Oscars 2011: The Real Truth About The Best Actress Curse

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natalie portman holding her best actress oscar trophy
Is the Best Actress Oscar curse real? And if so, how can the 2011 Oscar winner avoid splitsville?

Blame The Male Ego
There are plenty of explanations for the Best Actress Curse. The most popular one is the good, old-fashioned Bruised Male Ego Theory. Despite feminism's gains, social norms still dictate that men bring home the bacon, so it's possible that the husbands and boyfriends of these mega-stars can't handle their ladies' success.

"If a man is not confident and secure with his personal and professional life, he will be threatened by a bold, triumphant woman," says Dating coach and YourTango Expert Nicole Johnson. It's the same reason many high-powered businesswomen find their romantic success inversely related to their career achievement: it takes a secure man to marry a high-achieving woman. Do Successful Women Intimidate Men?

No, Blame The Female Ego
Clinical psychologist and YourTango Expert Dr. Adam Sheck sees it differently, citing what might be termed the Boosted Female Ego Theory. "My perspective is that a woman who is in a less-than-stellar relationship prior to the Oscar win now has a boost to her self-esteem and she's no longer willing to accept a relationship where her needs aren't fully met and where she might be treated poorly," says Sheck.

No argument here. We can all get behind a woman who wants out of a bad relationship. But what if things were perfectly fine before Oscar came along? According to Sheck, it's possible that "winning the Oscar might inflate [the actress' ego] so much, that she's ready to upgrade to a better relationship, more in keeping with her new prestige and power." Call that the Enormous Female Ego Theory. Sheck adds, "The man is not always the bad guy here—sometimes the woman is the one acting out her insecurities."

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