You Don’t Have To Agree With Molly-Mae To Know This Pile-On Is Too Much

The backlash towards her has gone beyond respectful disagreement or attempts at re-education.

Molly Mae Hague

by Georgia Aspinall |

Molly-Mae Hague has been trending on Twitter for three days straight. After a clip from the 22-year-old’s interview with Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO podcast was posted online, many have taken issue with her comments on building success. Now, she’s responded to the backlash in a statement to Metro.

The podcast, which originally aired in December, talks through Molly’s journey to become creative director of Pretty Little Thing. When asked about her attitude toward confidence, she discusses always feeling incredibly self-assured when stepping into uncertainty. Then comes the question the answer to which has led to backlash.

‘What have you learned about the nature of confidence and how it builds?’ Steven asks.

‘I think it’s just believing, Beyonce has the same 24 hours in a day that we do and I just think, you’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it,’ Molly replies. ‘You can literally go in any direction. When I’ve spoken about that in the past I have been slammed a little bit, people saying “It’s easy for you to say that you’ve not grown up in poverty or with major money struggles so for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in a day it’s not correct.

‘But technically what I’m saying is correct, we do,’ she continues. ‘I understand we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and do have different financial situations, but I think if you want something enough you can achieve it and it just depends on what lengths you want to go to get where you want to be in the future. I’ll go to any length, I’ve worked my absolute arse off to get where I am now, a lot of people don’t think or believe that but it’s true I’ve worked so hard.’

This section of the interview was later clipped and posted on Twitter with the caption: ‘If you’re homeless, just buy a house.’ Nearly 20,000 quote-Tweets later - and after countless more Tweets about her comment - many have taken issue with Molly’s attitude to success.

It’s understandable why some are frustrated that a person with millions of followers might inadvertently perpetuate misconceptions about social equity. The notion that ‘We all have the same 24 hours in a day’ has historically been used to invalidate the struggles of people in poverty, perpetuating the idea that if you want something enough, you just have to ‘work hard’ to achieve it. Those with experience or knowledge of the poverty cycle argue that this is an incredibly simplistic view that disregards the way in which privilege creates an uneven playing field for success.

But what’s also clear from watching the podcast in full is that Molly’s quote was a response to a question about believing in yourself, not how she feels about social injustice. In fact, at other points in the interview, she demonstrates a deep awareness of the hardships others face and feeling a responsibility to adjust her content accordingly.

Molly has since responded to the backlash, a statement from her representative reading as follows: ‘Molly did a podcast interview in December about her own rise to success. If you listen to the full conversation and interview Molly was asked about how the nature of her potential grows and how she believes in herself. This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success.

‘Molly refers to a quote which says, “We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce”. She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote.

‘Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life. Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation she can only speak of her own experience.

‘She acknowledges that everyone is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds but her comments here are in reference to timing, hard work and determination in her own life. If you listen to this interview you can see the whole conversation was about her own personal circumstances, how she has grown up and this small clip in the conversation was talking about a quote that inspires her.

‘Social media users have shared a short snippet from this interview with words such as “if you are homeless buy a house” and “if you are poor be poor” these are absolutely not Molly’s words, these are not Molly’s thoughts and this isn’t at all the meaning or thought behind that conversation.’

Steven has also since responded, questioning why the reaction to Molly’s quote was so strong when male guests have said the same to no uproar.

It’s something that’s actually discussed on the podcast too. Speaking of the double-standard female influencers face online, Molly admitted she’s always scared of talking out of turn because of how quickly she trends online and receives death threats.

‘I’m often fearful to speak,’ Molly said. ‘A few months ago I went to Italy and mentioned that I didn’t like the food and I probably could’ve worded in better but I was trending on Twitter for two days. I was going through a really hard time like I can’t deal with this, I made one comment people didn’t like and… I’m getting death threats because of it…. I’m always on the edge of what’s going to be next.’

With that fear in mind, Molly opens up further in the interview about how this kind of reaction impacts her mentally. Touching on an incident where pictures of her on holiday went viral, she describes almost reaching breaking point due to trolling.

‘I actually rang the Daily Mail myself, I went through to someone on customer service, and I was like “This is Molly-Mae, you must take those pictures down now”. I was hysterically crying, saying “Please, you’ve ruined my life. Look at the comments under that picture, please take them down”,’ Molly describes. ‘When I look back at that now, I would never say I’ve had a mental breakdown but that was close to it because I just went crazy… That was a really low moment for me.’

While the topic of trolling was brought up in entirely different context to the current controversy, it’s important to remember comments like this when we jump to criticise someone online. In the last couple of months, Molly has also opened up about experiencing clinical anxiety for the first time in her life – following the burglary of her home in November. We mention this not because it’s wrong to disagree with Molly, but because the pile-on to her character online has gone far beyond a respectful disagreement or attempt at re-education.

Knowing how much reactions like this impact her mentally, is it not time to stop Tweeting and let her find her own way to better understanding social injustice?

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