Everyone has them: the actress who appears on screen and immediately creates a feeling of repulsion. You hate her vehemently, but can't explain why. Which actress tops your list, and just why does this phenomenon exist?
I had a run-in with my most irrationally hated actress lately when the trailer for Unknown came up at the movies the other day. And there it was: January Jones' face. I fucking hate that face. I don't like it on Mad Men, one of my favorite shows, and I certainly do not like it here. I think when it appeared, I actually let out an audible, "Ugh." And it's not like January Jones did anything to me. She's never said anything in an interview or done anything in public that I find offensive. She's not ugly or annoying or dating a man I find particularly attractive. I'm not a fan of her acting, but there are plenty of actresses who are lousy who I don't hate like I hate January.
And this isn't hate for a reason. I hate Katherine Heigl, but that's mostly because she is always making bad movies, bitching about Judd Apatow being sexist, quitting her TV show for no good reason, being obnoxious in interviews, and just being generally annoying. I hate Kate Hudson because I believe that she has been unnecessarily thrust upon us by Hollywood because of her famous parents. Oh, and Katie Holmes, because she seems to have sold her soul to the devil (in this case, Scientology) for a life of fame and luxury. Or maybe I just can't stand the name Kate in any of its permutations.
But for every actress I justifiably hate, there are others I can't stand for no good reason. Next on the list: Renee Zellweger. She's made a couple decent movies (and some stinkers) but learning that her ball of dough face is going to be in a movie guarantees it will not get my $12.50. Jessica Biel is also right up there. Easy Virtue is a great movie (Netflix it!), but man, I hate that Jessica Biel. Maybe it's because she's in the world's worst movie, Valentine's Day, or maybe it's because she dates Justin Timberlake, but I can't stand her. I don't even know anything else about her than that, and I do not want to learn any more.
It's funny because there are people out there who love—maybe as irrationally—the actresses that I hate. And while I love Amy Adams or Sandra Bullock despite their flaws (and poor performances), there are plenty of others who have them on their "Vomit List." It seems like every actress is susceptible to being either worshiped or reviled, without rhyme or reason. Well, except Meryl Streep. If you don't love Meryl, you have no soul.
Society, in general, is trained to judge women more harshly—especially on their looks, talent, and behavior—than men. If a man took a cab ride of shame, we'd just roll our eyes and call him a douche. But if January Jones does it, we hate her. Sure, there are actors we hate just as much as these ladies (Jeremy Piven comes to mind), but our most intense feelings and cattiness are saved for the women.
Maybe it's because all actresses, especially the lesser known ones, are cyphers. They are pretty people that we can reflect our feelings and prejudices on. What I hate about January Jones is what I hate about myself, or maybe what I see in January (a lack of talent) I feel is also true of myself and that makes me hate her. The same goes for Renee and Jessica—I associate them with my own negative traits or unfounded fears, and that makes me shun them.
Let's not forget, hating is so much easier and so much more fun than than loving. Finding creatively mean things to say about January Jones' Emmy dress can amuse for hours, but saying you like something she wore is so boring. There's only one way to say that!
So, let's have it: which actress makes you recoil at the very sight of her? Feel free to explain it, if you can. But don't worry if you can't. Sometimes these things are just irrational.
[Images via Getty]