In the days before the March 20 release of "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," I've had something quite pressing on my mind -- you guys (and yes, it's mostly guys) have got to stop hating on Shailene Woodley. Over the past week, everyone from my brother to my colleague's brother to probably your brother, too, have mentioned that they "hate" Woodley... and their reasoning, I'm sad to say, is ridiculous.
You see, no one "hates" Woodley for her acting ability, or her looks, or even the majority of her personality. Instead, they fear her because she's a bit of a hippie; because this totally irrational fear of the weird, the unknown, and the California is still permeating American society this very day.
So, since we're still using antiquated words from the '60s, here's why you need to stop worrying and learn to love the Shailene Woodley:
She really, genuinely tries to get to know people.
“You have only 30 seconds with a new person," Woodley once told New York Magazine. "I will give you a hug so you know I’m real, and then you’re real too.”
Well, she's certainly not lying -- Shailene has been known to hug fans, friends, family, and entertainment journalists alike, just because she wants to bond with everybody she meets. In a world filled with celebrities who usually do not care that you exist, it's refreshing to meet someone who looks you in the eye, hugs you, and talks to you like a real human being.
In short, if you'd rather meet a celebrity who ignores you or is rude to you than one who looks you in the eye and hugs you, the problem is you.
She totally kicks ass.
On the other end of the spectrum, Shailene has completely embraced her decidedly less feminine (according to pop culture, anyway) aspects -- hell, she even celebrates them. When she had to cut her hair short for "Fault in Our Stars" she kept it that way, and she's even been known to start push-up clubs on set. As a woman, feeling physically strong can be an important first step to feeling mentally strong (and, of course, safe walking the streets at night), and Shailene has served as a great role model for young girls who don't need to feel stereotypically "girly" to be okay with themselves.
She'd be a great asset in the zombie apocalypse.
Homegirl straight up forages for her own food, doesn't own a phone, and knows how to use a gun. If you've watched even a single episode of "The Walking Dead," then you know why a woman with survival skills is one to keep around.
She's open about her sexuality.
Whether it's vaginal health or nudity, Shailene is never afraid to touch on formerly taboo topics in a thought-provoking way. Everyone has a body, and Shai is here to tell women and girls worldwide that said body is something to be loved and celebrated.
Because, really, being a hippie isn't such a bad thing.
Let's just bring this point home, one more time -- why on earth would you choose to dislike someone who embraces kindness, openness, valerian root, tea, and Ansel Elgort? True, Shailene lives a bit differently from the rest of us, but isn't love (and our differences) what makes the world go round, man?
It's still relatively early on in 2015, so let's all make a pact to reserve our celeb-bashing for those who truly deserve it -- the mean ones, like Emma Stone. (Kidding, kidding.)