What’s The Story With The Oscar Love Curse?

It's awards szn, baby.

via Reese Witherspoon / Halle Berry / Hilary Swank Insta

Picture the scene: you win an Oscar.

You’ve been recognised for your talent, your achievements. You’re delighted, so happy to have been given this award for all of your hard work.

But you’re also a woman, so you end up splitting from your significant other almost immediately. Why? Because of the Oscar Love Curse, of course!

Over the years, several Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress winners have been noted to split from a loved one after their Academy Award win. Their partner cheats on them, they file for divorce, their partner files for divorce, the relationship just… ends.

But is there any weight to this ‘curse’, should actresses be worried, or is it just (as most things in this world are) maybe a bit misogynistic?


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Let’s take a look at the women whose relationships ended after winning an acting Oscar. Yeah, there is a lot of them. They include Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Rachel Weisz, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Winslet, and a good few others.

Chat of a curse seems to have originated back in 2010 when the New York Post ran a story stating that “almost every” Best Actress winner became single not long after securing the award over the past decade.

And they were right! A lot of these women split from their partners, and a lot of these splits happened not long after the Oscars ceremony. But a lot of these relationships were just that – relationships.

They were boyfriends, girlfriends, people who had been seeing each other for a period time and now that period was over. A lot of these splits also occurred a considerable amount of time after the Oscars – not as a direct result of it (and a lot of couples didn’t break up at all, lest we forget).

The idea of a ‘curse’ seems to suggest that men (because it is men) can’t stick by a successful woman. Or that women (because it’s always women) simply must choose between a career and a home life. You can’t have both, girl – didn’t you know that?


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Elsewhere, the ‘curse’ has been applied in relation to Best Actor winners too, though not as actively… when maybe, it should be.

In fact, a 2015 study found that divorce rates of female Oscar winners and nominees did not increase after getting the Academy nod, but that divorce rates of male Oscar winners and nominees did. Fancy that.

Even if there is some other-worldly curse at play, and female actors must prepare themselves for the single life soon after nabbing an Academy Award, why is this being seen as a negative thing? Is this really ‘bad luck’?

Perhaps the same scrutiny (or lack, thereof) attached to men should be applied to women when it comes to romance. And maybe it’s time we stopped pitying women when they’re single, and only celebrating them when they’re in relationships.

As the Pussycat Dolls once said, “I don’t need a man…”