Peaches and Cosmo

The news of Peaches Geldof’s tragic death at the age of 25 broke yesterday afternoon as I had a wee.  Checking my Twitter feed as I had the wee I had been too busy to have for the preceding three hours, I sat in stunned silence for twenty minutes.   As I read tweet after tweet from people shocked at this dreadful news.

Yes there were the ones from celebs who knew her but more than that there were tweets, such as mine that simply said “no no no no no, this cannot be true”.   Or simply “RIP Peaches”.   Or that referred to her beautiful little boys, barely one and two who would now grow up without a mummy.

Then came the statement from Sir Bob.  His use of the word “bonkers” broke me.   That any father has to make a statement about the death of his own daughter is shocking enough.   But for it to be so heartfelt, so raw, so …. well the words caught in my throat.   Bonkers is a word we use to describe E.   Mr B suggested to her old school when we registered her that it was her middle name.

And then the media circus began.

Sky News broke from normal schedules to report the story live.   Yet at that stage there was no real substance to the story.   We knew no more, and nor should we.   So they to had pad out their show with interviews with journalists, with people who had met her, over the phone.   Who, presumably, were dealing with their own emotions since they knew her.  One such journalist was on holiday.

One line of questioning from Sky News to Dan Wooton (a showbiz newspaper columnist) included the question:  “She liked to party, didnt she?”

And?

Is that a suggestion that this has anything to do with her untimely death?

So what?   Don’t we all?   God forbid I should ever die in a car accident.   Would the line be “She liked a Martini, didn’t she?”    The implication being it would automatically be my fault and that I was driving drunk?   One thing you will never see me do is drive after having even one drink.   I always drive when we go out.   Long story about why but drink driving is not something I will ever do.

Why the implication that because Peaches had liked to party this had any bearing now?   Was the suggesting being made that this was anything other than god awful accident?  It certainly sounded like it to me.

And then later on in the evening.  This happened:

PeachesCosmoI beg your pardon?

Within four hours of the shock announcement being made and we are reading of “25 best looks”.    One for each year of her life?  Best looks?  As opposed to what?

A woman has died and this is what Cosmo come up with?  Two little boys are waking up today without their mummy?  Sir Bob Geldof is planning another funeral.   Tom Cohen has lost the wife he worshipped?  Pixie and Fifi have lost another family member whom they adored?   And this is what Cosmo are printing?

Not “Our 25 favourite pics from Peaches’ instagram feed where she shared gorgeous photos of her boys” or a beautifully penned tribute piece.

And it isn’t even a showcase of “25 looks”.   There is a pic of her kneeling in sawdust at London Zoo.   Much younger and strolling with her dad.   A zoomed in shot of her at a pub table enjoying a family lunch.  These aren’t looks.  This not a retrospective with any kind of dignity attached to it.

It’s just a crass crappy piece thrown together to jump on the bandwagon and all they could come up with is a photo montage of her in various outfits.  With a headline that suggests these are the best 25 and they had to sift through hundreds of bad outfits to find these.

That right now this is what is important.   Is it <insert rude four letter word>

What a shitty piece of magazine writing that is.    And I am not one to really swear on this blog but that really made me cross last night.   A poor woman has died and that is all they can come up with?

Have some respect Cosmopolitan.   You used to be a great, slightly edgy magazine.   Now?   Well now you have sunk to a new low.    Is this really all you can find to say about a life cut so tragically short?

Really?

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  • I saw that last night and was disgusted with Cosmo.

    As you say, her 25 short years on this earth, summed up in an outfit per year. Disgraceful.

  • I honestly just feel a bit numb still at yesterday’s news. As if that family hasn’t had enough to deal with over the years. And those poor poor boys. Strangely I remember as clear as day when I discovered that her mum had died – bizarrely I was demonstrating WAP to my dad for the first time and brought up the BBC news “website” on his phone and there it was. Back then that was tragic news and I felt for her four daughters. For history to have repeated itself again breaks my heart.

    As for the way the media are covering it – whilst it makes me sick it’s also a sad sign of the times where people want 24 hour “news”, where there is an obsession with celebrity and where social media means that they know the minute details of people’s lives. Where it ends I just don’t know.

  • I think it’s important to remember when commenting on the actions of magazines/newspapers like this, that it’s not just “Cosmpolitan the large worldwide media company” that you’re criticising, it’s the actions of one person. I’m not justifying anything here, but it’s so easy to jump on a bandwagon against “the media” when in reality, things like this can happen because a (possibly junior) member of a team is doing what he or she thinks is right, is doing what they’ve been told to do (take ‘evergreen’ galleries and promote when they are newsworthy) and not because they are evil or heartless or worthy of being slagged off on a blog or ten. Again, not justifying anything – just asking that people think of the person who just thought they were doing their job and now have to read things that say “shame on you”.
    As always T – much respect to you and I know you’ll appreciate me being honest.

    • I hear you Alison. However, as a company they should listen. It is now 9.35 the following morning. Presumably the editor is in? Can we now expect an apology and for that article to be taken down? No, i don’t think we will.

      And I am sorry but that person should have known better. On a personal level do they not have a shred of decency or know how to behave on a basic human level? As I have been told on Twitter, Peaches’ body was still in the house when that Cosmo posted that. Are you telling me that this is still right? Even an 18 year old intern would know this is wrong, surely?

      • I completely agree. Everyone with a bit of common sense and a heart would know better than that. It’s distasteful and they could have done their job better, much better, by reflecting on the person that was Peaches Geldof, her struggles, her achievements and how she turned her life around to be a loving mum to her little boys…

        • Again, not justifying the action you’re talking about here, but would you have written this post if a blogger (even a blogger with as large a following as Cosmo have) had posted what they did? The answer may well be yes, but I think it’s important to show the same sensitivity you might show to a blogger to a person who works for a large media company.

          • I havent made it personal Alison. I haven’t personally attacked the person involved. I suspect there is a chain of command and that chain of command has failed. And yes, if a blogger had written this I would have still written this post. If my best friend had written this article I would have phoned her up and told her I thought she was insensitive and wrong.

          • I’m not going to be popular here, Alison, but I think you ARE in some way trying to excuse this article, despite your assurances that you’re not justifying it. You’re saying something like “don’t attack the person who wrote this piece because they didn’t appreciate what they were saying”.
            Well, I’m sorry but I think they’re in the wrong job then. I think it *does* sound like a shoddy piece of ‘journalism’ and if it’s not challenged, we will “get the media we deserve”.

            No one has named the writer – I can if you want – but Cosmo has to take ownership of this – they have editors and subs, so it’s right that they’re named as the publishers.

            And it’ll be Cosmo that comes up in Google (page 35 probably but there nonetheless) with “crass crappy piece” next to it, and I have to say, it would appear that is rightly so.

            Bruce

          • Hi Bruce, no, definitely not excusing the article. Just asking that people remember it’s a person who has makes this kind of mistake, not a faceless corporate giant.

          • The point I perhaps should have made better in my reply is that the journalist/magazine *could* have written something, perhaps considered, heartfelt even. What I think they did, in a no doubt hastily convened meeting, was to say “we’ve got to do something about this or we’ll be left behind, what have we got?” Pictures?

            She had just joined them as a columnist and no-one *wrote* anything!

            I don’t excuse the people who thought it was a good idea, I hope they think longer next time.

            And I would say the same to a blogger but a) I think they’re more grounded in the real world so are less likely to have done it and b) I think it’s fair to hold professional journalists to a higher standard.

            Personally I think the editor should get the grief over this, as they signed it off, saying “yes, this can go in Cosmo”. I haven’t seen anyone slag off the journalist…no doubt they were doing as instructed.

            But at some point you have to stand up to your boss as well, don’t you?

  • It’s sick! Grief is a personal and private thing. The constant trawling of images and interviewing is just horrific. Leave the poor girl alone and let her family be at peace as they come to terms with it. I have turned the news off because of it.

  • I feel so sad about this, my lovely middle daughter is the same age, a little bit bonkers and loves to party. And so she should, she’s 25 for goodness sake. I couldn’t imagine my life without my bonkers child and feel real hurt for Sir Bob, is that the mother in me that feels this I wonder? Being of Sir Bob’s and Paula’s generation, we are used to seeing their private lives emblazoned over the press but the footage that appeared last night of poor,poor Peaches’ body being taken away was one intrusion too far and then to see her being trivialised by this ridiculous article has reduced me to tears.

  • 24 hour media has turned every celebrity death into some kind of horrible circus. I quite genuinely stay off Twitter & FB for a day or so every time anyone of note passes away because it turns my stomach – this desperate desire for clicks and web traffic, the cobbling together of irrelevant trivia, the intrusive photographs of grieving families and the speculation about what has happened. That said, it is heartening to see so many bloggers and Tweeters acting with a lot more respect and sensitivity than a lot of the mainstream media journalists do. We seem to be better at remembering that there are real people behind every story x

  • I can’t believe that someone thought this made for a good article… I completely agree with Ruth’s comment about staying off Twitter etc. for a day or two as all the faux mourning is just so tasteless…

  • Whether it is 1 person, a team or a company, it is thoughtless. That is the issue, it’s insensitive.

    This is a sad situation, if a person is too inexperienced to understand that then, like bruce said, they are in the wrong job.

  • OK. I am going to disagree. Please don’t shoot me.

    I lost two of my brothers young – one when he was a year or so older than Peaches. It was very sudden, completely devastating and without doubt the single worst day of my life.

    I can honestly say that it would not have made a bit of difference to me if someone had said (or published) something that only acknowledged one part of his life.

    I might have looked and it and thought, “Fuck off. He was my brother and he was some acquaintance to you. It’s not your role to grieve him.” I thought that a lot, for quite some time after he died, every time people who barely knew my brother told me how devastated THEY were, when it was my family that had been blown apart and I’d had to watch my mother cremate her youngest son.

    But even once I was past that stage, I wouldn’t have thought: “How offensive that they only mentioned him as a football coach/support worker for people with disabilities/bit-of-a-man-whore when he was actually a beloved and multi-faceted person”. I’d have thought, “Different people knew him in such different ways. Look at all the people who are thinking about him, and going to remember him for his football/job/man-whoring.”

    I think we’re sometimes very quick (too quick?) to jump on people and brands about not saying or doing things the RIGHT way when someone has died.

    Guess what? Someone died young. There is no RIGHT thing. Nothing about that situation is right. It’s utterly fucked up, and there’s no getting round it, but some stupid piece in a paper about someone who worked as a fashion model isn’t going to make a shred of difference to anyone who is truly affected by that family’s tragedy.

    • Thank you for your comment Sally, and I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brothers. I TOTALLY get your stance, it is one I hadn’t thought about before and I guess you are right, there just is no right way in any of this. Thanks for taking the time to write such a great comment.

    • I don’t think anyone ‘shoots’ anyone on here for a heartfelt opinion. 🙂

      Good point, not sure how I’d have felt if someone had written about my brother after he died.

      I just struggled with it and found the timing in bad taste.

      B

  • The two things Cosmopolitan would understand are (a) bad publicity – expertly done with this popular blog and (b) loss of sales – to this end it will not be in my house until it shows better editorial leadership.

  • I think supply and demand is at fault, we can’t blame the media without looking at consumers too. We live in an image crazy, celeb hungry world. We all want to know what happened to see and read more. I am also a huge believer in celebrating the little legacies as well as the big, as you know. But I agree that there needs to be protocol here, the family need to grieve, there needs to be formal obituaries and then, by all means, start to celebrate the little things.

  • I hate the way celebrity magazines build people up then pull the rug from under them. As humans we all have flaws, most of us just don’t have to live with them being pored over by acid tongued reporters or thousands of readers/viewers. I don’t buy celebrity magazines and I don’t watch programmes like Big Brother or TOWIE who turn ordinary flawed humans into ‘stars’ then watch them crumble. Cruelty to others has become a form of entertainment and the World would be a much better place if we could all show people a bit more kindness. Peaches Geldof was much loved by those who really knew her and who didn’t care what her ‘look’ was. May her little boys be allowed the peace to grow up away from the cameras and to live a happier life.

  • Thank you for addressing this. It’s a terrible piece of modern journalism…a knee jerk reaction to a terribly sad story, which is quick, let’s get something on social media. I think people are too quick to use social media to get a voice when something terrible happens. I always step back as often feel in the moment, I might say something I might later regret. I actually feel very sad about Peaches death, more so than I would have thought, but I’m not one to join in the RIPs…I never do, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care and feel sad. I wish her family all the best.

  • Agreed! The whole thing is ludicrous. One radio station yesterday had news clips of Midge Ure every hour. Midge Ure, who was friends with Geldof and heard the news from his daughter, who had heard it on the news. Tenuously linked to the tragedy at best.
    Meanwhile the Daily Fail had a go at Katie Hopkins for not “acknowledging” the death. What?! I seem to have missed this new rule that whenever someone famous dies, everyone who ever met them or even knew about their existence must send at least one RIP tweet. Madness!

  • so unnecessary. understand that as a story it will be reported by 25 best looks? seriously how inappropriate.

  • why are we even shocked ??? we have become so numbed so desensitised to the media and advertising and the objectification of women that this is just another normal day isnt it ??? isnt it ??? time to stop buying their magazines ladies , we must make a stand x Shame on all magazines everywhere x