Valiantly Varnished Week In Review: Jumping Off The Hater Train

I was a bit on the fence about writing today's post, I must admit. I try to keep things light and fun here on VV, but this has been on my mind in some form all week and so I decided to make it the topic of this week's Week In Review post. After all, sharing our thoughts and ideas is what a blog is for, right? Let me start off by saying that I am a huge celebrity gossip junkie and have been guilty of many of the offenses I will touch on in this post. So what am I talking about exactly? Well I'm talking about being a hater. We've all done it. Reading an article online about a particular celebrity and then making a mean comment about him or her to a friend or even commenting on the article's thread with a withering comment. 

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This past week and a half has been a goldmine for celebrity gossip sites and those (slowly raises hand) who frequent them. Between Kim and Kanye's much-maligned Vogue cover to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announcing their split the comments sections have been crazy. And when I say crazy I really do mean crazy. After reading some truly vicious and mean-spirited comments it has made me ask myself, "When did it become okay to be a mean girl? When did we as a modern and so-called civilized society give the okay to say vile, hateful, ugly things about people? And people we don't actually know at that. Now I get it- lots of people dislike Kim Kardashian, but hate? Do people really and truly hate someone who for all intents and purposes is a stranger? Hate is a strong word. It brings up such vitriolic passion and anger. And yet time and again I see the word used against people for various vague reasons like "I hate her, she's a fame-whore" or "I hate her she's so fake". 
The celebrity "news" story that truly got me thinking about this was the recent announcement of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's split. Gwyneth is another polarizing figure. It was so disturbing (and disgusting) to me to read comments like "she deserves it!" "that's what she gets!" or one person wrote on a thread simply "hahahaha". Once again I ask why all the hate for someone we don't actually know? The issue lies in our celebrity and fame obsessed culture. Reading magazines like US Weekly filled with candid shots of celebs doing banal things like grocery shopping has given us all, I think, the incorrect perception that we actually know these people. We see them so often and we talk about them with familiarity as if they are our next door neighbor or a co-worker. We judge their life choices as if we have the inside scoop on not only their personal lives and relationships but their actual character. Is Gwyneth Paltrow such an awful person that she deserved for her 10 year marriage to break up? Is Kim Kardashian such an awful person that she deserves physical harm to be done to her? And better yet - would we have the courage to say this to someone we did actually know? 
These are all questions that have been bouncing around in my head these last few days. And it's not to wag my finger at anyone that I write this. Like I said, I too have been guilty of it. What I wanted to do is use my own small corner of the interwebs to perhaps start a dialog about it. Can I say that I will never read another bit of celebrity gossip again? Probably not. I will however stop giving myself the okay to be a mean girl about people I don't know and to once and for all jump off the Hater Train.