Image Credit: Daily Record
by Emma Dixon
Molly-Mae Hague, aged 22, has yet again received backlash amid the announcement of her autobiography, Becoming Molly-Mae. The catalyst for this backlash can be traced back to her viral comment on Steven Bartlett’s podcast, Diary of a CEO, less than a month prior, as the former Love Island star declared that “everybody has the same 24 hours in a day”. The comment has since given rise to complaints regarding its “tone-death” nature, enabled by a grandiose “sense of entitlement”. As a result, critics were quick to judge her ability to produce an autobiography at the tender age of 22, with many online comments bemused as to what narrative she could possibly offer a potential reader.
As an admirer of Molly-Mae, my question is, why do you care? A young woman who has clearly worked hard enough to build up a successful online following and highly prominent career is unlikely to be sitting at home all day waiting for this elusive silver plate, one that is so frivolously called upon by critics. Even podcast host and Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett was quick to defend the heavy criticism received from her appearance, calling out the double standards that men and women face and stating that “if I interview a man he can brag about money, take full credit for his success and talk about his cars? If I interview a successful woman, she’s got to tiptoe around her success and watch her words.” Sure, in the worst way possible, Molly-Mae’s 24 hours comment glosses over the disparity in privilege that prevents people from living by her words. Anyone can also see that she employed the phrase akin to an inspirational quote, one that would find its place neatly in the blurb of an acclaimed personal development book.
Criticising Molly-Mae’s ability to produce an autobiography is just another unjust response to the expansion of her brand, especially considering the lack of backlash surrounding similarly young celebrity authors. Reality TV star Joey Essex, for example, published his 2014 autobiography Being Reem at the age of 23 and was generally praised for being an honest and funny read. I would argue that Molly-Mae’s story is just as powerful. From being an undergraduate at the Retail Fashion Academy to the Creative Director of Pretty Little Thing in as little as four years sounds pretty impressive to me, and claiming that Love Island is the only attribute to her success negates the hard work that propelled her to corporate stardom. Besides, if that were the case, wouldn’t all contestants experience this same level of success? The constant backlash she receives is most likely underpinned by a misogynism that sees critics struggle to perceive a young and successful woman as a relatable medium for other young women pursuing their own careers. And so, despite the backlash that the announcement of her book is receiving, Becoming Molly-Mae is undoubtedly a book that I would be interested in reading.
Categories: Digital Culture