herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Social media's perfect for attention-seekers . . . Even when it's car crash stuff

Samantha Mumba (left) and Jennifer Maguire (right) are in a war of words
Samantha Mumba (left) and Jennifer Maguire (right) are in a war of words
Samantha Mumba
Happier times: Victoria Smurfit and husband Douglas Baxter
Doug posted this photo of them at the Golden Globes on Facebook
Rosanna Davison

It's easy to underestimate Jennifer Maguire.

Her TV and radio persona, coming across as it does a bit brash and more than a tad laddish, might give the impression that she is like that in real life. In fact, nothing could be farther than the truth.

Because in a country filled with attention-seeking minor celebrities, Jen is happy to keep the noiseless tenor of her way.

Consider the manner in which she has behaved during her pregnancy, getting on with her job but also not making a big deal about her baby bump.

Jennifer's conduct is, of course, in marked contrast to Samantha Mumba, with whom she's had an online altercation. Jen's criticism of her last week was not only spot-on, but also hinted at a wider malaise that is gripping a whole generation of peripheral figures in the entertainment industry.

It's an illness that seems to affect former singers most.

Having lost the adrenalin rush of performing in front of an adoring crowd, they seem to require the approval of Twitter and Instagram followers to help them get through the day.

Samantha has taken to keeping her profile up by posting photos of herself on social media. Her recent pregnancy has given her a further excuse, and she has posted numerous examples of her "selfie bump".

Having been involved in a car accident a few days ago, Samantha immediately did what comes most naturally to her - she Instagrammed a picture as she was being wheeled away to the ambulance.

This prompted Jennifer to criticise the one-time singer, writing: "How did it even enter her head at that point that this would be a good time to tweet? It's so bizarre to me."

Cue a reply from Samantha: "I would have presumed anyone with half a brain, never mind another pregnant woman, would have already known my only concern at the actual time was my baby."

Mumba went on to comment that "we've never even met", as though the fact that she and Jennifer don't know each other means they should not be communicating.

This is perhaps the most bizarre remark of all, coming as it does from a person who tweets the minutiae of her life to complete strangers every day, including bare-midriffed photos of how pregnant she is.

Presumably what Samantha Mumba means is that engaging with people you've never met is fine, as long as they tell you how beautiful and/or talented you are.

But when they dare to point out that you're being a bit of an attention-seeker, that's a different story.

fawning

Why did Samantha feel the need to post the photo on social media in the first place?

The answer, of course, is that she feels it necessary to post relentlessly in order to let people know that she's still around and, through various fawning comments from complete strangers on Instagram and Twitter, fill a need in her life.

Samantha was right in her outrage, however, as regards one point.

Jennifer Maguire doesn't have half a brain. Unlike Samantha, it seems, Jennifer has a whole one.

Separating Smurfit is a truly class act

While everyone will have been surprised by the announcement that Victoria Smurfit and her husband of 15 years, Doug Baxter, are separating, the lack of fanfare surrounding the news should not come as a shock.

Because in a world where nothing is kept to oneself any more, Victoria has always bucked the trend, refusing to boast about her success in the US, refusing to make a big deal about having a career while also being a mother to three young children and simply getting on with her life without feeling the need to share it with the public at large.

And even when she did the occasional bit of publicity, there was a mischievous, self-deprecating way about her. Pictured in VIP six years ago, in a rare photo shoot with Doug, Victoria took over the K Club - owned by her uncle, Michael Smurfit.

She posed as if mocking landed gentry, regally riding side-saddle, dancing on a dining table in a ball gown, all the while making fun of the perception of her as a rich kid when, in reality, she has refused all her life to take advantage of the privilege into which she was born, and instead has insisted on ploughing her own furrow.

The demise of her marriage reminds us all that very little in life is permanent, though in Victoria's case it does seem that there is one thing that will never die - a touch of class.

Eat yourself? That's drastic

* I am delighted to hear that Rosanna Davison is branching out and, having completed a degree in nutritional science, will be putting her knowledge to good use by publishing her first cookbook.

The only minor quibble I would have is the name of the book - Eat Yourself Beautiful - which suggests that a regular diet of asparagus spears, broccoli and kale will result in you ending up looking like Rosanna Davison. When, of course, it won't.

Unless, of course, there is simply a typo in the book's title, which is in fact called Eat Yourself, Beautiful.

Because that name surely points towards the most straightforward, albeit drastic advice, on how to stay thin.

* FM104 DJs Jim Jim and Nobby were suspended from their show last week for breaking an embargo on the announcement of Ed Sheeran's forthcoming concert in Croke Park.

The only thing more cringe-inducing than this attempt to be controversial was the station's press release on the subject.

"Due to the edgy nature of the show, Jim Jim and Nobby teased the news prior to the agreed time and left listeners in little doubt as to who was going to be announced," it said.

The very fact that the show's bosses use the word "edgy" to describe their Neanderthal offerings suggests that, idiotic though the presenters may well be, FM104 is their rightful home.

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