Paloma Faith shares powerful statement about gender equality following Caroline Flack’s death

Sarah Young

Paloma Faith has published a powerful statement about the representation of women in the media following TV presenter Caroline Flack’s death.

On Wednesday, the “Warrior” singer shared a letter to her Instagram account which she titled: “Shut up and look pretty”.

In the note, Faith addressed the inequalities between men and women, particularly when it comes to those who live their lives in the public eye.

“We live in a patriarchal society which means that it was designed and is managed by heterosexual men," Faith wrote. "All of our pressures and our business and our media are cultivated to appease the male gaze. Even us as women are becoming more male in our criticism of each other.”

The Voice UK coach went on to compare the recent death of Flack, who died by suicide on 15 February, with other famous women including Amy Winehouse and Princess Diana, before calling on people to think before they speak.

“In the dark shadow cast by the death of Caroline Flack and her predecessors Amy Winehouse and Princess Diana, and seeing those still living under a huge amount of strain (Meghan Markle, Lily Allen and Jameela Jamil to name a few) I would like to take this time to acknowledge a pattern growing,” Faith explained.

“The media, the trolls, and the people in power both male and female need to take some responsiblity for how brutal words can be.

She continued: “I would like you to lay down your weapons and only use them for peace and for the greater good. I would like you to stop judging others with your patriarchal gaze and start judging yourselves.”

Later on in the letter, Faith acknowledged that while celebrity life comes with its perks it also has a “dark flip side”.

“There’s a huge amount of pressure particularly on women to appear gorgeous/happy/effortless all the time. The hours are out of control and if women have kids aswell their hours are even greater because when you want to sleep you can’t. And yet we judge our women so harshly,” she wrote.

Faith also questioned whether Flack would have received the same treatment if she was a man, before comparing the treatment of the former Love Island host to rapper Chris Brown.

“Every relationship is scrutinised, every outfit, every big night, every foot wrong (and yes she did put some feet wrong but I am of the opinion she had a bigger undiagnosed illness going on behind the scenes),” Faith wrote.

“Let us not forget that Chris Brown still managed to have a career after brutally attacking Rihanna but we don't allow our women and girls this freedom.

“No, if you are a woman with a successful career, with or without children, we expect you to suffer, to beg forgiveness for what you have achieved with your every move, ot to have an opinion, not to show weakness or rage and to stay in your box.”

Faith concluded her powerful statement by insisting that the “harsh judgement” and “abuse” of women in the public eye comes to end.

“Women of a post-feminist era are not made of stone. We are struggling in a strange purgatory between a misogynistic viewpoint and the freedom to achieve within patriarchal structures,” she added.

“Equality doesn’t have to be an illusion, it could be a reality and it’s high time something is done to make it that. Cue the hate in the comments section below this article. I am a woman after all.”

The post has since received more than 24,000 likes and been flooded with hundreds of messages from people thanking Faith for her honest and though-provoking words.

“Brilliant. Very well written and unfortunately so true,” one person commented.

Another person agreed, writing: “Wonderful message. The time has come for everyone to just be kind and love each other…for all we have is each other.”

A third person added: “Wow. This is accurate — painfully so. I hope that change comes very soon. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Caroline; it has struck a chord with me that’s beyond comprehension.”

In the wake of Flack’s death, a number of her celebrity friends have shared touching tributes on social media.

Over the weekend, Flack’s friend and Love Island replacement Laura Whitmore paid tribute to her “vivacious” and “loving friend”, but also called out those who had criticised Flack before her death.

“Anyone who has ever compared one woman against another on Twitter, knocked someone because of their appearance, invaded someone else’s privacy, who have made mean, unnecessary comments on an online forum – they need to look at themselves,” she said.

Dozens of other celebrities have paid tribute to Flack, including Dancing on Ice co-presenters Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and Russell Brand.

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