Victoria Beckham has been a very naughty girl. She complained about not being given a knighthood. She used the c-word. And people are cross with her. No, scrub that. It wasn’t Victoria. It was David. David Beckham complained about not being given a knighthood. He used the c-word. And people are cross with him, too. Though not as cross as they appear to be with Victoria.
It’s over 45 years since Yoko Ono was blamed for splitting up The Beatles, yet nothing has changed. We still view the “wives of” with suspicion, blaming them when they are blameless, criticising them when they have done nothing wrong, attributing them with dark, selfish motives when all they are trying to do is live their lives. Thus when Victoria Beckham flew to New York to work on her impending fashion show, as any normal fashion designer would do, she was accused of taking “full advantage of the spotlight from [the] email hacking scandal to showcase her latest fashions…. jetting out of the UK as the storm began to swirl about the truth behind her husband’s clean-cut image.” When she had the temerity to leave her hotel to, y’know, do an honest day’s work, one tabloid noted that “rather than going for a subtle look to avoid attention, [she] went all out to turn heads.” Her crime? She wore something orange. As opposed to a sackcloth and ashes accessorised with a sandwich board saying “forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”
We still view the “wives of” with suspicion, blaming them when they are blameless, criticising them when they have done nothing wrong, attributing them with dark, selfish motives when all they are trying to do is live their lives
Whether you regard “leaked” (and allegedly doctored) emails from a private correspondence between a celebrity and his agent as bona fide proof of said celebrity’s wrongdoing and justifiable reason to decide that he’s a prick is up to you. Plenty of people seem to have decided, on the basis of these emails, that David Beckham is a Bad Man. Britain has a reputation for doing down its own success stories: we keep our friends close, our enemies closer and our celebrities on probation, desperate for the moment they fuck up so that we can crow about it. In light of this, the vitriol towards DB is understandable. Less understandable – completely unfathomable, in fact – is why it then follows that Victoria Beckham must be a Bad Woman. What has she actually done?
It was inevitable that she would be drawn into David’s misdemeanours, as he would be drawn into hers. That’s what happens when you are a couple, famous or not. But the level of vitriol hurled at Victoria this week is off the scale. Social media has enabled us to see inside other people’s bitter, hate-filled minds, and while it’s all very well saying “ignore Twitter / Instagram / the comments sections of various websites”, it isn’t always that easy.
Whatever else Victoria may want to change about her life right now, you can bet that “the date of my fashion show” is right up there in the top five. She will unveil her autumn/winter 2017 collection in New York on Sunday, a slot set in stone many months ago, long before FootballLeaks got hold of David’s emails. It has taken VB a long time to transition from Spice Girl to WAG to well-respected fashion designer. The last thing she wants is for her latest collection to be overshadowed by a scandal. Yet no doubt the questions thrown at her backstage will be a shade more challenging than “what was your inspiration”. You can also guarantee that she will be reported as looking “exhausted”, “angry” and “stressed”. She has already been accused of “staying silent” about the emails, but what can she say? This bullying has to stop. She didn’t write them. She isn’t David. She’s only married to him.