Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Jade Goody is dying. And as this poor girl struggles through her last few days, the entire world seems to be looking on. Except for me.
I have made a point of not reading any of the interviews, I have not bought OK or Hello! magazines and I have not watched her wedding on Living TV. I can't bear to. I don't WANT to read about the horrific and tragic illness she is being consumed by. I want the world to stop watching, I want Jade to have some final moments of dignity.
Most of Jade's adult life, and her entire career has been in front of the cameras. First on Big Brother, and then in the voyeuristic fame that followed. Jade was the loud mouthed and slightly stupid girl who drunkenly stripped off and wailed about her 'kebabs' in front of 5 million viewers. Jade was the girl who didn't have a clue about Geography, or much else for that matter.
After the BB house Jade's star shone bright in a way that no other Big Brother contestant has ever experienced, and as her career grew so the world looked on. But even as her profile rose the world still laughed at her, we all felt superior to her: "That Jade, well she's nice but a bit dim really isn't she..."
In fly-on-the-wall documentaries we watched her open a beauty salon, launch perfumes and hire a personal assistant. In the tabloids we followed the birth of her two children, saw her split from Jeff Brazier and embark on her turbulent relationship with toy-boy Jack Tweedy. We watched all this while still looking down on her, still feeling superior to her. We laughed and tutted as she collapsed during her London Marathon attempt after doing little more to train than eat take-away curries - We'd NEVER be so stupid would we!
And so her car-crash existence carried on. The was her infamous appearance on Celebrity Big Brother that saw the people of India take to the streets and burn effigies of her. There was her awful, awful mother who no one should ever have put on TV. There were violent the antics of her now husband Jack, who seemed to consider himself above the law, that landed him straight in jail.
I, like many people, never liked Jade very much. I thought she was a bully in her original appearance of BB, let alone her behavior on Celeb BB. Her stupidity annoyed me. Her voice had the same effect on me as nails scratching slowly down a black board. But there comes a point when enough is enough. Nobody would wish cancer on their worst enemy, and when I heard Jade's cancer had been diagnosed as terminal I felt sick to my stomach. This girl is only in her twenties. She is one year older than me. She will leave behind two small boys who will grow up without their mum. It is heartbreaking. And I don't want to read about it at all.
We come into the world in private, and we leave the world in private. Death, and the process of dying, is not something that should be splashed across the media in this way. I feel nauseous to think that magazine editors have been hashing out multi-million pound deals to cover this poor girl's tragic last minute marriage and christening. There comes a point when we should no longer be watching. I feel like the world is now circling like vultures, waxing lyrical about how sad it all is while still whispering to themselves that this would never happen to them and feeling the ultimate superiority - the superiority of knowing they are going to carry on living after she is gone.
I hope Jade is as comfortable as she can be, and I hope she finds comfort in being at home surrounded by her family and loved ones. I hope for a miracle, but don't think a miracle will come. For Jade I am so sorry. And because I am so sorry I will never, ever pick up a magazine that is printing paparazi shots of a tragic, frail and dying young cancer victim. I hope the world will look back with shame, but I fear it will not.