One sunny, pre-pandemic afternoon, I wandered into an eclectic jewelry shop. Ornate skull necklaces were draped along the walls and bejeweled zodiac rings glinted inside a vintage glass box. As I examined each birthstone, the person behind the counter asked about my sun sign. "Oh, I'm…a Gemini," I replied hesitantly. Their eyes widened as they let out an "Oh…yikes," and proceeded to chat with another customer. I’ve had a few different versions of this exchange in recent years, but each has ended with a joke or a chuckle. This one ended with me wishing I was the tiny baroque skeleton dangling in the store window.
Of course we're not defined by our signs. We’re a vast mosaic of our upbringing, our relationships and our lived experiences. But with more of our peers reading into astrology, tapping through zodiac memes and watching cosmic TikToks, there are some strong negative stereotypes flying around. So let us clear the air. Here are the three most-hated zodiac signs, and why they’re not as bad as you think they are (we promise).
1. Leo (Jul 23 - Aug 22)
Cast as: The raging egomaniac. When you think about Leo, you might envision someone strutting around with 12 shopping bags, staring adoringly into their phone's front camera and talking loudly over you.
Reality: Leos are fueled by creative expression. With the sun as their ruling planet, Leo hopes to radiate their warmth onto others through their many talents. The generous fire signs want to motivate you with their words, move you with their music and delight you with an extravagant surprise party. And psst: They care way more about how you see them than how they see themselves. It takes bravery for Leos to constantly put themselves out there. But they also need some validation that all of their output is well-received. How would you like to finish a Karaoke song with no applause? Behind the roar, the zodiac lions are just sensitive kittens who need some extra love.
2. Gemini (May 21 - Jun 20)
Cast as: The two-faced motormouth. Geminis are memed to oblivion as the hot and cold friend. The one who flakes on your plans, spills your secrets and just generally doesn’t shut up.
Reality: Represented by the twins, the air signs have enough thoughts swirling around in their brain for two people. If Geminis seem non-committal, it’s probably because they’ve got a lot on their mental plate. Think: 25 meals stacked onto a tiny coffee saucer. They’re upbeat and constantly seeking out new experiences, and yes, the chatty signs might want to tell you all about them. Gemini’s brilliant communication skills are bestowed by their planetary ruler, Mercury. And while it may seem like they’re the talkers of the zodiac, they’re actually the best listeners. Geminis are among the most open-minded, accepting signs. Their adaptability allows them to relate to (and empathize with) anyone. Zero judgment here.
3. Scorpio (Oct 22 - Nov 21)
Cast as: The seething movie villain. Scorpios are painted as the secretive ghouls who are hellbent on revenge. You can find them in damp, dark caves plotting your demise.
Reality: Sure, Scorpios are mysterious, but it’s not because they’ve got some sinister hidden agenda. They need to feel safe before opening up. Blank stares and deadpan humor guard Scorpio’s deep emotional intensity. They’re fixed water signs, so think of them as a block of ice. Once they’ve determined you’re genuine and trustworthy, their cool exterior begins to melt and you’re let into their soft, empathic inner realm. Scorpios are so intuitive you might think they’re reading your mind. You won't see them partake in superficial flings or grand parties filled with shallow small talk. They seek out real, intimate human connections. And once they find them, they’ll do anything to protect the ones they care about.