Thursday, 26 February 2009

My two bob's worth...

Everyone's talking about Jade Goody. Everywhere I look, there's newspapers, magazines, websites, TV programmes about how she's doing, and often, showing complete contradictory information. But even more, there's the opinions of a nation. Why she's wrong. Why she's right. Even in the House of Commons, people are talking about her choice to die in the limelight.

I'm watching Question Time with my flatmate, and this woman in the audience disagrees with the whole circus surrounding her life, her illness, and her eventual death. She seems to think Jade is garnering publicity for her career, rather than raising both awareness women should have, about this disease, and money for her sons upbringing for when she's no longer around.

There's a question of exploitation here, I know. But who's exploiting who? And if the ends justify the means, does it matter? Regardless of so-called popular belief, Jade is no fool. She's doing everything she can to hold onto the last bit of control she has left, and she's doing it for her sons.

There's the general opinion of, why should Jade earn all this money when thousands of people around the UK alone are suffering, dying, and unable to earn the same money for their children?

My answer, my opinion is, simply, she should because she can. If any person could earn money for their children by, in effect, selling their death - they would. I challenge anyone to tell me they wouldn't do that for their children. For her to turn down that chance based on the fact someone else can't, that, to me, would be patronising.

Jade has lived her adult life in the public eye, been the nation's sweetheart and public enemy number one. Her whole worth has been based on what the tabloids and "reality" programmes are willing to pay her, and we have contributed to that. We wanted to dip into every aspect of her life, and now we're uncomfortable with the level of intimacy that's been nurtured by us - the paying public.

Tough. We built her up, tore her down, followed her through relationships, break ups, pregnancies, weight gain, weight loss, several medical scares, rumours, cosmetic surgery, affairs, falling out of clubs, endorsements, and that race scandal. Everytime a new scandal hit, yahoo searchs went up, interviews were done, and the nation wondered what was next for that crazy girl. It's only right we stand by her now, and face the fact that we created this life for her, we owe at least that to her.

I don't think Jade's legacy will be a bad one. In fact, Jade, without meaning to, has alwaysmade us talk about the uncomfortable, the things we'd rather hide under the nation's carpet. The lack of education within the school system. The ignorance of religion and race - even of geography. The "ladette" culture, binge drinking and fighting. Relationships caught in a circle. The idea of beauty - what's socially acceptable. Homosexuality, and how that relates to childrearing.

And now, the subject of death. It's never easy, even though it's sometimes welcomed. We see death as something that should happen quickly, quietly, and no publicity please - it isn't dignified. We need to face the fact that we have to reap what we've sown. A life in the public eye, a death in the public's soul. It's something that affects us all, and the sooner we all get over overselves and the faux shock at witnessing something so natural, mortality - the better.

She is under the microscope and we can't help but look. She is touching, within me at least, that fear of mortality, and forcing me to accept death. She is fighting for her style of dignity, to die as she lives now, as she has always lived, and she's fighting this battle under the limelight to protect and provide for her boys.

The fact that her battle is also enabling women to present themselves to their doctors and demanding the tests that could save their life is also so encouraging. I think, in years to come, we will remember that fact before the race scandal that almost ended her career.

I support and respect everything she is doing. What she's trying to acheive, and what she's inspired. And for that, I say, Jade,

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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