Why do Harry Styles fans hate Olivia Wilde?

It was never going to be easy being Harry Styles’ girlfriend.

We’ve seen what happens to women in the public eye who dare to date an international idol over the past few decades and not much has changed. Still, no one would fault Olivia Wilde for being surprised by the sheer nastiness of certain subsets of the internet when it was revealed that she had teamed up with Styles after filming their movie. don’t worry darling. The actress-director, who was previously in a long-term relationship with Jason Sudeikis, has been thoroughly lambasted on social media and plot-adjacent gossip blogs for her romance.

Take a look on social media and you’ll see a fascinating and exhaustive barrage of anger towards Wilde that goes from petty to downright dangerous.

When the news first emerged in January last year, Wilde was forced to limit comments on her Instagram page after being inundated with negative messages. As noted BuzzFeed, Wilde was told she should be “ashamed” that she “stole” Styles and that their relationship was “embarrassing”. Some particularly vocal Styles fans accuse her of being a bad mother who abandoned her children for a new boyfriend. The Tumblr Tag #fauxlivia harbors much of that, along with accusations that Wilde is “fake,” a “leech,” and only with Styles for attention.

Nudes have been posted several times along with other shameful remarks about the body and the slut. A intimate video showing a woman who appeared to be Wilde (whose authenticity has never been confirmed) has gone viral on social media, shared by Styles obsessives. She faced huge ageism and summer accused of grooming him because of their 10-year age gap (forgetting the fact that Styles isn’t a kid and is now 30.)

Discussions were gathered offering exhaustively detailed “evidence” of Wilde’s various misdeeds, listing everything from questionable old tweets to “blackface to look very tanned in a photo shoot. She was also criticized for wearing a James Brown T-shirt, as he had been accused of domestic violence against his wife.

A blog claimed she “attracts delinquents” because she has worked with or been photographed near Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner. A particularly cruel viral tweet smarmily said Wilde “gives the same vibes as Amber Heard”, citing the recent hate campaign against the latter as reason to be wary of their latest target.

A 2015 Defame Article about Harvey Weinstein claimed that Weinstein “offered a threesome” with a model “between the two of them and Olivia Wilde” in exchange for an acting job. It was armed by many style fans as evidence that Wilde collaborated with Weinstein or was a predator on the same scale as him. The hashtag #timesupolivia has been used to spread the most insidious hate, including repeatedly comparing Wilde to a sexual predator and positioning Styles as his victim. It is better for these people to imagine their idol as a traumatized prisoner rather than an autonomous being.

It should be noted that many Styles fans have spoken out in favor of Wilde, calling out the abuse and condemning the tactics used to hurt her. The anger this subset represents is not indicative of the beliefs of the entire fandom. Often they are a minority, although they are extremely loud and well organized and attract attention. Still, the fact that such responses exist says a lot about how people in the public eye are engaged in a fan battle where the goalposts are always on the move.

For his part, Wilde hasn’t directly discussed these attacks and has kept his romance with Styles, unsurprisingly, fairly low-key. What she is experiencing is, alas, not a new phenomenon. Name a famous couple from the last century in Hollywood lore and it won’t take you long at all to find excessive amounts of bullying directed at one of them, usually the wife, from Elizabeth Taylor to Cybill Shepherd in through Angelina Jolie and beyond. Wilde, in this sense, joins a “proud” line of shamed women. But in the age of social media and the ever-blurring lines between celebrities and fans, it’s hard to ignore the specific volume of what she’s up against.

The hostility towards Wilde is a two-pronged demonstration of how celebrity relationships inspire certain types of fan anger: First, there’s the typical misogyny of a woman who dares to date a male star who is adored by a predominantly female fan base; and then there are the conspiracies surrounding said star insisting he is actually in a secret relationship with someone else. In this case, Styles has been the subject of numerous unsubstantiated claims that he has a long-term partnership with former One Direction fellow member Louis Tomlinson.

The Larry Stylinson theory fueled many fanfictions, with micro-analyzed videos to prove their secret love, which was kept in the dark by the insidious powers of Simon Cowell, their record label and the shady force known only as “PR” . Despite One Direction being on indefinite hiatus and Tomlinson having a son with an ex-partner, the plot has never died down. Tomlinson even lamented the way back in 2012 that such paranoia strained her and Styles’ friendship, but her plea to the fans to stop only fueled their fantasy further.

Any woman who dares to come between this imaginary love faces harsh consequences. And again, it’s not unique to Olivia Wilde, who has been accused of being the last beard or a cruel woman with whom he was forced into a public romance. Such conspiracies are now shockingly commonplace in many fandoms.

And again, the lion’s share of this cruelty is directed at the woman in the relationship. Consider how Benedict Cumberbatch’s wife, director Sophie Hunter, was the subject of ridiculous conspiracies claiming she trapped her famous husband in a loveless marriage with children who weren’t his or hers. his. realistic dolls. Singer FKA Twigs has spoken candidly on social media about the racism and misogyny she endured while dating Robert Pattinson from fans who believed him to be married. Dusk co-star Kristen Stewart. Amelie Warnerthe composer wife of 50 shades of gray star Jamie Dornan, has faced similarly despicable treatment from his fans and those who are convinced his true love is co-starring Dakota Johnson. Look for a heterosexual celebrity couple and chances are the woman is the one getting all the hate.

There are rare exceptions to this. Recently, images of actress Florence Pugh enjoying a vacation with the former Midsommar co-star Will Poulter sent fans into a frenzy of excitement who speculated that she had left partner Zach Braff for the ffuture adam warlock. Pugh had previously called out her fans for “throwing abuse, being horrible and basically bullying someone” on her Instagram page, and she was forced to respond once again to deny Poulter’s claims. That hasn’t stopped people from making cruel comments about Braff, even though Pugh said“It doesn’t matter what your opinion is about who I should or shouldn’t be with, at the end of the day, if you compliment someone by stalking another person… you’re just intimidating them.”

The attack tactics these celebrities face are remarkably similar across the board. The same arguments are used over and over again: look at body language that is obviously uncomfortable and hides the truth; this is all a nefarious plan imposed by an evil PR firm; their true loves wait for the right moment to reveal everything; and it’s all hugely convoluted and secret that only a handful of fans are smart enough to see through. That’s certainly a more shrewd justification for hating garden strains than just admitting you don’t like the person’s partner.

These days, it doesn’t seem satisfying for fans to just say they don’t like someone’s other half. Instead, they offer justifications that depend on declaring their target as “problematic.”

Wilde and Braff position themselves as predators for dating youngsters. She must secretly be the worst person in the world, a callous manipulator who pushes Styles away from his true love. His “crimes”, whether genuine or based on totally bad faith conjecture, are listed and shared like a rap sheet, and anyone who questions this tactic must totally support all the horrible things that ever happen. In this kind of hostile atmosphere, there’s no way for Wilde to just be herself, let alone Harry Styles’ girlfriend. Women like her are turned into all-powerful villains capable of anything by this hatred, while their favorites are infantilized into lifeless toys defined by near-parodic levels of pain.

Celebrities unfortunately have to consider the most astonishing acts of cruelty a professional hazard. Part of being famous is being bound to have complete strangers who see every aspect of your life as fair game for the most inexplicable slanders, misunderstandings, and fictions. The whole concept of celebrity encourages audiences to project their own ideas, concerns, and fantasies onto others, until they are less people and more talking vessels. When the fantasy is shattered, many people become angry with whoever forced them back into reality.

Olivia Wilde is just one of many to experience this furor, and it seems unlikely to end anytime soon. Faces may change but the cycle will continue.



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