Almost a decade ago, Anne Hathaway found herself at the center of an intense amount of online hate — for literally no reason.
In what was dubbed #HathaHate, social media turned against the actress purely because she seemed like a try-hard that was too happy and too perfect.
The online backlash even inspired articles with titles like "Do We Really Hate Anne Hathaway?"
And while most people would probably crumble under the internet's unreasonable hatred, Anne now says she used it to change her outlook on life.
"Ten years ago, I was given an opportunity to look at the language of hatred from a new perspective," Anne said during a speech at Elle's recent Women in Hollywood event.
She continued, "This was a language I had employed with myself since I was 7. And when your self-inflicted pain is suddenly somehow amplified back at you at, say, the full volume of the internet...it’s a thing."
Thankfully, Anne quickly realized she wanted nothing to do with the hate people were spewing — and the negative way she had been thinking about herself for years.
"I realized that this wasn’t it. This wasn’t the spot," she said. "When what happened, happened, I realized I had no desire to have anything to do with this line of energy. On any level."
Anne added, "I would no longer create art from this place. I would no longer hold space for it, live in fear of it, nor speak its language for any reason. To anyone. Including myself."
She went on to say that while people can "judge behavior," no one has any right to judge someone's existence.
"You do not have the right to judge — and especially not hate — someone for existing. And if you do, you’re not where it’s at," Anne explained.
Now, as a mom, Anne says she firmly believes that humans "are born experiencing love," but many end up growing "in a culture of misplaced hate, unhealed hurt, and the toxicity that is the byproduct of both."
But despite the circumstances, Anne says she believes that because hate is learned, it's possible for people to "relearn love."
While change will not be immediate, Anne says she has hope for future generations who will "contribute to a culture of love" — starting with themselves.