Almost three years on from her Love Island series where she met her boxer boyfriend Tommy Fury, Molly Mae Hague has seen enormous popularity, with her calling as a social media influencer reaching brand new heights, not to mention becoming the creative director of Pretty Little Thing (PLT) in August last year. The 22-year-old influencer, who raked in millions from her social media support, YouTube channel and additional brand deal content, is also one of the most followed people on Instagram. But that is not to say she hasn’t faced hurdles. For example, £800,000 worth of designer clothing and costly jewels were stolen from her home in October. Hague said the thieves “took everything” and that she and Fury had moved out of the flat due to not feeling safe.
Speaking about the incident, rich MIC stars Nicola Hughes and Tiffany Watson have said Molly Mae Hague is “not smart.” On their What We Don’t Post podcast, Watson, who is the daughter of a millionaire, said Hague was the “ideal candidate” for a burglary, claiming that the young influencer flaunts all her designer garments and jewellery on her social platforms and in her YouTube videos. These comments come off as hugely hypocritical considering the statuses of these women, and is an example of the toxicity associated with female celebrities tearing others down instead of building them up. Hughes’ and Watson’s podcast comments seemed much more an excuse to slag off a young and successful woman than to express any genuine concern or to give advice – not to mention the fact that their comments buy into an already rampant culture of victim blaming on the internet by implying that the burglary was Hague’s fault.
Although it may feel difficult to be sorry for Hague in the situation of the burglary, given her vast amount of wealth, surely we shouldn’t wish the trauma of a break-in on anybody, and as someone in the public eye, Hague is arguably more at risk of harm. To hear other reality TV stars criticising her for the very characteristics they’re famous for, wealth and luxury, is a great shame – especially given the fact that Hague’s experience of the burglary was most likely very emotionally troubling for her as well as incurring a financial loss.
More recently, however, it is the previous Love Island star herself who has made controversial comments in a podcast episode. Many have expressed disapproval of her thoughts on poverty, which she made clear through her “privileged” remarks about her success during a podcast released in December. The star has been criticised on social media after a viral video resurfaced in which she asserted that “We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce.” She added: “you’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it. You can literally go in any direction.” A great deal of people have taken to social media websites to air their grievances with her jarring thoughts about success, pointing out that she went on one of the UK’s most sizable reality shows, giving her an unbalanced edge over those who are not so wealthy. Hague’s remarks attracted numerous critics who made accusations ranging from “gross” and “tone deaf” remarks on privilege and affluence, to an outlook on poverty that has been branded ‘Thatcherite’.
Some people found fault with the influencer for being “insensitive” about disparity, while others posted jokes such as “If you’re homeless just buy a house” and “If you’re unemployed just get a job” to satirise Hague’s comments and highlight their ridiculousness. Indeed, criticising and poking fun at Hague’s remarks quickly became a trend, with social media users making accusations that Hague does not recognise any social divisions or poverty. Others questioned her role as creative director of PLT – a brand that is commonly met with disapproval due to its utilisation of cheap labour and materials, and its reputation as a fast fashion brand – and suggested that Hague’s employment by the brand was merely a marketing tactic.
But if you pay attention to the complete conversation, the dialogue in question saw Hague talking about the ways in which “time efficiency” can be linked to success – her words, though initially shocking, do seem to have been taken rather out of context. She explained that she is aware that everybody is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds: “I understand we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations.” When considering the context, her remarks appear to directly refer to timing, work and strength of character in her own life.
So was Molly Mae Hague in the wrong? Yes, her comments, especially when heard in isolation without the context of the entire interview, are problematic – but Hague should not be cancelled. We need to hold celebrities accountable for their mistakes, whilst treating everybody with kindness and respect; we can appreciate that Molly Mae Hague is an incredibly successful influencer whilst criticising her comments on wealth and privilege; we can make it clear that we disagree whilst avoiding harmful language. Quite simply, we should all think before we type a comment or hit Tweet.
– Bridie Adams
Featured Image Source: Still via Youtube // Molly Mae: How She Became Creative Director of PLT At 22 | 110 / The Diary of a CEO