Jade Goody died this morning after what was NOT a long battle with cervical cancer by any means. She had only been diagnosed in August of last year (if memory serves me).
For those of you reading my blog outside the UK, Jade came to national prominence from being on Big Brother in 2002. She didn’t win, she only came 3rd (I think), but she’d won over the nation. More as an object of ridicule really with statements like “I thought East Anglia was abroad?”, when in fact it’s a region of South East England. She also appeared naked on screen after many weeks in the house when she had gone from her slender size 10 when she entered, to a then size 16. She also appeared to have given a BJ to one of her fellow housemates PJ (yes, you can imagine the headlines surrounding that!). But somehow, despite all this, and the seeming ridicule she was viewed with, she won over the nations hearts.
She ended up in every other way but factually, the BB 2002 winner. She was in magazines, she started dating a TV presenter (and ended up with a much higher profile than even HE had), started to run her own beauty therapy centre, slimmed down and brought out a fitness DVD, had children and was constantly in the lime light. She became a celebrity in her own right.
As a result of this, she ended up in the celebrity edition of Big Brother in 2007. And then the tide of public adoration – which was now less as an object of ridicule as she’d actually seemed to be achieving things with her life – waned as she became embroiled in the racial slurring of fellow CBB housemate Shilpa Shetty. She was by no means the only person involved. She came under a lot of fire and to her credit she always answered to her critics and continuiously and strenuiously apologised for her behaviour in the house.
She was then seen somewhat as a media whore. I never really had anything against the girl and I don’t now but I must admit I was sceptical at how genuine her apologies for what happen in the CBB house were. I was sceptical whether she really was capable of understanding how potentially wrong her actions in the house were. I say potentially, because upon reflection her actions were a “storm in a tea cup” comapred to how other housemates behaved. But she copped the biggest villification.
She did all she could to rectifiy it and win over the nations hearts again, but the damage had been done. She’d lost favour. Lost curry – as it were.
Then last year, she had just entered the Indian Big Brother house when she was notified that a pap smear result from a test she’d taken the previous week was positive. She was advised to return to the UK as soon as possible.
It was revealed a few days later she’d been diagnosed with cervical cancer. There were a few stinging comments from some circles akin to “Good! Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.”. As much as I was resistant to the Goody “charms” for the most part, I didn’t wish the woman ill will. I certainly didn’t see her having cervical cancer as some disgusting vindication or retribution for her behaviour in the CBB house, as some malinged people had.
I’m sorry for her and her family that her life has been cut short. I feel for her two young sons in particular. But I cannot help but feel that some public sympathy is being over emphasised. People making absurd comments, for example Stephen Fry who tweeted comments like “I suppose she was a kind of Princess Diana from the wrong side of the tracks” – erm, as much as I love you Stephen – PARDON? Is Jade now forever going to be known as “the People’s Chav”? WTF?
It is a tragic end to a life, I grant you that one. She was only 27 after all. But I am going to refrain from any expression of actual remorse for her death as I didn’t know her and am not going to pretend I did. I feel pity for those people out there going “poor Jade”, like they knew her. I find that sickening.
My condolensces go to her nearest and dearest. She divided opinion in the end. She was selling on her story to make an income while she could to leave to her sons. I’m not sure if they’ll end up thanking her. I guess we’ll have to find out in several years time.
R.I.P. Jade. It was nice (not really) knowing you.