This week ‘model’ Katie Price, also known as Jordan, the favourite hate figure of the tabloid press, walked out of jungle based reality show ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here.’
Her exit was in response to having been voted to undergo six successive ‘bush tucker trials’, a unique dining experience involving chomping on fried insects and Kangaroo genitalia. Having been told she had been voted to be thrown into a snake pit, what did they expect her to do, eat the snakes?, Price said ‘Someone else has to do it; I’m just not doing it anymore.’
Since the news broke on Monday morning I have been telling myself that I’m a serious person and don’t care, and its true I don’t care, but I do find it interesting because our attitude towards the car crash that is Katie Price says a lot about the state of our culture.
It is impossible not to warm to Katie Price the former page 3 model with a shrewd head for business and an even more shrewd understanding of the prejudices and aspirations of her audience; it is, though, equally impossible to do anything other than recoil in horror from Jordan, the pneumatic poster girl for all that is most brash about modern Britain.
The problem is both Katie and Jordan are halves of the same split personality and we the public sometimes struggle to know where one ends and the other begins; worse still Price herself seems to have the same problem.
Just now in this Jekyll and Hyde tale for the noughties nasty Jordan seems to have the upper hand. It was the brash, attention seeking half of Price’s personality that led her to mark the end of her marriage to fellow micro celeb Peter Andre with a series of ever more lurid capers played out on the front pages of the red top tabloids ending with a bizarre attempt to find ‘closure’ by appearing on a television reality show so witless if it were a person it wouldn’t be allowed to cross the road on its own.
The public liked ballsy Katie Price when she was standing up to the polo club snobs who didn’t want her sort soiling their manicured lawns because she was striking a symbolic blow for everyone who has been patronised for not having the right accent or connections; they hated super slapper Jordan for abandoning her children and falling out of nightclubs at three in the morning because it reminded them of how often they put self pity dressed up as the right to have a good time ahead of responsibility. That was why more people than can be bothered to turn out at a general election voted to see her have snakes and spiders tipped over her head on a nightly basis.
Perhaps flouncing out of the jungle will earn Katie Price a sort of ‘closure’, in the sense of the door closing once and for all on her media career leaving her alone in her mansion telling her reflection in the mirror that she is still big it is reality TV that has gotten small. In the long run that might be the best possible outcome for the damaged, but even now not unlikable woman behind the gaudy façade.
From 2011 children in British primary schools are to be taught about domestic violence and gender equality as part of a ‘Together we can end violence against women and girls’ strand in their personal and social health lessons.
Campaign groups working with victims of domestic violence had welcomed the initiative, Sandra Horley of Refuge said ‘This huge social issue will only end when people are educated about why it happens and where they can get help.’
While welcoming the steps taken so far Ms Horley stressed ‘Prevention will help in the long term, but in the meantime there is an urgent need for services for abused women and children to be improved.’
Doubtless there are legions of people who will bridle at the though of such a contentious subject being introduced to young children, listen closely and you can already hear them huffing and puffing about ‘political correctness gone mad’ and anti-male agenda and an attempt by evil social engineers to further damage the ‘innocence’ of childhood.
After all, they will say, most children are lucky enough to live in families that are free of violence, why spoil their few years of being insulated from the cares of the world?
To which the only answer is, yes but for 750,000 children violence is part of their everyday life with consequences that extend far into adulthood, there is no innocence for them, only pain and fear. It is our responsibility to offer them all the help we can and often the only way to do so is through the school system.