BY JON ALEXANDER
Victoria Beckham was given an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list. A woman who at 42 years of age has conquered the world as part of the biggest selling girl group the world has ever seen, had a brief run as a solo artist, established herself as a much sought after fashion designer and largely kept out of any media scuffles – all whilst raising a family of four and being one half of “Brand Beckham”.
Cause for celebration? Brit girl makes it good and lives the dream most of us have had (male or female) in terms of fame and fortune?
Apparently, to many, this is not a good thing.
The usual, now boring, outcries of “she’s got no talent” or “what’s she done to deserve this? She’s had it all handed to her on a plate” tried to distract from Victoria’s achievement and present the honours system as a self-serving pat on the back for rich people by rich people. While the honours system is imperfect, targeting Victoria in the way she has been is uncalled for and pointless. Yes, the honours system should be looked at but this isn’t the way to highlight its flaws.
As Brits we seem to have an odd relationship with success and achievement, we are quick to beam with pride as the UK is represented on a world stage but, as soon as we feel someone has started to get too successful, we seem to want to bring them down.
We live in a poppy-lopping society.
When I see the criticism levelled at Victoria Beckham I do have to wonder if it’s actually jealousy that’s prompting the attacks. By her own admission, Victoria isn’t the best singer in the world, she doesn’t claim to be, what she does claim to be is a hard worker, and who can deny her that? When someone complains that she’s not a good singer or just an average designer are they not just angry at themselves? Are we not just annoyed that she’s managed to apply herself to her work and thrive in an industry which is fickle at best? Are we not angry that we haven’t applied ourselves the same way and that we’ve let opportunities pass us by? After all if a “crap singer” with “no fashion sense” can get by in this life what excuse do we have, really?
As I see it, no matter what she does, Victoria will always be criticised, it can’t be helped. She’s in the public eye but, as evident when the allegations of David’s cheating surfaced years ago, we really seem to hate a woman achieving in life and carving out her own career. Back then I recall Victoria was blamed for the alleged affair because – shock horror – she was launching her solo music career, she wasn’t at home cooking for her husband and being the good little housewife. When Victoria entered into her relationship with David she was clearly the more recognisable of the two and was at the height of the Spice Girls’ wave of fame, so why was she expected to take a backseat later on?
The main outcry seems to have come from women themselves. You see the same jealousy-borne reactions to others – Dannii Minogue for one. The main objection to Poor Dannii seems to be that she’s not her older sister Kylie. Yet Dannii has had a career in her own right – with music, on TV, on the stage – yet it always boils down to the fact that Kylie has had more number ones and sold more records, in spite of the fact she’s managed to support herself and her son, Ethan, and has been working since she was 9.
Perhaps these whingers would be happier if Dannii and Victoria had mothered seven kids by five different fathers and been on benefits? Maybe then they might have earned more respect from certain quarters.