Kristen Stewart has had a hard few weeks. Not only has she been forced to cope with constant tabloid scrutiny following her cheating scandal with married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, but she also has to deal with something far more difficult to stomach: absolute, unfettered hatred. Of course, brutal detractors have been around as long as the famous people they hate (let's face it: there were probably thousands who thought Betsy Ross was awful and couldn't sew), but Stewart is living during the age of the Internet, when hatred flows as rapidly as misspellings.
Case in point: This new shirt — sold online — which is causing scandal for reading, "Kristen Stewart Is a Trampire." It's a message that's working up Stewart loyalists for being undeniably mean-spirited — but it's hardly the only message on the Web that calls out the young star for entering a moral gray zone that many her own age enter. Just search for Stewart's name on Twitter, every tween's favorite over-sharing tool (that's not Tumblr), and you'll find detractors lining up like it's the opening of the final Twilight movie. "Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson. They're both ugly." "I'm not surprised that Kristen Stewart cheated on Whatshisface. I'm just surprised she did it with a guy." "Me and my family discussing how much we hate Kristen Stewart." "I really just hate Kristen Stewart so much." And, my personal favorite, "Kristen Stewart's acting teacher was blatantly Plank from Ed Edd & Eddy."
Cartoon Network-inspired digs aside, it's Twitter, Facebook, and other avenues of self-expression that are making it harder to be a celebrity these days. Skreened.com, the site with the offending K-Shirt (which is a Kristen Stewart T-Shirt, of course), allows for users to click on a few buttons to create a garment with a horrible message and make it available for public consumption. Even if no one buys a shirt, it's still far too easy to be cruel — in a pre-Internet era, you would need a steam press, felt letters, and a trip to the mall to create and buy the garment. Now, all the vitriol is free – and virtual.
Which, of course, makes it easier for stars to realize just how hated they are, even if the emotions are completely irrational. Twitter, which brings sentiment to the masses and stars, can not only influence public opinion, but also the celebrities themselves. That's turned some away from the swarm of negativity that builds up online. Take One Direction boy bander Zayn Malik, a musician who owes a great deal of his band's success to its teenage, tweeting fans... who eventually drove him off Twitter. His last tweet (with Twitter's standard grammatical laxity preserved) said, "The reason i don’t tweet as much as i use to, is because I’m sick of all the useless opinions and hate that I get daily."