So way back in December I made an unofficial resolution that I would no longer mention tabloid regular Josie Cunningham on this blog. I felt that Josie and her family would be better served if she slipped out of the limelight, and that any comment on her would be contributing to keeping her in the public eye.
It’s been challenging at times not to weigh in. There was her TV documentary and then her arrest for revenge porn, but I kept quiet. But this week I’ve decided to talk about her again?
So what has Josie done?
Well, nothing actually.
What has happened is another young woman has been splashed over the tabloids and her story has made some think of Josie, and blame her for this other woman’s actions.
The other woman is Naica Gibson, who was The Sun’s lead story a few days ago (I glimpsed the headline in a shop). Gibson revealed that she had been saving for a boob job, putting £100 away a week. The problem was that Gibson wasn’t working and so the money was coming out of the benefits she and her four kids receive. The hyperbolic headline stated that she let her kids “go hungry”. And they had to go round to granny’s near the end of the month as the cupboards were bare.
Gibson diligently saved her money, eager to enhance her breasts. Having done her research she discovered it was cheaper to fly to Poland for the op as opposed to getting it done in the UK.
The op done she flew home, however, since then the site has become infected, leaving her scarred and swollen. She requires corrective surgery and the implants replaced, all of which would cost £5K. Gibson has stated that she wants the NHS to pay for this, and that events have caused her distress.
Benefits, boob jobs and the NHS footing the bill, it’s not hard to see why people have connected the two, but how similar are Josie and Naica really?
Josie’s original operation was funded by the NHS as she had an extremely flat chest and it effected her self esteem and emotional health. Naica’s was to reduce sagging, part of aging. While Naica may have felt negatively about her body it doesn’t appear to have effected her that much and this was just a decision she made, as do many other women.
The decision was fine, it’s an option for women who feel they want to enhance their body/figure (I know a woman who had a similar procedure for her own self confidence), the saving up for one would have been okay, if done more sensibly.
And let’s face it, what she chooses to spend her money on is her business, regardless of whether it’s benefits. The public shouldn’t judge what benefit recipients get with the money, its their money. How many of us would like if our bosses sat there criticising what our wages were used for?
With more patience she could have put less aside a week, getting there eventually and not impacting on her kids well-being as much.
The difference I see is the attitude towards their kids, and while Josie’s actions are questionable, she has never negatively impacted on her kids (with the possible exception of her decision to seek fame). Naica’s actions, although most likely exaggerated by the press, do seem selfish and uncaring.
Of course, it could turn out that the kids are alright and Naica spun this version to gain more heat in the papers.
The main similarity? The explosion of negativity and self-righteous fury that has spewed forth, people furious with their taxes going on
It’s this instance that Josie’s name comes up, with her getting blamed for Naica wanting a second operation on the NHS.
Here’s the thing, should Naica get this operation on the NHS?
She’s a UK citizen who’s health is at risk. She has a post-operative infection and it needs treating. The NHS helped the women effected by the PIP implants a few years ago, and this is a similar case.
Ignore the tabloid sensationalism and review the simple facts- woman has operation, operation causes complications and needs further treatment.
As for the “that money could go to saving lives” argument, it’s not that simple. I suspect each department has their own budget and decides based on this, its not a case of someone’s cancer treatment being cancelled because of Naica’s boob job.
Did Naica act badly? Yes. Could she have gone about things in a better way? Undoubtedly.
Do either of those mean she should be made to suffer and put at risk? Hell no!
The NHS is there to care for us all, and to provide holistic care (addressing physical, mental and emotional needs, hence why Josie qualified for an NHS boob job). It doesn’t pass judgement on how you got ill, it just treats you, which is the way it should be.
And if anyone is still angry about their taxes going on these two women I’d say to put it in perspective:
Both of these women’s operations cost less than £10,000 combined, and improved two people’s quality of life. Now compare that to the £100Bn we’re dropping on Trident, which we’ll never use and if we did would kill millions. Personally, I’m more annoyed at the thought of my taxes going towards that.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.