Kate Spade, Ant McPartlin and a toxic society that’s killing people…

Fundamentally… as a society… if we didn’t put so much pressure on people to deliver and present a solid outer front, then less people in turmoil would be dead or on the way there…

A beautiful human being Kate Spade was lost to us recently; not one for speaking out about her bipolar disorder and too constrained by the vanity of retail, to the extent that no one was there to hear her… I wonder every day if we’d save more people like this if we just made an effort to be more human.

Now retail is waaaaaaaaay behind the curve in terms of well-being, because there’s too much focus on money, image and all the toxic vibes that these elements entail. We’re still seeing Vogue promoting women wearing makeup during a gym session, as suggested empowerment, rather than celebrating ‘real women’ over models, we’re still obsessed with selfies, the state of our pout and whether we have enough followers on social media…

The age of celebrity is upon us and everyone wants a piece! So many young entrepreneurs are so obsessed with becoming Peter Jones, Lord Sugar, or Karen Brady, but they don’t know themselves enough to hold on to anything true.

I was with an amazing young entrepreneur (on paper) recently and she talked quite a lot about how many followers she has and a little bit about the ethics of supporting impoverished farmers to do good; but when asked by an ad exec whether she’d sell her company for £20 million she said YEP I sell it and walk away!!

I said at the time, ” you don’t give a sh*t about your farmers now do you…” What happens to the farmers when you sell out? At the moment the story sells the product, but those farmers should probably underpin their services with a few more clients, in case someone buys in to bleed them dry.

Too many businesses now are so focused on CSR and ticking a new governance box, because it saves them money in tax, it means their staff work harder and they make more money as a business, but they’re not invested in in genuinely… Look at L&G and their ‘red card’ campaign, crap branding, awful look and feel, negative colour choice, lots of money making sure everyone see’s the PR, but nothing tangible or ethical surrounding the end user policy in supporting the person on the street with their insurance if they’ve got a mental health issue…

Businesses are ever more readily keen to increase staff productivity internally, but unless it affects their bottom line then no one really gives a shit… only when you get a top level exec who’s been through something and genuinely cares, do you get change on a deeper level.

On the counterpoint with SME’s or growing businesses, like with the farmer scenario, everyone wants to go ethical production etc. but only so that they can retire off it and as the mileage of the business is sold or passed on it dies and they often kill off an entire source of income for a small region of a foreign land, easily forgotten…

Anyway, I started off talking about Kate and I think what saddens me most is that she didn’t want to talk about her bipolar, because she was worries how it might affect her brand…

Now listen, if I produce some products and you don’t buy them because I have a background then frankly, you can f**k right off! Why are we pandering to a populace that doesn’t care? If I’d been anywhere near Kate or involved with her, I would have tried with everything I had in me, to help her to embrace it.

The bipolar breeds the creativity, intellect, beauty and the message encourages change, there’s so much you can do in retail if you think more about whats real, not these falsified images of people paid silly money to ponce about, because of their prosaic chin or their pert bottom…

Lets celebrate our individuality again, why does everyone in London wear black, grey and navy…?

The other side of the coin, is this celebrity element, that’s pushed Ant McPartlin to the edge, another person I feel deeply for at the moment.

Ant’s had a rough ride of it, but most likely deep within him he knows the world he’s living in is a fiction, where people don’t genuinely care about you, if not for want of future gains… From Byker Grove, to the mundane teleprompter cheese they churn out now, I know that it’s nigh impossible in that field to have anyone really hear what you’re feeling inside.

The worst bit for me was watching the first Britain’s Got Talent show without him and having everyone making comment on the situation… back handed comments, on how tragedy can accelerate a career, which is something Simon Cowell said flippantly to Dec, that must have hurt Ant if he’d heard it. Even Dec himself was there with his opening gambit that suggested nothing in the show had changed, and with regards to the presenters, that we probably shouldn’t dwell on that…

How about, the guys f**king hurting so hard that he needs to make himself numb?! How about “we just wanted to let you know (as it’s all over the bloody news that Ant’s in rehab) that Ant’s doing really well and thanks for everyone’s support”? How about you don’t come prancing on stage every night like a tosser with no discernible talent, doing song’s with no ability to pitch and one liners that are actually more laughable than funny… it’s embarrassing, you’re his best mate!!

Who laps this lot up? Are we still playing to the dumb? And if so why? Because they’re ‘the ratings’, sat on their arse being fed the consumerist drivel to ensure they buy enough Doritos, or Pepsi Max, or car insurance that doesn’t pay out in the fine print…?!

I sometimes feel like I’m on my own in this… Why do people care more about their advancement individually, over what we could do together as a unit?

Why do we ask without really seeking the answer?

Why do you keep buying if they don’t represent your values?

Because everyone’s just bullsh*tting themselves… the quicker you actually tap onto the fact that it’s all sycophantic bullsh*t and you start being honest with yourself about where you are, the quicker you will achieve the mind shift.

Unfortunately we’re not making a dent, we celebrate what gets the most charity PR, not what charities get the best results, we oppress the celebrity with the image parameters that they have to fit themselves within, at the same time removing their right to a voice, in their NDA’s and terms of publicity; forcing them to drink in the falsity and incubate until they’re jilted into setting themselves free, with a noose on their neck, or a bottle before bed.

To Kate Spade I pay homage and I will long remember the loss… And to Ant McPartlin I say this…

“You don’t always have to be who they want you to be… Money and fame are a bi-product of how far you’ve come, your story to date, but it doesn’t have to define you, if you forget who you are then you’ll never be happy within.

Be honest with yourself about what you want, they’re not really there for you now, they’re still fluffing themselves up and carrying on as if nothing ever happened, a footnote on their ever such clean styled lives, everything they allow us to see is not whats going on deep down, it’s all about the edits so we feel and think the way they desire.

Confide in those who aren’t about your status, or ensuring you fulfil your contracted obligations; those people are the light, your agent only wants their % and your mates too far trapped in the machine to be objective. 

With anyone who pushes themselves to the limits of alcoholism, drugs, depression and beyond, it’s common to find that these individuals, are often the ones who’s mind see’s the reality in the world that surrounds us and the thought that it will never change is what drives us to angst, to numb that pain within us or remove the falsity of it for a moment… 

You’re better than that… we’re all better than that! But until we allow ourselves to be true, genuinely true within, in everything that we are and are about, then we’ll never be truly free… we are all the authors of our own story…”

kate spade




One thought on “Kate Spade, Ant McPartlin and a toxic society that’s killing people…

  1. There is sadly still a stigma attached to mental health in most walks of business which prevents people opening up. Unilver seem to have set a good example which other companies of all sizes should emulate. The openness is also needed in sport. It is a refreshing change to read that brilliant sportsmen and women, role models to
    millions, are now starting to talk openly about their own battles. The message should be stressed loud and clear, there is no shame in admitting to a mental illness.
    Thank you again Thomas, always thought provoking.


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