The Anne Hathaway renaissance

This article has been a long time coming. If you have any internet presence at all, you will have probably noticed that a certain — former — people’s princess has re-entered her time in the spotlight, and that member of Hollywood royalty is Anne Hathaway.

I have been watching the Anne Hathaway Renaissance unfold on Twitter for months now, and it has been so interesting to watch. High fashion accounts fawning over her red carpet looks and film accounts constantly reposting her interviews — and praising her perfect bangs. But what spurred this — welcomed — Hathaway appreciation on?

Let me take you back on a little journey to May of 2022 — the most clear inception point I can identify when tracing back through the screenshots in my camera roll.

It was the day of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, where Hathaway was attending the premiere of her new film “Armageddon Time.” I remember the day all too well, as my phone became inundated with people reacting to the ethereal being that was Hathaway on that giant, outdoor red carpet.

Dressed in a custom, two-piece Armani Privé white sequined gown, Hathaway was effortlessly taking over the carpet. From her casually draped matching sequin shawl to her perfectly blown-back curtain bangs, Hathaway was the image of cool, calm beauty. But the real draw, however, was that it felt like she was not trying at all.

The Cannes Film Festival also marked her debut as one of the new brand ambassadors for Bulgari, with Hathaway wearing a massive sapphire pendant necklace from the brand — a refreshing choice in a fashion world currently obsessed with boring bare necks on the red carpet, for some reason. 

Just days later, Bulgari introduced their campaign “Unexpected Wonders,” starring Hathaway and Zendaya, further establishing Hathaway as one to watch among the most popular style stars of the moment.

The look that confirmed Hathaway was not a one-hit fashion wonder, however, came in July 2022 when she wore a pink, sequined Valentino mini dress to the brand’s Haute Couture Show in Paris. She was also wearing matching pink ultra-platform heels — the true tell that her stylist has a finger on the fashion trend pulse.

But enough about fashion, because it is now time to address the elephant in the room: When did the internet apparently stop hating Hathaway?

I know, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could hate the woman who gifted us classics like “The Princess Diaries” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” but let me take you back to the year of 2013 — the beginning of the unwarranted “Hathahate.”

At the 85th Academy Awards, Hathaway won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Fantine in “Les Misérables.” Everyone knew the statuette would go to her, as she had dominated all of the award shows leading up to that night, so her eloquently grateful and breathless acceptance speech apparently rubbed people the wrong way.

That moment was the tipping point — after a months-long award campaign of building superficial criticism — that caused the internet to open the floodgates of online hate directed at Hathaway. They claimed she was “always putting on a show,” “contrived,” “pretentious” and “overcompensating emotionally.”

But the problem didn’t lie with Hathaway — she did nothing wrong. The problem laid with our society being uncomfortable with a woman good at her job, confident in her abilities and still awed by her success — no matter how long she had been in the industry or how much she rightfully deserved it.

Hathaway has since reflected on that experience while being honored at Elle’s 29th Women in Hollywood event: 

“Ten years ago, I was given an opportunity to look at the language of hatred from a new perspective,” Hathaway said. “For context, this was a language I had employed with myself since I was seven. And when your self-inflicted pain is suddenly, somehow amplified back at you at, say, the full volume of the internet — it’s a thing.”

So, while I am eagerly enjoying the love the internet is showing my forever queen, Hathaway, I hope her praised red carpet looks do not somehow cause the internet to ignore the turmoil she was put through by those very same hands — history that is still being repeated for women in Hollywood today.