Users of social communication networks yesterday (whether they be television or Facebook or a barstool) could not avoid the tragic news of “socialite” Peaches Geldof’s death.
My experience with Geldof is thus, once, in my 20s, I clicked on a link to a posting of nude photos of her on Gawker and came to the conclusion that a) the folks at Gawker had nothing better to do with their time b) there was someone famous whose body looked like mine.
The latter fact was awesome until I glanced at the Gawker comments section. This was the first time I’d seen a woman profiled like this who had a normal body, and she was being torn down because of it.
Just Google “Peaches Geldof fat” and prepare to be disgusted. Peaches was barely an adult, and we the media tossed her in the air and served her up to readers on a platter — as an abstract thing to attack for not living up to some ideal. In the darkest interpretation of her story, the media might ultimately be responsible for her death. It wouldn’t be the first time.
The simple truth in our business, because of its economics, is that if you’re a celebrity you’re damned if you fit in to a media absolute and you’re damned if you don’t. Frances Bean Cobain gets coverage for not doing anything tabloid-worthy — her mom, the opposite.
Geldof, despite being a devoted mother, led a life that I would not wish on my worst enemy — because of its sheer level of media scrutiny.
This weekend I deleted Secret, because of a thread that referenced me and TechCrunch which eventually devolved into something terrible.
I just want whoever posted that thread to know that, despite having a job in media at the moment, I am a real person. That post hurt me as much as it would have hurt anyone you knew personally, if you had said those things to them in person.
Pro tip: If you don’t know someone in real life, and comment about them online, it affects them (if they see it) as much as it would if you knew them and told them to their face. R.I.P. Peaches.
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