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Why ‘We All Have The Same 24 Hours in A Day’ Is Not An Inspirational Quote

Because that’s the difference between you and Molly-Mae Hague. Whilst you were sitting around, waiting, doing NISH, she was out making moves.

Just in case it didn’t invade your timeline or for-you-page for a week like it did mine, in December 2021, Molly-Mae was interviewed for a podcast called ‘The Diary of a CEO’. The interview went viral on TikTok and Twitter because of some highly ignorant comments that she made, like “Beyoncé has the same 24 hours in the day that we do and I just think, like, you’re given one life and it’s up to you what you do with it”.  This sparked endless memes and controversy, with the influencer being called names like “Money-Mae Hague” and, my personal favourite, “Molly Mae-gret Thatcher”

Now, this may seem like a harmless inspirational quote, but in the current climate that begs more social awareness than ever, it sparked outrage. It opened a necessary conversation about systemic oppression and contextual circumstances affecting people’s lives.

Molly-Mae Hague is a social media influencer turned creative director of Pretty Little Thing at only 22. She became high-profile when she came runner-up in Love Island with her boyfriend Tommy Fury. Making this comment, Molly-Mae fails to recognise her own privileged position and how Love Island gave her the massive platform she has today. She spent six weeks on a dating show and then left the villa to 2.3 million followers and multiple brands reaching out to hear for deals (emphasis on THEM reaching out to HER), resulting in a £500,000 PLT deal. She then became creative director of PLT without any real experience or qualifications.

She also is a white, cisgender, able-bodied woman who did not come from a low socio-economic background. That isn’t to say she may not have faced adversity or challenges in the industry, as she is a woman in business (or that she doesn’t deserve her success), but she hasn’t had to face discrimination as a barrier to attaining her goals.

Now yes, TECHNICALLY we do all have the same 24 hours in the day. But this fails to factor in, social, class, racial and individual aspects which affect how much people can achieve in a day. Does a person from a low socio-economic background have the exact same opportunities as somebody privately educated?

Not everyone has the money to access higher education. Some people must give up on job aspirations to become carers for family. Some people may have grown up in deprived areas which may stop them from reaching their potential. That isn’t to say that achieving their goals isn’t doable, these contextual factors just make things significantly harder. Poverty is very hard to escape, and it isn’t a mindset that can simply be altered, but a structural issue.

It is also in poor taste to make these comments when the company she has been made creative director of has been found to only pay their factor workers £3.50 an hour, when the minimum wage for over 25s is £8.72 and her monthly salary is six figures.

Finally, criticising Molly-Mae’s comments isn’t misogynistic. This isn’t a feminist issue but a classist one and to say otherwise is weaponising misogyny to avoid having an actual conversation about the issue at hand.

I truly believe that Molly-Mae did not have malicious intent behind what she said. But I do think this is an important conversation to have and that the criticism (NOT hate) is valid. Being socially aware is important and throw-away and ignorant comments like this are damaging, especially during a pandemic where people have lost loved ones, jobs, and homes. This mindset is detrimental to social progress. It can be as simple as listening and interacting with people of different social backgrounds that can help you gain a better perspective.

Words by: Saffron Mubika

Edited by: Dasha Pitts-Yushchenko

Hey! I am a second year medical student at Leeds who enjoys writing about music and cultural issues.
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