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To thine own self be true, Anna.
Not trying to pit women against women here, but goddamn, I hate Anna Kendrick’s Twitter. She presents herself as kind, funny, and above all else, deeply normal. She shamelessly panders to the “Stars! They’re Just Like Us” mentality. We can see her trying very hard to be as accessible and relatable as humanly possible.
Oh God. I just realized I’m stuck with me my whole life.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) May 26, 2015
Hehe! See! Anna Kendrick also suffers from the requisite self-loathing that accompanies human existence!
Hehe! See! Anna Kendrick is winging it just like the rest of us are!
Hehe! See! Anna Kendrick used to be poor! You’re also poor! (Hehehe!)
Hehe! See! Anna Kendrick is ugly, just like you!
Hehe! See! Anna Kendrick is socially awkward, just like you!
Serious question: how much are wedding cakes? And how weird would it be if I wanted to buy one just to eat? By myself?
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) August 9, 2015
Hehe! See! Anna Kendrick loves to pig out! You love to pig out too! Twinsies!
OK. I’m being too hard on her. I actually like Anna Kendrick, and I hope she doesn’t fall victim to Anne Hathaway syndrome. But she should also acknowledge that she is not just like you. She is a movie star. She is rich as hell. She might feel like a weirdo at parties, but the bottom line is that everyone is probably clamoring to talk to her because she’s famous as fuck.
What it comes down to is this: on Twitter, Kendrick presents herself as the quintessential Chill Girl, a variation of author Gillian Flynn’s concept of the Cool Girl. In her thriller Gone Girl, Flynn writes:
Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot.
The Cool Girl and the Chill Girl are not the same thing, but they’re sisters. As Alana Massey points out in her article, “Against Chill,” “…the ‘Cool Girl’ has no Chill. She likes [her boyfriend] far too much and lets it show.” The Chill Girl is certainly allowed to be neurotic—after all, the Chill Girl must be quirky/interesting enough to be talked about—but she can only be neurotic in a cute way (i.e., in a way that appeals to men).
Anna Kendrick’s approachable chillness sets her up to be the perfect movie star: She is hot but not too hot. She is famous but not conceited about it. She tweets like this:
It’s cute how I used to think this “barely-holding-it-together” feeling was temporary.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) February 17, 2015
… And five days later, she posts a picture of herself and Jack Black at the Oscars. Yep, she’s for sure teetering on the edge of an existential abyss!
Kendrick is the embodiment of the Every Girl as celebrity. For the straight man, she is the dream girl. You can bro out with her, she’ll throw you some snappy zingers about her insecurities, but never impose her actual anxiety onto you. She is delicately feminine, yet tweets things like:
STAR WARS!!!!! Language and emojis fail to express what’s in my heart at this moment.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) November 28, 2014
What I don’t like about Kendrick (and about Chill Girls in general) is what I perceive as a lack of sincerity. I’m OK with Anna Kendrick thinking she’s hot shit, because she is hot shit. She’s an amazing actress and singer. I guess what I’m saying is: cut the phony humility, Anna. Cut the chill shit. Be the badass goddess diva you are!
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Eve Peyser is a writer and comedian based in New York. She has published bylines in Esquire, the Washington Post, Gizmodo, and GQ, and she works as a staff politics and culture writer at Vice.