Sunday 1 June 2008

Nauseated and appalled

Warning: if you earn less than £200K a year you might find this blog upsetting, distressing or downright obscene.

I am revolted, sick, beyond queasy to the point of puking – all thanks to the Mail on Sunday. I don’t read papers during the week but on Sundays I love nothing better than lying in bed, vat of coffee at my elbow, flicking through You Magazine (and, yes, having a laugh at Liz Jones’ latest bizarre antics). But yesterday I nearly choked on my croissant over a feature on teenagers having hugely flashy birthday parties. Apparently it’s not uncommon for 16 and 18 year olds to have parties costing a cool £50K. Take birthday girl Jayde Fleming-Smith (seriously) who turned 16 last December with a masquerade themed ball. Money no object – she was given a Corsa VXR Sport (worth £16,995) and a holiday in the Canary Islands with three friends but was the poor little rich girl happy? No siree. Her ice sculpture didn’t turn up and she didn’t like the photographs (glammed up by professional make-up artist, stylist and photographer): ‘I shouted at my parents afterwards,’ she said, as if this were the most reasonable thing in the world. ‘It should have been more about me. You only turn 16 once, after all. I wanted everyone in ‘I love Jayde’ t-shirts but we didn’t have time to produce them.’

Am I missing something here?

· She arrived in Jordan’s ex-wedding coach (OK, dubious taste but scores high on the ‘me’ factor): ‘My boyfriend was waiting inside with a diamond necklace. Everyone was shouting my name, which made me feel famous.’
· She instructed her 250 guests to wear white and silver so she could stand out in her blue frock.
· Male models policed the VIP area (I’m shaking my head in stunned shock at this point – she actually grades her friends into VIP and non-VIP?).
· She stuck up a billboard (with a huge photo of her) outside her school to advertise her bash.
· The invite stated: ‘No present, No entry’ and her friends duly obliged with Tiffany bracelets and Dolce & Gabbana watches. So, no chance of an iTunes voucher if you’re Jayde’s friend then?

Er, could it have been any more about her?

‘I love getting new things,’ trilled Jayde. ‘If I’m not bought something every day I’m not happy. I am very grateful for my party….but my parents will have to try harder next year.’
No doubt her parents smiled indulgently at this foot stamping from their little princess and are already planning to hire a few space shuttles for next year.
As if she weren’t revolting enough there were a further three like her and, by the time I’d finished reading, I felt quite bilious.
So I turned to the main paper, flipped onto the second page and realised that these girls are mere amateurs compared to the monumental greedfest that is Coleen McLoughlin.
£50K? A mere bagatelle – in fact, probably the cost of each party bag for the future Mrs Potato-Head. Her wedding, the paper estimates, will cost a cool £5 million. The figures just fade into meaningness - £250K for Wayne’s stag night; £50K for champagne breakfasts for the guests (see, girls, some serious catching up to do here); £24K for the security team and on and on and on.
Yes, it’s her wedding. Yes, everyone wants the nicest wedding they can have. But am I really being mealy-mouthed when I say that I just find this kind of excess quite utterly revolting? ‘It is excessive,’ says a source (oh, someone’s noticed?), ‘but so is Wayne’s wealth and he wants to share it.’
Yeah right. Poor old Rio Ferdinand, Steve Gerrard and Peter Crouch could do with a bit of wealth redistribution.
On the page opposite, with supreme irony, was a story that put it in sharp relief. ‘Emergency fuel voucher for 200,000 pensioners’ - ‘The vouchers come as households face fresh warnings over the economy,’ says the reporter. Oh yes, that’s right, we’re in a recession. Funny that. Don’t tell Coleen – might spoil the mood.


bradan said...

What always amazes me is the way that people who are probably earning 'peanuts' can spend a fortune going to football matches and buying the latest team strip - which seems to come out every 5 minutes - thereby helping to fund the likes of Coleen McLoughlin et al....yeuk....makes me want to puke, too.

Pipany said...

It is revolting Jane and I can only agree with every word you've written. How such people can sleep at night is beyond me. How can spending so much make the day even more special? I just don't get it.

By the way, thank you for your lovely comment and hugs on my blog recently; things have been dire to say the least and I feel a bit chewed up and spat out now. Ain't life great? Still, onwards and upwards... xxx

Sally Townsend said...

I'm feeling bilious beyond belief, GROSS, utterly GROSS

Anonymous said...

I find it completely obscene. These people need to take a trip round some of our poorest areas in the UK, not to mention the heart breaking third world countries. They are disgusting and revolting. They are no better than anyone else.

CJ xx

Elizabethd said...

Unbelievable, totally. though when I read that Norton and Ross earn 5 million pa, I nearly wept.
What a society we have become.

Sally Townsend said...

And yet chewing on last nights chicken and recounting your most excellent blog to His Lordship it occurred to us that the caterers, florists,dressmakers,hairdressers, hangers on, uncle tom cobbly and all must love these 'celebs'.

Faith said...

Weird weird..... I was JUST and I mean just reading this out to my daughter and passing her over the mag to read with lap top on my lap and clicking on your blog! I was so disgusted that I read it out to Hub3 yesterday. That comment of Jayde's 'My parents will have to try harder....' All I can say is I hope God sends her a real tribulation so that she can learn and grow. And Coleen McL... what can you say. She was mad with Wayne when she found out he'd been to brothels etc but not enough to leave him eh? What does he earn a week - £120.OOO? Its obscene.

Milla said...

it is obscene and i thought COlleen was meant to be one of the better ones. Silly little things. I'd read last week (poss Mail again, but when out having a teacake so it doesn't count) about a ghastly strumpet called Jodie who'd invited 400 of her very best friends to trash Mummy's £4.5M villa in Marbella. Mummy was well fed up and grounded Jodie which Jodie reckoned was pretty unfair. I think she even called Mummy a bitch. Unbelievable. I know that this is the conclusion WE all come to, but does not the editorial always sensatiationalise them sort of admiringly? Where's the moral compass??

Frances said...

Hello Jane,

Before getting started commenting on this blog, I want to apologize for not having read and commented on the immediately prior one. That post was so heartfelt! Hoping that some bits have improved since then, but I surely do realize how it can be to feel sort of trapped.

Okay, let's get current!

Why do magazines and newspapers print these stories about these people? Why do we read them? Will the circle be unbroken?

Living in New York allows me to see such extremes of life styles and economics daily, that perhaps I am no longer able to really register it all.

I remember a recent blog by, I think, elizabethd, about random acts of kindness. These are the generous gestures that have no pricetag attached, but may have a very high value indeed. I wonder if the folks celebrated in the tales of the conspicuous consumption have bestowed some of these random acts of kindness. Hope so.


Kitty said...

Vomitous - such brats.
I have by chance just picked up the You magazine from a friend today, Mimi Spencer has name-checked my fashion-designer niece in her column so I needed to see it for myself. Actually, for such a tragic paper it's not a bad mag, I have to admit.


If people really can afford to spend this much on a party and still not be happy, when are they going to realise they might just be barking up the wrong tree? Or simply barking? How vacuous and superficial must be their diamond-encrusted lives. It is a world I'm afraid I just can't begin to understand. Which is just as well, really, since the chances of me ever having anything like £50K on anything at all, let alone a fleeting party, are approximately size zero.

Anonymous said...

Pondering here...
large boot
swift kick
any takers?
Ungrateful little darlings!

I just cannot stand such idiocy in parents to give into their children like this. What sense of values are they being given???

Norma Murray said...

YuK! Don't read the Mail on Sunday or at any other time for that matter, then you won't have to know about all this trash. You are right, they are revolting, but that particular paper just wallows in their excess.

Zoë said...

It's everything that is wrong with the world these days. Its' why yobs think they can take what they want and not work for it, it's why people get mugged and stabbed with no apprant remorse by the attackers.

Parents who have no idea how to control their kids and because it's too much like hard work say one little word....... 'No'.

They think its their right.

It is sickening.

blogthatmama said...

Hi Jane thanks for the visit to mine. I don't think Jayde Phlegm-in-the-throat sounds a particularly happy little madam though, do you? How horrible to live like that, her parents should feel ashamed of the fact that they've totally ruined her by her 16th birthday.

By the way, do purple flowers in large pots by the side of the door work as well as red ones? Top tip about the oil too, thanks a lot!

Mopsa said...

Shallow lives, small brains, huge wallets. Who'd have thought it possible - its the opposite of evolution.

Sam Fox said...

Janey Jane, I am so right there with you, my friend! I don't read those feeble Hello mags or similar or any of the weeklys so am probably terribly naieve. But that is appalling, especially when you know the terrible times people in China and Burma are going through. I had a bit of a spout off the other day about the waste of money that guy was pouring into that hot air balloon thing where he is supposed to free fall from space or whatver, cept the balloon went without him. It all seems like so much rich-person-too-bored-with-life-shit to me. Do some good with your excess!

And, Jayde Fleming-Smith - if you are vain enough to google yourself - I think you are a pathetic excuse for a human being -what goes round WILL come round, so prepare yourself.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

NOt sure whether to be more angry with the child or the parents, and definitely queasy. I'm also with LWB on not reading the Mail if at all possible (unless you are writing in it of course). Can't stand the prurient interest in what they claim to loathe. I also have trouble with the Sunday Times Style section which often makes me feel as though we are in the last days of the Roman Empire.

abcd said...

I totally agree with all that has been said. How on earth has society come to this and what will it take to make these people see what really matters.

Lindsay said...

Totally agree with all that has been said. I also dislike TV football news with images of bald-headed, fat men waving their arms and shouting madly. Urgggh!

Deb said...

A revolting little twit, indeed. And no thanks to her horrible parents for creating the monster in the first place!

blogthatmama said...

Thanks for purple confirmation will be back soon x

laurie said...

hey, jane--

send me your snail mail address and i'll send you an "i love laurie" tshirt from my 16th birthday. but only if you promise to send me a dolce & gabbana watch in return.

holy mother of god.

Expat mum said...

Definitely the parents' fault for pandering to the brat. We have a TV show in the States called "Sweet 16" which features this kind of stuff, but obviusly on an American scale so fifty grand is nothing. Rock bands flown in from god knows where etc.
There is also the Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties of Jewish families which often cost more than the parents' weddings as it's a family affair as well as the school friends and family friends. Some gentiles are even having faux mitvahs as they can't bear not to have a huge party in their 13th year. More in the NE of the States really.
All gross - especially in light of the dire straits of people across the globe.

60GoingOn16 said...

Jayde, Jayde? What sort of name is that?

As for emergency fuel vouchers, well, I'm a pensioner - where's mine? . . . so excuse me a moment while I light a candle or two so I can see to write this comment.

paula said...

hi jane I keep on trying to post a comment but can't - words here in case it works. I found you through mopsa and elizabethm. In fact having tried to post on your site I inadvertently posted the comment on elizabeth's. Someone may come to my rescue soon.
Here's hoping I crack the code - paula

paula said...

Yay – kind of succeeded, but had to open a google account that won't link to my blog - all very strange. If anyone knows why I can't link my wordpress site on Jane's blog please let me know. Thanks!

Georgina said...

Hello, I arrived via Sally's Chateau and I must say your post brought home many truths of this sad superficial world we live in today. I find the whole "Celebrity Culture" thing obscene. I married three and a half years ago for £200 and that included the church and the food. There are people starving and there are pensioners with no money. It beggars belief. Debs x

Chris Stovell said...

AH, but are they £50k times happier?

DevonLife said...

This country has some appalling parents at both ends of the spectrum, on one hand the lot featured in You (which made me feel odd - a mad mix of sickness mixed with disbelief) which have created vile monsters. Girls with a love of self and excess which will lead to all kinds of problems, first and foremost a love of drugs I guess.

At the other end we have the parents of children who carry knives. I know not all of them are at fault, but surely in most cases there can be some blame attached. I'm out of my depth really talking about such a serious issue (more happy talking about cakes) but it's early in the morning and i haven't had any tea yet so please forgive me.

Fire Byrd said...

Gawd and I thought I was doing well taking my sons to a local Italian for my birthday bash!!!!
What a joke, makes you long for Robin Hood really.

CAMILLA said...

Hi Jane, totally amazes me, saw the news on TV this evening, all those sickly dying children overseas who are starving, made me weep..... what a difference could be to them.


DJ Kirkby said...

Good! Gawd! I feel slightly breathless....

Inthemud said...

Yep, that is a disgusting and revolting waste of money.I won't say any more as every one has already said it.

Cait O'Connor said...

I did feel really sick reading this post Jane, thank God I didn't buy the Mail.

Who is Colleen Mcwhatsername anyway?

I happened to buy the Times on Saturday and reading the various supplements and style sections I couldn't believe what I saw in there, I said to M that we must be living on another planet.
These people don't know what real happiness is do they? Obscene indeed and Very sad... and the gap between rich and poor is widening all the time.

Ivy said...

It is just bad taste and if they want to share the money ok but how about sharing it with deprived children who do not even get a proper warm meal at home? I don't think this senseless spending of money makes anybody happy . Paris Hilton is may favourite example!

Carah Boden said...

White trash I'm afraid. Have you seen Wayne and Colleen's kitchen? My God, it's like a scene from 'Nightmare at Smallbone'. The place is heaving with chandeliers and frills and fancy and every 'posh' statement known to man. Can't ever imagine cooking in it, let alone eating, such would be one's overwhelming nausea and dizziness. Wayne, as name suggests (sorry - smack me), comes from a very rough family background (fact, not fiction). Money talks and all that. Shame it talks so rough. Truly tasteless. Truly obscene. I pretty much can't read the papers these days. I feel ill by page 2 most of the time. What have we become?

Pondside said...

What a waste of print that article was. One can just imagine spoiled little princesses reading avidly and stomping feet if they're not in the photos. I'd love to drop one of those darlings into a children's cancer ward, a tent city in Burma, a polio clinic in India, a reserve in our far north.....the parents would benefit too.

Maggie Christie said...

Good grief! I read something else like this a while back, but it was about much younger kids and colossal parties (£10k for a one year old's party) and others where the guests' party bags all contained £10 notes. I thought all that was a bit excessive but Jayde takes the biscuit. Colleen, bless her, has just married a potato. I'd need AT LEAST £5m to do that!

The Ginger Darlings said...

Best to stay away from the little darlings I should think and let them get on with their strange and messed up lives as at the end of the day money can't buy happiness ( obviously)
I would say, if it upsets you read something more beautiful like the poetry of Mary Oliver or Anna Crowe. Reading this kind of rubbish ( in the papers, not your blog, which is great) only gives the shallow natured darlings what Mrs Thatcher used to call the oxygen of publicity. Do I care if rich kids get lots and still behave like nasty toddlers? Not much. Though I think next time maybe their parents should send them on holiday via VSO.
Hope the liver is feeling better.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Here here!

It is quite easy to see how the brats turn out like they do with parents who pamper to them.

Give 'em a taste of the real world, that's what I say.

I know categorically that if I ever became wealthy I would help those less fortunate.

What you never have-you never miss.

Col South said...

This is a horrible article... The program was just a way for MTV to make money... Jayde is not really like she was in the program in real life... Jayde is one of the nicest people around. MTV is the joke trust me.

Thea-Esme said...

The people who go on this show have to audition for it. They also have to have had acting experience because the show isn't real. They read from a script and are told by the crew to have tantrums and to act like they do.
And why should it be a crime for a girl to want to have an amazing party for her 16th?
All you people commenting on here are probably middle aged old women who grew up in a differant era, get over it and try to understand that times have changed and nowadays people like to celebrate things extravagantly!
Okay I think I'm done, cheers for reading x

Anonymous said...

Jane, you really have lowered yourself. picking on innocent teenagers. I live in lichfield and I know Jayde. The sweet sixteen programme was made up (as are all of them) completely scripted, completely fake. You seem to consider yourself an intelligent woman but yet you do not consider the fact that maybe Jayde was told to act and say certain things by MTV. You've fallen at the first hurdle with your criticisms.
Jayde is a lovely, kind, giving person, she would do anything for anyone. Dont judge people based on a pathetic tv show. All those things printed in YOU were things she was told to say. You have no idea what actually happened so how can you have an opinion on this?
whilst i can appreciate that there are people in the world who are really that selfish and genuinely mean things like that, jayde is not one of those people.
Before you criticise her for going to MTV, remember back when you were 16, surely you would have taken the opportunities Jayde has had.
You and all the people that have commented on this, on something that you've seen on TV and read in a magazine and taken for what it is, should perhaps learn a thing or two about the media and keep your one sided, anal views to yourself?

Exmoorjane said...

So, Jayde just 'made it all up'? Oh well, that's OK then.

Seriously guys, listen to yourselves.

heidimay said...

do you not understand that this super sweet sixteen was all acted?? jayde is not rich. she is a middle class, normal girl who was told to act. i think you so called 'women' need to take a look at yourselves and also 'grow up' and realise what television is all about. entertainment.

Eliza said...

OMG, the parents want locking up, or maybe psychiatric help, and the Little Princess needs a swift kick up the backside.
Actually its sad that people think they need to waste so much on a 16th birthday party!