Why do we only refer to people by their connection to fame? In the tragic suicide of designer L’Wren Scott all the newspapers and wider media are concerned with is the cancellation of the Rolling Stone’s tour in Australia and not the battle with mental health that a talented woman has lost. Is it more important we focus on Sir Mick because are too stupid to see the relevance of the story – or is it more that without him it’s not a story but a sad moment for all who knew her which is both personal and private.
We don’t seem to accept the world these days unless it has a “celebrity” link. From advertising to alleged news we are told the story from a perspective of fame, notoriety and celebrity – and I’m more than aware this is not new as we have had newspapers reporting on the rich and famous as long as the printing presses have rolled. But then there are the occasions where celebs miss the point too. Look at Scarlett Johanesson’s Soda Stream endorsement and how the lack of understanding of how inappropriate her support is when the Soda Stream factory sits on Palestinian land the Israelis are illegally occupying.
In this specific case we must leave those involved to deal with the situation themselves and not live through the lenses and column inches over the week or two it will take to lay her to rest. There is no story for us – and the cancellation of a few gigs is nothing compared to a human life – any decent fan would understand this. We need to put things in perspective and stop aggrandising stories like this by the most famous person they knew.
L’Wren Scott was a hugely successful designer in her own right and to limit her to “the girlfriend of Mick Jagger” is degrading to her as a woman and to her as a fashion designer. Already the journalist’s phones are red hot from all the calls to famous friends to get their thoughts from Nicole Kidman to Madonna, Naomi Campbell to Angelina Jolie – how do they feel? What are their memories? The papers are already raking through her life to pick out the reason for her suicide: Debt? Split from Mick? It’s none of our business and the papers need to leave the family and friends in peace.
If you or I died in unusual circumstances such as these, the only time the story would be more than a byline in a newspaper or on local TV news would be if we were friends or associates with someone famous, or even had a brush with fame ourselves – and I understand the interest and the need for a wider audience to be found for these outlets. For the front pages of the Mirror, the Mail and the Star today to all show Sir Mick moments after receiving the news in full-page photo is disrespectful and intrusive.
And the press wonder why we loathe them so much.