It was a canny move, perfectly executed. Months of planning and a shrewd reveal left millions delighted to be distracted by something other than Borris and Brexit. Amanda Cassidy on shattering the stereotype of the WAGs.
First off, even writing the word WAG gives me a shudder. Imagine being defined as a ‘Wife and Girlfriend,’ period.
And yet here we all are, giggling over the title of Wagatha Christie, after Colleen Rooney (who is more than just the wife of footballer Wayne Rooney, by the way) believed she solved the mystery of who was leaking personal stories to the press (she accused her pal, Rebekah Vardy)
The way that Coleen, who is a mother of four boys under the age of 10, went about finding out who was responsible for these loose lips was smart. And it was that part left many gobsmacked.
The truth is that we underestimated a girl made famous for her husband’s ability to play football.
“We are intrigued and shocked that there is more to Coleen Rooney than simply being her husband’s accessory”.
The stereotypical image of a so-called footballer’s wife is about nothing but shopping, cosmetic surgery, false eyelashes, fake hair, tan and being photographed frolicking on the beach in a bikini. We decided to box them up into a neat little package and label them all bimbos.
Now, we are intrigued that there is more to Coleen Rooney than simply as her husbands accessory. She showed cunning, patience and intelligence in trying to catch the culprit who was leaking stories to the media.
Calling someone a WAG is demeaning. Even the UK equality watchdog called it “offensive’ and “pejorative”. There are few positive depiction of the partners of such sports stars in the media and instead, the narrative is that they are silly, brainless creatures.
Some would blame the women themselves. And sure, they seemed to relish being part of this group during the World Cup in Germany in 2006 being photographed on shopping trips and out on the town, all high-heels and hair extensions.
There have even been a few who’ve not helped their case by their words and actions, but suggesting that every partner of a sports star (who happens to be attractive) automatically has fluff for brains is sexist (where are the HABS?) and incorrect.
“The word WAG is about putting women in their place. I just think it’s a tacky word and it’s lazy labelling.”
Our own actress and author, Amy Huberman pointed out the same when asked how she felt about being described as a WAG. ” I hated being labelled a Wag when Brian was playing,” she said in an interview in 2015. “People would say: ‘Why do you care? It means you’re his wife.’ But it doesn’t.
“Yes, you can break down every word, but essentially it is derogatory and it’s definitely not nice. The word WAG is about putting women in their place. I just think it’s a tacky word and it’s lazy labelling. Like we can’t function unless we compartmentalise women into categories. Brian doesn’t like it either,” the now mum-of-three added.
In fact, we should have seen it coming. Coleen Rooney has always set herself apart. She explained in an interview why she rejected being portrayed as dumb and grabby;
“I hate the term WAG. The idea that there is this club of us, and we all get together every now and again to talk about our husbands, is just ludicrous. It is silly to lump us all together like that. We are all just individuals who get on and do our own thing, and we deserve to be treated as individuals.”
Was this the reason we were all so thrilled to see how Coleen ‘took down’ her friend so publicly? Were we perversely delighted to see a ‘WAG’ taken down a peg or two (Rebekah Vardy’s husband is also a professional footballer) by another ‘WAG’?
Or are we simply flabbergasted that (shock) Wayne Rooney’s better half is in fact a mastermind sleuth?
Enough of the Wagatha Christie, please.
Image via RTE