Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Mommy Dearest

My Dearest Darlings, as an embodiment of style and grace I am somewhat removed from the toils in which you struggle. I try not to judge you too harshly though I am in such a lofty position that I am gifted with the ability to see through the illogical mists that descend on you as you squirm through your pointless lives. I recently have been struck by the recent media focus on a series of disparate mothers who have been in the terrible position of losing their daughters.

Firstly I should say that I have never understood the need to reproduce, why humanity needs to perpetuate the delusion that life is worth living is quite beyond me. I am a talented, beautiful and a magnificent example of the humble human and yet even I am persistently perplexed by the sufferings of the average Luddite. Why you feel the need to sentence your so-called loved ones to life long punishment is utterly and amazingly peculiar. Though this is what you persist to do and as a reluctant member of the human race I am left with no choice but to assist you in your hell, to elucidate some of the ineptitudes you are far too blind and stupid to see.

So, to my point, I present to you three mothers, each of them have experienced different sorts of loss and each must have experienced the kind suffering most of you will have not. As you know I am mainly concerned with promoting the often misunderstood notion of glamour. Though in this case I am interested in the way the perceived ‘attractiveness’ of each mother has informed the media’s response to their respective plights.

Firstly Kate McGann was in the unfortunate position of having her daughter snatched from her holiday home in Portugal. Still missing it is widely believed that Madeline will never be found. What is fascinating is if one does a quick image search of Kate McGann you will see many images like the one above; a pleasant looking woman clearly distressed yet calm. This is despite the huge press attention the family received at the time with various disapproving comments on the particulars of childrearing, though presently the atmosphere seems to be of general sympathy despite initial accusations of neglect.

Secondly Karen Matthews the mother of the Shannon who went missing only to be found 24 days later in a distant relative’s home, the difference of the published images is striking Kate McGann is sun-kissed and calm. Karen Mathews looks more like you; pale deranged, unstylish and unkempt, she has just had a pie and chips for tea, Kate McGann has just had salmon and salad for supper. Middle class versus working class a sort of tragi-glamour versus non-glamour, the sympathetic lense is kept for the holidaying mother abroad as this is what you are told to aspire to, even in the midst of the furore Kate McGann was either desperate mother or conniving ice queen. Karen Matthews “mother of five children to five different fathers” was the insinuated ‘slapper’ during the reporting of this disappearance even when it was possible that Shannon may never be found! When she was finally found the insults flew, speculation began and Karen Matthews has since been arrested, implicated in her own daughters disappearance. This may or may not be true though the coverage during the girls absence was utterly different to sweet little Madeline.

Lastly, Fiona MacKeown the mother of fifteen year old Scarlett Keeling who was killed in Goa, the media were quick to report the death of the pretty blonde apparently murdered on a beach on holiday though what followed was speculation that she had been abandoned by her mother who was elsewhere in the country.

Some press pundits actually blamed Fiona MacKeown for her daughter’s death, outraged that this fifteen year old was left with trusted friends. The British press have chosen to attack and demonise the mother rather than the men who raped and murdered Scarlet Keeling. Similarly to Kate McGann, Fiona MacKeown is sun-kissed a consequence of her foreign location and in the first search for pictures they seem more sympathetic than those of Karen Mathews. Though Fiona MacKeown has made the ‘mistake’ not to have neat blonde hair, she has piercings and tattoos, she is ‘alternative’ she neglected to be meek and silent and didn’t appear to have a husband to support her unlike the ‘perfect’ McGanns, thus she is similarly cast aside, judged as unfit, partially to blame for the brutal murder of her own daughter!

According to a leading ‘Missing Persons’ website nearly two hundred and twenty thousand people are reported missing each year, though a large majority of these missing return home or are found these enormous numbers seem only to generate a handful of ‘news’ stories. The cases that do get the coverage seem in some way to vilify the mother! In all the stories above it seems that a man is culpable at some point. The hypocrisy and cynicism of a male dominated press yet again confirmed.

So the power of glamour is once again established, if you are in the unenviable position of requiring any support from the media make sure you are a ‘normal’, attractive, middle class professional as your personal tragedy will barely register unless you have a pretty face and pleasant disposition.

So to conclude I once again reiterate the wonderment and awe at the desire to reproduce, it seems to be a harsh cruel world, especially if you happen to be a mother ‘foolish’ enough to ‘lose’ a child along the way. My thoughts are with the families of the victims of these heinous crimes.

With enormous affection yours Ms Coco LaVerne x