One hundred and eighty!: The Josie Cunningham saga continuesPosted: May 2, 2014
This blog is being written several days after Josie Cunninham, the “NHS boob job girl” announced that she was not going to have an abortion in order to secure her place in the Celebrity Big Brother house and was keeping the baby. This came a week after her initial announcement and a spike in her notoriety, as she trended on Twitter and received a lot of coverage in the media.
Following Josie’s tweets and the conversation online made for a week of tough reading, with a deluge of abuse and hate flying her way. While there were a few voices calling for calm or criticizing the frenzy she’d sparked the vast majority were vile, cruel jibes and I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Josie and her loved ones to hear some of it.
The trolls were out in force and one in particular stuck out. I won’t link to them or name them, but it was a dude who’s display picture suggested he was an older man in his 40s or 50s. This odious little man fired tweet after tweet at Josie, all laced with insults and profanity. He’d chip in on other people’s comments, and seemed to respond to every one of Josie’s comments with 140 characters of hate. They were witless and aggressive and underneath the swear words and criticism they actually said more about him than Josie. I mean, seriously, if you can sit there with your phone or your laptop firing hatred at someone you’ve never met for hours you need to take a long hard look at your life and your choices.
Other trolls circled and fired off messages, and I was still baffled by what drives someone to give a stranger such grief. I’ve tweeted stupidly in the past, but I don’t think I could write a message with that level of bile and then be comfortable hitting “send”. I’d just wonder if it was worth it, and realize how much of a dick I’d be for sending it. I think everyone should think before they tweet, maybe take a few seconds after they write a message like the one’s I’ve seen Josie get and just think “What is this going to achieve? Would I say this to someone in person? Would I like it if someone said this to me or a loved one?” that brief reflection might make everyone realize that there’s no need to be so abusive and make Twitter a better place.
Personally, I didn’t think it was my place to judge Josie’s decision and her motivations for seeking an abortion. I’m pro choice, so sitting here making moral judgments on a woman’s choice isn’t really respecting a woman’s right to choose. Josie had made her choice, which is her right, and would in most occasions have done so privately. I could see why Josie had made the decision, and I can see why she changed her mind.
Josie’s U-turn has seen her get a fair amount of praise on twitter and some cats have definitely mellowed towards her, but there are still trolls out there. Apparently the decision was made after feeling the baby kick and so her BB plans have been put on hold and she’s pursuing other projects.
I personally think this is a good thing. For me, entering the BB house would have been a mistake. It’s constant scrutiny for 24 hours and we’ve seen far more experienced and media-savvy celebs come unstuck, so Josie, relatively new to the fame game, would be on shaky ground, also going in with the vitriol of the public hanging over her would make her an easy target for anyone in the house seeking a popularity boost, and she’d have got abuse in house as well as out.
Of course, I could be wrong, she may have impressed in the house and won some affection from the public, maybe even changed perception. Stranger things have happened.
So, yeah, I’m glad Josie kept the baby. It’ll pull her out of the firing line a bit hopefully, and I hope these new project’s she’s mentioned pay off for her and her family. I hope that she makes enough money to support herself and comes to realize that the fame game isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and disappears to a more quiet life.
I trot this out every post about Josie, and I worry it sounds patronizing, but I don’t think she’s suited to life in the spotlight. Her tweets show that she’s more than willing to fight her corner, which is a good thing given the abuse she gets, but at the same time her quick fingers may one day get her in trouble. And also, given that this is someone who had the boob job because of body image issues and bullying, I worry that the cruel barbs about her looks may mess with her head.
Despite her defiant stance the response in the last week must surely have had some effect on her, and maybe show her that being in the limelight is not always a good thing. I’d love Josie to be famous and happy, but I can’t see it happening, she’s starting deep in the red of the public’s dislike and it’d be a mountain to climb for her to be really, truly famous and popular. I’d rather she disappear out of the public eye to pursue happiness in private, never gracing a tabloid again.
Unfortunately I doubt this will happen. There are still two stories that the tabloids can get from Josie- the identity of the baby’s father (as long as Josie keeps her word about not going on Jeremy Kyle, which I hope she does) and possibly the name of the mysterious footballer who’s one of the potential fathers. And there’s always other stories that might crop up.
So, basically what I want to say is- don’t give someone shit about a life choice they’ve made, especially a serious one. It’s their choice, and I doubt it’s ever an easy decision. And, of course, don’t be a dick. Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you have to tell them, and definitely doesn’t mean you should give them abuse and call them names.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.