrutiny from the internet. Maybe that's just because they're not dating Styles.
We see this time and time again, male stars get praised just because they're famous and good-looking, but the second they reveal their girlfriend to the public, their new partner receives an influx of hate simply because they're dating someone’s celebrity crush.
First and foremost, though the internet likes to baby male celebrities, Styles and others are grown men, perfectly capable of deciding who they want to date.
But when looking at the big picture, it's evident that misogyny is to blame for this phenomenon of hating "the girlfriend." This is ironic, considering Styles consistently preaches kindness to all. It seems like his fans pick and choose what aspects of Styles' philosophy to follow, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of their possible (although completely imaginary) romantic relationship with him.
Celebrity crush culture has gone to a whole new level with celebrity edits and fan fiction. Although it's usually innocent, it can easily cross boundaries. Fans, especially young ones, can become extremely possessive over a celeb they've never even met.
This obsessive behavior is often perpetuated and encouraged by marketing that simulates a personal relationship between the artist and their followers. A big example of this with Styles was the "Night Changes" music video with his old band, One Direction.
The popular music video depicts each of the band members on a date via POV camerawork. This way, fans can imagine themselves on a date with one of the singers. Fun for some, but for others, it only feeds into the delusion that fans could have a chance with one of the boys.
Due to this culture of obsession, when a woman enters the picture, fans tear her down. Fans have this feeling that new partners are snatching away any possibility of a relationship with their idol. But in reality, there was never any chance of such a romance to begin with.
Another example of this is Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Bieber has such a strong and loyal fanbase, so when he began to date Gomez, fans raged against her. Not only did they ridicule her looks and talents, but they sent death threats to Gomez all because of their obsession with Bieber.
Male celebrities, like Styles and Bieber, have become too glorified and obsessed over. Sure, their music is great and there's nothing wrong with having a celebrity crush, but the treatment of their girlfriends is disgusting.
And if you consider yourself a fan of someone and their work, shouldn't you be happy for them when they find someone? Instead of sending hate to someone just because they're dating your fave, we should take the time to see what they have to offer. I think you’ll find that they are intelligent, creative and inspiring women separately from the men they choose to date.