Design| A British Individual Explains the WAG Wars
On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Americans awoke to the frustrating yet thrilling news that the celebs had actually done it once again– and this time it was war. The battlefields were Twitter and Instagram, where Coleen Rooney accused Rebekah Vardy of leaking stories about her to the tabloids, and revealed that she had actually managed a monthslong social networks sting to capture Ms. Vardy in the act.
The news was incomprehensible, yet shocking. Who were these women, and how dare Rebekah Vardy? Context aside, the story had all the features of a juicy celebrity scandal. Screenshots of accusatory statements were shared on both celebrations’ confirmed social media accounts. (Ms. Rooney’s appeared to have been composed in the Stickies desktop app of a Mac computer system, with the default yellow background swapped out for a dignified gray; Ms. Vardy’s shown up in the basic scene of frenzied public defenses: iPhone Notes.)
” This has actually been a concern in my life for a couple of years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it…” Ms. Rooney posted on Instagram and Twitter with a screenshot of a statement in which she said that after years of seeing information from her private life reported in the British tabloid The Sun, she hatched a plan to post “a series of incorrect stories” about her life to her “individual” Instagram account, and changed her settings so that just one other account– that of her thought leaker, Ms. Vardy— might view them. (Among the stories Ms. Rooney determined as “false” that subsequently appeared in The Sun: an account of a fictitious basement flood in Ms. Rooney’s brand-new home, published one day before she went public with her accusation.)
Ms. Vardy, in an action posted to Twitter and Instagram, rejected selling stories about Ms. Rooney. She deflected obligation by stating that “numerous individuals” have actually had access to her Instagram account password for years. She likewise described herself as “upset,” “disgusted” and “heavily pregnant.”
Yet a series of unknowns threatened to compromise American scandalmongers’ capability to enjoy this public fight. Plainly these women were rich and popular, but why? How? And to whom?
To our former foes, the people of England, it turns out. These women had actually discovered fame and fortune by weding English soccer gamers.
For a more complete understanding of Britain’s continuous sociopolitical crisis, I turned to Elizabeth Paton, a press reporter in our London bureau.
Caity Weaver: Who are these women?
Elizabeth Paton: WAGs is an acronym frequently utilized to refer to wives and sweethearts of prominent athletes, especially soccer players and particularly in Britain. The phrase first hit the headlines in 2006 during the soccer World Cup in Germany, where a group of British WAGs– all frosted hair extensions, vaguely orange limbs and barely there clothing– placed on a sideshow of champagne-fueled shopping journeys and partying exploits in the historic town of Baden-Baden. Their leader was Victoria Beckham (or Classy Spice, as she was still understood), with a faithful clique of lieutenants made up of pop stars, beauty consultants, physical fitness instructors and a fresh dealt with young 20- year-old called Coleen McLoughlin, the teenage sweetheart of the star player Wayne Rooney.
CW: Where do Coleen and Rebekah fall in WAG hierarchy?
EP: Coleen Rooney has grown in star status over the years to reach peak WAG royalty. Between bearing with her spouse Wayne’s duplicated indiscretions ( which have been extensively reported in the media) and being a hands-on mum to 4 young boys, Ms. Rooney has also released a physical fitness DVD, been a style consultant for Littlewoods and even had a magazine column. At times, she was an idol for many a girl who imagined marrying a footballer and living a life of perma-tanned high-end. More recently, however, she has been living a lower-key existence in the suburban areas of Washington, D.C., after her husband signed an agreement to bet D.C. United.
Ms. Vardy is a more recent addition to the fold. Married to Leicester City gamer Jamie Vardy, whom she fulfilled in 2014 while working as a bar promoter and who she married two years later on, she came to popularity at a time when there was higher recognition of the sexism of the WAG label, both in specifying ladies near specifically on their look and also their partners and partners. “WAG is an outdated term because we’re not specified by what our hubbies do. We’re individuals,” Ms. Vardy stated ahead of the soccer World Cup in 2015. A mom of 5, she has actually appeared on cult British TV programs like “Star Gogglebox” and “I’m a Celeb … Get Me Out of Here!” And every front page and home screen in Britain, because Ms. Rooney’s claims surfaced Wednesday.
CW: Were they recognized good friends or opponents prior to this event?
EP: Definitely not understood enemies. Close enough pals to sit beside each other at the periodic soccer video game and be on one another’s personal Instagram follower lists.
CW: What has been the preliminary public reaction to this story in England?
EP: At a time when Britain is teetering on the edge of a Brexit-induced crisis and with Boris Johnson supposedly leading from the helm, this war of the WAGs is the story everybody requires. The web has actually been breaking here considering that news of the spat initially appeared; it appears people can’t– or will not– think about anything else. Ms. Rooney is being heralded as a new nationwide heroine.
CW: Who is Victoria Beckham more likely to side with?
EP: Difficult to inform. There’s a great deal of shared history with Ms. Rooney, undoubtedly. But Ms. Beckham has been desperate to wriggle out of her WAG chrysalis for a long time now and take flight as a businesswoman and style mogul. My guess is she’ll remain firmly out of it.
CW: What time was it and what British thing were you doing when you first learned the news?
EP: Clearly consuming a cup of tea (my third of the early morning) simply after 10: 30 a.m. I– like millions in this country– can only keep hitting the refresh button and wait with bated breath for what might follow. Possibly a full-length function?
Ms. Vardy is currently pregnant, on vacation, and has actually stated she is looking for legal advice. “I am disgusted I even need to reject this,” she composed in her Notes app defense, posted on Instagram minutes after Ms. Rooney dropped the bomb of many months of investigator work online for all the world to see.
As for Ms. Rooney, she hasn’t stated a word (openly) since. Vengeance, after all, is a meal best served cold. And that’s the tea.
Elizabeth Paton is a press reporter for the Styles area, covering the fashion and high-end sectors in Europe. Before signing up with The Times in 2015, she was a press reporter at the Financial Times both in London and New York City. @ LizziePaton