Today’s offering is concerned with recent I’m A Celebrity evictee Rebecca Adlington, who for the record is the same age as my younger daughter (and coincidentally shares the same name). Alongside Rebecca in the jungle was the beauty queen Amy Willerton, whose physical appearance unsurprisingly aroused a fair amount of media interest, and Rebecca has been quoted as saying she actually experienced feelings of insecurity because of her own looks—I found that so sad to read.
I might not be qualified to write about looks—half my hair is missing, I’m short sighted, deaf in one ear, wonky teeth, three chins, round shoulders, podgy tummy, dodgy hips… but I like to think I’ve got nice feet—and although I don’t live my life in the public eye, I do have an understanding of the damaging effect of anxieties and insecurities. We live in a society that has become almost obsessed with appearance. Magazine covers are adorned with an array of the young, the thin, and the beautiful (of either sex)—undeniably pleasing on the eye, but hardly a reflection of real life. And of course that’s assuming there’s been no airbrushing: even the most attractive aren’t perfect…
But how many of those models and celebrities are judged purely on their external appearance? Amy Willerton is pretty, and it wasn’t pleasant to see how she was bullied by some of her fellow campmates, but she was also selfish enough to hide what was termed “contraband” which could have resulted in food being withdrawn from the group. To put looking good for the cameras ahead of the welfare of others is not an endearing trait.
That said, the programme is designed to create an atmosphere in which personalities and heightened emotions are exposed, and given the way the show is edited, it would be unfair to summarily judge or condemn any of the contestants, but what is clear is that Rebecca Adlington is both genuine and caring—good qualities to have.
Almost all of us fall outside the top nought point something percent of the world’s most beautiful people: being “normal” is… well, “normal”, but Rebecca Adlington is certainly no ordinary young woman. She just happens to be one of the finest athletes this country has produced in recent years. Her dedication, determination, talent and ability to produce her best when it really matters was rewarded with for Olympic medals—two gold and two bronze. The wins in Beijing were brilliant, but such was the pressure of expectation surrounding London 2012, that anything less than gold was ridiculously perceived as a failure in some quarters.
In fact, in a post-race interview, Rebecca’s tearful apology at having let everybody down because she’d “only” won a bronze medal was not only one of the Games’ most emotional moments, it was also an insight into Rebecca’s character… and given the fact that she put the feelings of others ahead of celebrating what was a fantastic achievement probably makes more recent jungle-related events easier to understand.
Quite simply, whatever the future holds for you Rebecca, I just hope the moments of self-doubt soon pass and I wish you well in everything you do—you are a very special young woman.