If you missed the Molly-Mae Hague drama this week, you live in a hole and I’m jealous of you. Is there room in there for two?
The 22-year-old social media influencer, who was also a runner-up in the fifth series of reality dating show Love Island, angered the world of easily-angered people after an interview clip from December resurfaced, got tweeted a bunch of times and went, as they say, viral.
Molly-Mae was talking to Steven Bartlett, an extremely wealthy man under the age of 30 who has a podcast in which he interviews other financially successful people.
Long story short – I feel sorry for the woman. But before I share my thoughts, I think it’s important to read exactly what Molly-Mae said.
She told Steven: "You're given one life and it's down to you what you do with it. When I've spoken about that in the past, I have been slammed a little bit, with people saying, 'It's easy for you to say that, you've not grown up in poverty, you've not grown up with major money struggles, so for you to sit there and say that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, it's not correct.'
"And I'm like, but technically what I'm saying is correct. We do. So I understand that we all have different backgrounds and we're all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I do think if you want something enough, you can achieve it.
"It just depends on what lengths you will go to, to get where you want to be in the future. And I'll go to any lengths. I've worked my absolute a*** off to get where I am now."
Right, well, that’s clearly not quite right, Molly. There are 24 hours in the day, correct, but they’re not the same 24 hours person to person. Molly-Mae’s 24 hours are not the same as someone with a debilitating health condition, for example, or a loved one to care for. But I believe most of us know why her comments were tone deaf. I just don't know why people are so angry with her for getting it wrong.
Now I’m 32, I find it a little odd when successful people go out of their way to defend their success (of course, Molly-Mae can have privilege and have ‘worked her absolute a*** off’ – they can both be true at the same time) but I do know where it comes from.
When I was growing up and doing relatively well at school, people told me I was ‘lucky’ to be good at exams and coursework. I remember saying to my grandparents: “It’s not luck – I read and I revise.” Calling it ‘luck’ felt like an affront to my hard work. But then I grew up and began to understand all the ways in which my hard work was enabled and aided – supportive parents, healthy food, a safe home environment, etc.
I grew up in the same way I’ve no doubt Molly-Mae will grow up. She was 20 when she appeared on Love Island, pumped full of filler. She's since reversed her cosmetic procedures in favour of a more natural look and perhaps, over time, her views will change too.
Did you know it all age 22? Or would you cringe if you could listen back to a recording of yourself spouting 'inspirational' guff? Personally, if the nonsense I believed – and often said out loud – as a young(er) woman went viral, I’d have to have reconstructive surgery, change my identity and flee the country for a new life.
I know I'm not the only one exasperated by cancel culture, online abuse and crap celebrity statement apologies. And so I put to you the following: What if instead of piling onto Molly-Mae, we let her say stupid s*** and grow up to have regrets like the rest of us? What if we listened, rolled our eyes and then carried on with our lives?
Molly-Mae is an Instagram influencer, not a politician. I urge you and your children to get your sociopolitical commentary elsewhere and leave the poor woman alone.
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