The New Josie? I don’t think so

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.

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Josie Cunningham, back again

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.

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Naica Gibson

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.

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Here’s the thing, should Naica get this operation on the NHS?
Yes.
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.

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On the first day of Christmas, Josie gave to me, the news I was a daddy: Josie Cunningham: The Final Chapter

Long time followers of this blog will know that I have long been interested in the tabloid saga that is Josie Cunningham’s life (click the tag for more). Since gaining notoriety as the “NHS boob job girl”, Josie has been a regular feature in the tabloids, her life becoming a soap opera that has seen her vilified in the press, subjected to online abuse and dubbed “Britain’s most hated woman”, although that is contested.

The latest appearance came as Josie announced her plans regarding how she planned to let the father of her child know her kid was his.

There are 3 possible daddies: The guy who catfished her pretending to be a professional footballer, a surgeon who was a customer when she was escorting and a friend’s boyfriend.

Josie is having paternity tests and on Christmas Eve is getting a friend to drop off cards to the three blokes’ houses with their results. It’s kinda smart and Josie’s idea to sever ties with the non-dads sounds good (none of them sounding like winners).

The problem is that yet again Josie decided to go public in a big way. This was a bad idea, as the reaction was general outrage and more abuse. Had she just done it on the quiet then that would have been alright (not the best way to tell a guy he’s the daddy, but I guess it beats going on Jeremy Kyle) but blabbing to the press just made Josie the target for more outrage and abuse.

But the problem is that Josie is doomed to continue to live her soap opera life in the spotlight. This is partly because she seems to have become hooked on the notoriety she has garnered, the closest to celebrity she can get. Like many people in our celeb-obsessed culture, fame must have seemed like a dream, a get out for Josie, and unable to get the real thing she’s settled for this.

I’ve said since day one that Josie would probably be better off out of the public eye, that her introduction to the world as the “NHS boob girl” meant she would be doomed to be a tabloid villain. And sadly, not being the savviest operator Josie has been unable to turn the tide. In fact she’s given the press plenty of ammo to continue demonizing her due to a knack for saying/tweeting controversial things.

Like in this instance.

The problem is that I’ve realized that I’m not helping this situation. As long as people keep talking about her antics the longer she’ll stay, for lack of a better word, “newsworthy”. I honestly think Josie would be better off fading away, becoming a half-remembered item from the papers.

So I need to act appropriately, and while my blogs are just a drop in the ocean of comments and discussion of Miss Cunningham (and far less vicious than most) they are still part of the problem.

Barring the fact that she does something truly remarkable (e.g. being the first person on Mars, headbutting the Pope or discovering the cure for cancer) or actively impacts my life (if I meet her, for example) this will be the last time I write about Josie on this blog, it’s an early start for a 2015 resolution, I guess.

I’ve always felt that Josie was something of a victim of the press’ desire to create hate figures to distract us from the real problems of the world (the first boob job cost under £5k, and the UK government has wasted much more on much worse), and her own desire to be famous, seemingly at any cost and without regard for how she achieves that fame or how it manifests.

This is the 14th post I’ve written about Josie Cunningham and over that time she’s intrigued and frustrated me. There have been times when she’s said nasty or stupid things I’ve disagreed with, or times when she’s gone after other celebrities in a way I don’t feel was called for and which just seemed nasty and vindictive, especially from someone who knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end. She’s no saint, and I’m far from a fan of what she’s done.

But I genuinely believe that Josie doesn’t deserve most of the abuse she receives and that much of it is utterly vile and unnecessary. Her major crimes appear to have been lack of thought before speaking/tweeting and a heightened desire for fame, which is hardly something she’s alone in possessing as evidenced by the fact that Big Brother can still fill a house every year. Neither of these justify the level of vitriol that gets thrown at her online.

This is a young woman who came to our attention because she received a boob job on the NHS, which stemmed from her insecurities around her body and the bullying of others. The public reaction to a clearly insecure person has been disgusting, and shows a depressing lack of compassion or attempt at understanding, and exhibits an ugly side of online communication where people just pile on to send hate and threats to somebody they don’t even know. For me, the trolls are worse than Josie.

I wish her well for the future, and hope that she can find someway to be happy, although I suspect that would involve sacrificing her current “fame”, which is how she makes money and which she seems hooked on.

Goodbye, Josie.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Josie on one of her television appearances, which is how she makes her living and continues to fuel her “fame”

 


Milking it: Seriously, Josie, it’s getting really hard to have your back

Josie Cunningham, the notorious “NHS boob job” girl, has continued to haunt the tabloid press, and her newly arrived daughter has been born into a crazy world. Having narrowly avoided having her entrance into this world attended by four strangers, her daughter’s now unwittingly become part of the tabloid circus following Josie’s latest Twitter blunder.

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Josie was asked by various people on Twitter if she was breastfeeding, and her response was, shall we say, unexpected:

wish people would would stop asking if I’m breast feeding like Kimberley Walsh! No I’m not! I think the idea is vile and borderline incest

She later stated to The Sun that her “breasts are for my partner, not my child”, which is just lunacy. She then stated that while it may be “natural” but people need to move with the times. Hmmm.

I get that breastfeeding isn’t for every mother, and pushing it as vitally important merely serves to make mothers who have problems doing so feel bad about themselves.

Josie seems to have forgotten that breasts served a purpose before they became sexualised, and that was feeding infants. She seems to have got mixed up on this.

It gets even weirder, as Josie has decided not to share the milk with her partner instead choosing to sell her breast milk.

She isn’t the first to do this (I wrote about another case here) and interestingly, Josie has proven to be slightly savvy in this new business. She plans to sell to other parents for £2 an ounce, but will charge £10 to milk fetishists.

Yes, milk fetishists.

Some might feel this is a little gross, but the world don’t move to the beat of one drum, and there are probably stuff we’re all into that others don’t dig or find odd.

In his second autobiography Russell Brand spoke to involving it in his liaison with a new mother, so it may be more common than people think.

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I can’t lie I’m rather curious about how it tastes, having not had any since my own childhood and I don’t remember much about that. Of course, if I ever do try it again it will most likely be provided courtesy of MWG should we have kids, and hopefully free of charge. This would also allow me to explore my attraction to pregnant women.

Whether Josie finds a buyer or not remains to be seen, but there’s probably a market, so she might make a small profit.

But this latest, bizarre plan, coupled with her daft views on breastfeeding is making it harder to defend her as she continues to hand ammunition to her numerous critics. However, I wish her and her new baby well.

Any thoughts? You know hat to do. BETEO.


Catfishes and Cruelty: The Josie Cunningham saga continues

Catfishing– The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships. (From The Urban Dictionary)

So, Josie Cunningham’s time in the media spotlight has been a surreal journey (click the “Josie Cunningham” tag for more), with the “NHS boob job girl” becoming a much loathed figure and a soap opera story involving her pregnancy and the identity of the father. From day one Josie stated that there were a couple of guys in the frame, one of whom was a Premier League footballer.

Cunningham didn’t reveal the identity of the footballer, throughout the pregnancy, which could be seen as admirable, but could just have been her saving it up for a later revelation, who knows.

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Then this week, after the baby arrived (congratulations!) there was a further twist in the tale, as Josie revealed that she’d fallen victim to a Catfish.

This is a term that is getting more widespread after a documentary and a TV series (which is a triumph of trash TV) explored the phenomenon of people pretending to be someone else online.

This creation of a fake life is fascinating, not merely for the sheer weirdness of it, but also the motivations behind it, why would someone want to pretend to be someone else (usually due to lust, cruelty, boredom or loneliness it appears) and why others are so quick to believe what they’re told. An episode I saw recently featured a woman who believed she was talking to Bow Wow (formerly Little Bow Wow) and had divulged many personal secrets to him, only for it to turn out to be a rather amoral and delusional young woman, but that’s beside the point.

Josie revealed that while she thought she was talking to and sleeping with Hull City player Curtis Davies, she was in fact involved with someone else entirely, who capitalized on a resemblance to the athlete.

Davies

Davies

As she often does, Josie took to Twitter where she spilled her guts out, revealing the truth and how she felt used and betrayed. It’s understandable and one can only imagine how distressing it must be to discover you’ve been conned in such a way.

Of course, part of you wonders how someone could be suckered in to such an extent, but Josie doesn’t seem overburdened with common sense (her entire time in the spotlight has been characterized by poor judgement) and perhaps the idea of bedding a professional footballer appealed to her desire to be “the next Jordan”. Or it could be that she really did develop feelings for this man, and felt close to him, and believed what she was told.

Davies isn’t exactly a household name, and if this bloke does look like him it might be easy for him to pretend. But why? Why lie to someone like that for so long (around 18 months)? It seems manipulative and nasty, and while I feel Josie could have exercised some common sense and caution in this scenario, I do feel bad for her.

Worse, having claimed that the father could be a Premier League player her public image is even worse now, making her look at best foolish and at worst a liar.

I don’t like much of what Josie has done, or how she’s handled certain situations, but I do feel that in this case she is the victim of a con artist and due some sympathy, though I suspect she won’t get much. Writing these blogs has led to conversations with people I know personally, and I’m surprised by the level of vitriol that is heaped upon her, by people who are otherwise pretty chilled out.

The birth of her baby may have helped cushion the blow a little, and deterred some from putting the boot in. But there are still enough hateful trolls out there, including one charmer who took to Twitter to tell Josie he “wished she’d died in childbirth”. That’s just vile and unnecessary, and you wonder what has to be wrong in someone’s life that they consider sending that to a stranger to be okay. You might not like someone or what they do, but wishing them dead? Seriously not cool.

I wish Josie and her new baby all the best, and pray that rumours that she will enter the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! jungle are false, because I firmly believe she needs less exposure to the public, not more.

It will only allow the public the chance to humiliate and torment her through the tasks, and put her in a situation where she could make her situation worse. Sometimes a good reality TV stint can turn public feeling around, but I don’t think that would happen for Josie, and while financially secure she may be exposed to even more hate which can’t help but negatively effect a person.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Baby Boom: The Josie Cunningham saga gets weird

So, Josie Cunningham is back on the blog. For those not up to date check out the tag at the top of the post, for everyone else, let’s read as her story takes a turn for the bizarre.

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On Twitter earlier in the week Josie announced that if her followers picked up a copy of the gossip mag Closer she’d be revealing “the special experience I’ll be offering 4 of my fans”. I didn’t buy the mag, I’m skint and I’m not a fan of those mags anyway, so I kinda forgot and then I went on Twitter.

Josie has recently started a regular Q&A session on the social networking site, using the hashtag #AskJosie. It’s a crazy idea for someone as notorious as Josie and it regularly devolves into insulting, cruel and obscene questions. It’s all rather depressing, and while Josie puts on a brave face and fires back it can’t be easy to be hit by such a wave of vitriol. The sheer, disgusting abuse that is sent her way is horrible enough from the sidelines, and leaves me perplexed as to why these people feel the need to weigh in like this. If you don’t like Josie, and I can see why many don’t just ignore her. Why make someone else’s life miserable?

Reading some of this I remembered the tease from the other day. So I did a quick Google.

The “special experience” was the chance to be present at the birth of Josie’s baby. For a price.

Two fans would be shelling out 5k for the privilege and the others ten grand, which allows them the opportunity to take photos of the baby.

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As part of the nursing course we had a day of midwifery, and at the end of it my reaction was “Thank the gods I’m a bloke”, while a female friend commented “I’m never having a kid.”

Seriously, I’m not even sure I want to be present at the birth of my own kids (can I just hand out cigars in the waiting room 50s style?) so witnessing a stranger’s is not something I want to get in on. Especially not at those prices.

I could finally go to New York for that much money, and have enough left over for Download next year. I mean no disrespect to Miss Cunningham, but I don’t think her baby’s arrival is worth that kind of money.

Clearly others disagree with me and the tickets were snapped up in less than quarter of an hour. Who these people are will probably be revealed at some point, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they’re a little weird. Because this is seriously weird.

At least if she uses the money to pay off the money that paid for her boob job it might get some of the trolls off her back, but somehow I doubt it. This is less about angry taxpayers and more about people wanting to be nasty buggers online, but at least it’s a step in the right direction for Josie.

The paying back I mean, the tickets to the birth thing is just bonkers and another weird chapter in her bizarre “celebrity” life.

Story.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Loose Lips: Josie Cunningham Part 10

Click on the Josie Cunningham tag up top for the story so far.

The last time I wrote about Josie Cunningham, the notorious “NHS boob girl” she was getting a lot of hate online and she actually announced she would be taking a break from Twitter. This was a bit worrying as it came after a deluge of hate including some scumbag suggesting suicide as an option for the clearly troubled and upset young lady.

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Josie’s Twitter silence lasted about a week, at which point she roared back, addressing criticisms from other people, clearing up rumours about her entering the Big Brother house and then actually getting into a political debate (sort of) by arguing against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s argument that boob jobs should not be available on the NHS. She even stated that she was hoping to campaign to set up a NHS loans company to help fund these procedures.

Still dodging trolls Josie continued to tweet sporadically, pushing her dating site (still not sure that’s a good idea) and then on Monday she hit the headlines again as The Sun revealed that she receives £6k worth of taxis funded by the taxpayer to take her on the school run, due to anxiety caused by the fact that she often receives abuse when taking her kids on the bus.

Cue the inevitable backlash, with people decrying that this is a massive waste of taxpayer money and could be going on things like nurses, teachers, whatever. I agree, there are better uses for £6k, but it’s a drop in the ocean for stuff our government wastes money on and what is owed by individuals and businesses who duck out of paying their full taxes. Gary Barlow’s tax avoidance could probably cover it, so maybe next year Gary should just pay her fares? Or Starbucks could sponsor her trips?

There was a lot of abuse flying around, as the tabloid readers seized the precarious moral high ground and spewed their outrage.

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Demetri Martin

Here’s the thing, I get why people are annoyed, but at the same time, I can see the reasoning behind the decision. I know Josie’s made some bad decisions over the year or so she’s been in the public eye, and there’s a lot of resentment and anger aimed towards her, but is this really her fault? Shouldn’t we really have more of an issue with the folks who are hassling her in public, in front of her kids?

These idiots are upset, sure, but they are approaching a young woman and her children and giving her grief. There is no way to view that as anything other than a dick move. Why go out of your way to make a stranger’s life a misery and possibly scare and upset her children?

At the same time, Josie handled it abominably, tweeting a selfie from the back of the cab with this troll baiting caption:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but tax payers will always fund me 🙂

It was a spectacularly misjudged tweet and detracted from the line she took in the article, where she addressed the hate she received and the fact that the blame should be given to those who give her abuse on buses.

Josie then announced that she was due to appear on Loose Women, and I groaned over my phone.

For the lucky ones- Loose Women is a daytime TV show where a gaggle of female presenters discuss and debate the issues of the day, interview guests and gossip away. Even the presence of some MILF crushes isn’t enough to detract from the irritation this show provokes in me.

Even Carol Vorderman can't convince me to watch it

Even Carol Vorderman can’t convince me to watch it

I groaned because I thought it was a mistake for Josie to appear on the show. In a brief interview she wouldn’t get the chance to fully put her case across and might face a potentially hostile interview. In fact all it might serve to do is bring her to the attention of those who had thus far avoided her online or in the papers.

So, I fired up ITV’s online service and sat down to watch the show. It did not go well.

The interview wasn’t too bad, but they clearly weren’t onside from the off and Myleene Klass was rather patronizing in the way she handled Josie. Two of the others, Linda Robson and some brunette woman who seemed alright, suggested counselling- Robson as an alternative to the boob job, and the other lady (couldn’t find her on the LW website) put forward cognitive behaviour therapy as a potential aid to the anxiety.

At least these were constructive, and personally I think Josie might have benefited from counselling before and after the initial operation to address her insecurities and to help her realize that the new boobs were not some magic gift that would make her instantly happy and turn her life around.

But the main problem was that Josie didn’t put herself over that well. It’s unlikely that a single television appearance is going to turn the tide, but perhaps a longer, more in depth interview would have been better, because a short segment wasn’t going to get the job done, as evidenced by the response on Twitter:

What a deluded state of a woman!

why would @loosewomen put that vile creature josie cunningham on their show?!?! Don’t they see they’re feeding her antics!

Acting all innocent on loose women but laughing how the tax payers are cleaning up your mess

And possibly summing up the whole situation, if rather cruelly-

Nope @JosieCOnline appearing on tv did nothing for her at all! Haha still a stupid disgusting vile pathetic excuse for a human being #muppet (@BeckyBooEvans)

And that was the problem, I don’t see why Josie was doing this. She seemed out of her depth and her arguments weren’t constructed properly. She stated that anger over funding her boob job shouldn’t be aimed at her but the people making the decisions, which is maybe fair, but she has to realize that she sought that boob job and is the public face of these kind of decisions.

I agree that she shouldn’t get hate, and I think that if she is suffering abuse and anxiety that the taxis are probably needed. It’s just sad there’s not a school bus that runs which she could put the kids on and which would cut down on school run traffic. That’d be the best solution, in my opinion.

Controversy and notoriety can be useful tools in the fame game, but it’s starting to look like Josie or her people, are pursuing notoriety for it’s own sake. There doesn’t seem to be a clear strategy, she’s not parlaying this infamy into anything- there’s no book, or TV show, or DVD coming. So far all she’s done is the awful dating website.

She stumbles from controversy to controversy, with the trolls lining up to put the boots in at every turn. The tabloids use her as fodder to fire up their readers and distract them from being annoyed or concerned about larger issues, and for her part Josie seems to be getting very little out of the deal aside from public vilification and distress.

I continue to hope that Josie can achieve some success or happiness, to fade from the public consciousness and not have to endure the abuse and hatred from idiots.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


To Live is to War with Trolls: Josie Cunningham Part 9

When I first wrote about Josie Cunningham I thought that would be it, that the “NHS boob girl” would quickly fall from the public eye and the tabloids would move on to the next thing they could whip up outrage about and distract the public with. However, for tabloid editors Josie turned out to be the gift that kept on giving, providing them with further stories and controversy, and as they sensationalized her life and got their readers to rant and rave at her I kept writing about her.

 

I’ve not agreed with everything she’s said or done, but I’ve always tried to figure out why she might be doing them and remain sympathetic. Of course, when she’s sniping at other celebrities it’s hard to have her back as it does look like attention seeking, but I do believe that Josie has gotten more flak than this than many others, as it seems this is standard practice in the lower levels of celebrity.

josie

But for the most part I try and remain neutral and give her the benefit of the doubt. I think a lot of her comments and decisions stem from personal insecurity and a lust for fame which is something that is not Josie’s flaw alone. Our whole society leans towards celebrity worship, with the reasons for that fame varying from talent to beauty to just being in the right place at the right time. Of course, celebrity is going to seem appealing to someone like Josie, it offers an escape to a better life and praise. It’s why we have people lining up for the X Factor and why Big Brother still manages to fill a house every year.

Hating Josie for wanting this is ridiculous. Who doesn’t want a better life for their families? Who hasn’t daydreamed about being rich and famous at some point?

But people do hate her, and following Josie on Twitter (over time I’ve developed something of an interest and concern in what happens to her) reveals this hatred. She can’t send a single tweet without receiving a deluge of offensive, aggressive comments in reply. Some tweeters seem to spend hours firing 140 character bursts of loathing her way, with a determination that is both shocking and depressing.

On Tuesday, however I witnessed a new low in the trolls who attack her.

Over a series of tweets it became clear that Josie was having a hard time, sending the following messages:

11:38 AM- Absolutely heartbroken/devastated/fuming!!!

11:39 AM- Don’t know what to do!!!!! Don’t even have many options left!!!

11:41 AM- Never make life changing decisions based on advise from someone claiming they have psychic abilities!! So angry!!!!

12:15 PM- Can’t stop crying. 23 weeks pregnant as well! Lots to think about. I’ve been so stupid. 😦

Now, aside from the third one, which just sounds like decent advice, it’s clear that something was wrong with Josie and she was extremely upset. This is a young lady who is pregnant and recently at the centre of a whirlwind of abuse, whatever the latest development in her personal life has been, it’s evident that it’s shaken her up.

I get that folks don’t like her, I get that she’s rubbed people up the wrong way and that there are those who are irritated by her whole story, but at the end of the day this is a young person going through a hard time and clearly upset. Why would you decide to fire off hate at her? I’m guessing it’s because if you did you’re a massive dick.

The worst comment I saw came from some pillock who in response to the 11:39 tweet sent a silhouette of a man blowing his brains out. Real classy, mate, sending a picture of suicide to someone who’s clearly distressed.

The guy caught some grief for it but maintained this moronic “it was just a laugh” defence. I don’t think he honestly wanted Josie to top herself, but the fact of the matter is it’s not a very funny joke is it. You’ve got somebody who’s properly upset and might not be thinking clearly and you chuck that into the mix, intentions or not you’re still messing with someone who’s in an emotional state, and that’s not funny.

Worst of all were the people piling on to agree with this cretin, I think sometimes people forget that the person behind the messages on their screen is a real person, but that’s no excuse. Twitter can show the best in people, when you see it used to raise money or awareness, but then you get incidents like this where you see the ugly side of people. I mean, seriously, have some decency folks and think before you tweet something like this. You don’t know where somebody’s head is at and there’s no need to be a dick.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Pigs might fly. But they probably won’t (Another Josie Cunningham post)

Last time I posted about Josie Cunningham the “NHS boob job girl” I mentioned how she wasn’t going to be in Celebrity Big Brother but had new projects in the works, and wished her luck with those.

Today, I discovered what one of those projects was.

It turns out that Josie is the face for a new dating site, which has been created for “average looking women” and supposedly men too.

Now, this wouldn’t be too bad, I mean, aside from the obvious flaw in having a site that calls its members “average” which while not an insult is some way off from being a compliment. But, maybe, just maybe it could overcome all this and actually be a decent thing.

And then I found out what the site is called: Pull the Pig.

The mind boggles as to what the reasoning behind this name is. It’s needlessly insulting to people you’re trying to draw in and can’t really be passed off as a tongue in cheek joke. It’s just plain odd.

As an online dating veteran (3 websites, off and on for a couple of years resulting in a handful of dates, although am working on a couple more) I decided to scope out the site and see what the hell is going on over there.

Not a lot, as of the time of writing. It seems a lot like another site I was a member of which catered to the more voluptuous woman and the men who were attracted to that type. They don’t appear to be linked, but there is another similarity-

The site I joined had partner sites, catering for different interests or relationship sought, but would share the info from all of the sites they ran. Meaning if you joined the site looking for curvy ladies, your profile would be shown on sites for people who love steam trains, or whatever.

And that might explain why when I set up an account on Pull the Pig, there were women there. I can’t imagine many women would want to join a site where they are described as a “pig” or “achievable looking”, so I suspect that many are actually members on other, less demeaning sites. This may cause all manner of communication breakdown and awkwardness.

I’ve joined the site, to have a snoop around, and so it now the “average looking” women can see this below average man, and will report back if anything occurs on there. But I can’t see myself forking out the £19.99 for a month of full membership.

There’s also a pop at Katie Price on there, which feels unnecessary and merely serving to try and drag out Josie’s feud with her (too tedious to detail) and get more press coverage.

I’m still stunned by the crude design and approach of the site, most notably in the terrible picture they used as promotion, which features Josie.

Josie  Cunningham pull the Pig dating website as she has a go at Katie Price

It’s just such a cheap, tacky looking photo. The primary feeling it gives me is embarrassment, it looks as though the shoot was rushed with Josie being given her tiny bow and cupid wings and told to strip down to her smalls and stand behind the pig. Could they not have at least let put her hair down?

I’m not versed in PR and this might generate a lot of hype (hell, I’m writing about it so it clearly works as attention grabbing) but it still feels like a mistake. It’s just going to give the army of Twitter trolls who are hounding Josie more ammunition and it doesn’t show her in a great way, it looks almost deliberately degrading and humiliating.

I think this is a mistake by Josie and whoever’s advising her. This isn’t going to help her dream of building a career as a model and celebrity, or prove her critics wrong, it’s just giving them another chance to laugh at her, call her names and troll her.

I have to hope that Josie is getting well paid for this, but I can’t shake the feeling that someone else is going to be coining it in and is just using Josie for cheap heat in the press, and doesn’t mind how bad she looks in the process.

Like I said, I’ll let you know what happens for me on the site.

Read the snarky story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

 


One hundred and eighty!: The Josie Cunningham saga continues

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.

Josie recently, showing off her bump

Josie recently, showing off her bump

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.

Or a therapist

Or a therapist

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.

thinktweet

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.


The Fame Monster: Josie Cunningham

It’s been less than a month since I last wrote about Josie Cunningham, the woman who gained notoriety after having a boob job done on the NHS. On the last update in the Josie saga, she had fallen pregnant with two candidates for the father- a friend she had casual sex with or one of the clients she met after becoming a £1000 a night escort. You can read the whole Josie saga by clicking on her tag at the top of this post.

So why am I writing about Josie again (this’ll be her 6th appearance on this blog) so soon after the announcement of her pregnancy? Well, quite simply because she’s managed to land herself in the public eye in a much bigger way than she has since the initial boob job, and was actually trending on Twitter today.

Josie recently, showing off her bump

Josie recently, showing off her bump

The reason for this is because Josie has appeared in the Sunday Mirror, announcing that she plans to abort the baby in order to pursue her career, having been approached to appear in the next series of Celebrity Big Brother.

Understandably this is has caused quite a ruckus online, with people kicking off and firing angry messages towards Miss Cunningham. Abortion is a massively divisive issue and will also hit a lot of folks in a personal and sensitive place.

Personally, I’m pro-choice. A woman’s body is her own and if Josie thinks her life will be better without this baby, then it’s her decision. In fact, I’m gonna say I think she’s making the right choice, because if she has this baby she’s going to feel slightly resentful that it deprived her of her big shot at fame.

And I doubt this is unusual, I’m sure many women have had abortions because it might effect their career, they just usually do it on the quiet and so nobody knows. Also, as another article on the Mirror’s website points out, the judgements have more to do with her chosen “career”. Again, I know I’m pro-choice but I honestly don’t see why this reason for an abortion is seen as worse than any other. The mother is the person who has to live with the child and the consequences, so it’s not really the place of Joe Public to say why they should or shouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion.

The feedback on Twitter that I’ve seen seems a tad daft too. Some state that Josie would be a terrible mother (if you feel that way you don’t want her to have a kid, do you?) or else telling her to go kill herself or wishing her dead (I know I’m only a first year nursing student, but I think if the mum dies the kid goes too?)

In fact, I’m gonna say I think she’s making the right choice, because if she has this baby she’s going to feel slightly resentful that it deprived her of her big shot at fame. Which won’t help either one of them.

Because that’s what this is all about. Josie wants to be famous, and I can’t judge her for that. A lot of folks want to be, you only have to see the parade of hopefuls who turn up to audition for X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Big Brother. It’s a widespread belief, hell, even I have my dreams of stardom, and given what I know about Josie’s life it makes sense.

This is a young woman who about a year ago was a single mother of two who felt insecure about her body. Of course to someone like Josie the life of a celebrity like Katie Price is going to look appealing- wealth, glamour and let’s not forget that for a while Katie Price was lauded in the media (she was “Mum of the Year” in 2007 and 2012, and Cosmopolitan’s woman of the year in ’07 and consistently praised for her smarts in playing the fame game).

Josie, who was extremely flat chested which she states was “ruining her life” probably looked at Jordan’s ascent to stardom with envy and longing. She got the boob job which helped address her body issues and it’s no surprise she viewed this as an opportunity to begin a career which would see her become “the next Katie Price”.

Of course, the NHS boobs meant this started under a bit of a cloud (again, I differ from widespread belief here in that I think if her lack of breasts was causing distress and negatively impacting her emotional health it should have been addressed, and there are worse things our taxes have been spent on than a boob job to help someone feel better about themselves), but she did her best to play the controversy to her advantages.

Josie playing up to the controversy, which actually makes sense for her career

Josie playing up to the controversy, which actually makes sense for her career

So Josie’s lust for the spotlight isn’t surprising, or extraordinary, she is a product of our modern, celebrity-obsessed culture. Josie wants to famous, and like Katie Price and countless others has no talent to set her apart from the pack and so is using her surgically enhanced body to further this goal.

Personally, and I don’t know anything about Josie beyond her interviews and tweets, I don’t think Josie would benefit from fame. She appears to be a woman beset by insecurities and has already became a magnet for some extremely harsh abuse online, and the more attention she receives is probably just going to exacerbate this.

There’s a poll on the Mirror site where about 92% of people have stated that they’ll boycott BB if Cunningham appears after getting an abortion. But they won’t will they? If anything, having the abortion has made Josie even more attractive to the show’s producers. She’ll go into the house riding a storm of controversy, which’ll draw more attention to the show and the mystery surrounding the Premier League footballer she’s bedded will also add more to her story, and unfortunately, Josie also presents the possibility for meltdown and/or train wreck that these shows thrive on.

Part of wants every post I write about Josie to be the last, and for her to find a way to live happily away from the media, but at the same time I am oddly fascinated with her. I knew something was coming when she got into a Twitter spat with Nicola McLean, who called her a slag. A recent tweet from Josie about a decision she needed to make suddenly made sense and I braced for her to catch some flak, but the extent has caught me by surprised.

I hope that it all works out for Josie, I don’t see her as anywhere near as vile or evil as some commentators appear to, and like I said, I’m oddly fascinated, I’d actually love to meet her, have a sit down and do a proper in depth interview/discussion with her, just to find out more about how she feels and her motivations. Chances of that are slim, but if it happened I’d try and be balanced and understanding, which a lot of the coverage I’ve seen so far hasn’t been.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.