Why do women all seem to hate Keira Knightley? No, really, I know you do. I’m curious about why, though. Because personally, I like her quite a lot.
A while ago, our friend Tyler Coates over at Blackbook wrote a piece questioning the Keira Knightley hatred saying:
I don’t mean to be a Dude Who Calls Out Women here, but the criticisms I hear about Knightley’s failings here are generally reduced to “she sucks” or “her chin is too big.” Yeah, sure, she has a prominent chin. But that’s like saying that Christina Hendricks is a shitty actress because of her tits, no? Isn’t there something deeper here that we can point our fingers at? I mean, compared to other figures who receive well-documented vitriol (Zooey Deschanel or Gwyneth Paltrow, to name just two examples), Keira Knightley hardly does anything annoying. She doesn’t have any lifestyle websites, and she doesn’t make an attempts at a music career. All she has done, really, is been in pretty good movies and done pretty good jobs in all of them.
And those aren’t just regular people Tyler hears that “her chin is too big” comment from, either. A reviewer in The Guardian said that Keira would be, in part, unable to play Anna Karenina effectively because “there’s no getting around it, there’s the jaw thing.” As though a somewhat strong jaw renders acting impossible.
One commenter replied to Tyler’s piece, “she is beautiful but also has bitch face. That is why. No article needed.”
Well, wow, that is an awful reason. That is not a real thing, and that is the kind of logic that demands that women wear rictus grins at all times regardless of how they are feeling. And have plastic surgery to “improve” their already ridiculously beautiful faces.
Meanwhile, most of the criticisms I’ve heard of her fall along the lines of “Anna Karneina wouldn’t have had that body type.” Which, no, I suppose she would not have, because they did not have SoulCycle or whatever Keira Knightley does, in 19th century Russia. Anna also would not likely have had all of her teeth.
People did indeed, look different through much of history. They do not look that way in movies because we demand our movie stars look a certain way and criticize them relentlessly if they do not. I don’t think in a culture in which female celebrities are mocked for having any cellulite at all on the cover of national magazines you can fault any woman in the public eye for attempting to maintain a thin frame. It may not be achievable for a lot of people - especially if they lived in previous centuries – but we hear about many, many actresses adhering to strict dietary regimens.
And it seems to me that it’s just plain not consistent to dislike someone for having an unusual frame, especially since most women seem to love Christina Hendricks and her frame is equally unachievable for most people.
Is that really a reason we hate Keira Knightley? Because she seems to have a slender frame? That’s a terrible reason to hate her. Hell, that’s a terrible reason to hate anyone.